BYOB Event for BIM not Bottles

IrisVR's "Bring Your Own BIM" sessions will be held at the American Institute for Architecture 2018 conference in June.

A promotional image for the BYOB sessions. (Image courtesy of IrisVR, Microdesk.)

A promotional image for the BYOB sessions. (Image courtesy of IrisVR, Microdesk.)

AEC consultancy Microdesk and VR software maker IrisVR have announced that they’re teaming up to host a “Bring Your Own BIM” event, where attendees can bring in their BIM models and perform a tour of them in virtual reality.

The BYOB sessions will be held at this year’s American Institute for Architecture (AIA) Conference in New York City from June 21-23. The two companies will be sharing a booth at the conference’s Architecture Expo, where they will offer the 30-minute sessions during the first two days of the conference. The sessions will enable attendees to perform an immersive review of their BIM designs with an Oculus Rift headset and IrisVR’s Prospect software. Users will essentially be able to perform a virtual “walk-through” of their designs as though they were walking through the completed building.

“We are excited about this opportunity to provide AECO professionals with an educational and hands-on experience to increase their understanding of VR,” Microdesk Senior Technical Evangelist Peter Marchese said in the event’s press release. “This initiative to expand the utilization of efficient and sustainable technologies, including VR, underscores our commitment to improving communication, collaboration and workflow throughout the building life cycle to meet the increasing demands of urbanization.”

The event announcement comes in the wake of growing interest in how augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) can support BIM models. Earlier this month, Forbes ran an article about how AR can work alongside BIM through the life cycle of a building. The article highlighted three major uses for AR: helping project members collaborate on construction plans, increasing the accuracy of plan interpretation in their field when the building is being built, and helping stakeholders understand real-time maintenance information in the operations phase of a project.

The article also looked at AR as a possible communication bridge between people in the AEC field and stakeholders who don’t have that kind of experience. “When users are collaborating with people … not necessarily from engineering or construction backgrounds, this kind of visceral and immersive experience can help convey concepts that would otherwise be hard to express through conventional means,” Kyle Mallinger, director of marketing at Zco Corporation, said in the article.

IrisVR is anticipating high interest in the sessions, and the company’s event FAQ page advises any interested participants to register early and submit their BIM models beforehand to avoid any potential registration hiccups. The company also advises participants to make sure their file formats are compatible with Prospect, as well as that their files are under 500mb.

Finally, the company also advises hopeful attendees not to mix it up with another kind of BYOB. IrisVR’s FAQ poses the hypothetical question of whether attendees can bring alcohol, but answers, “In theory, you could. In practice, we’d prefer you bring BIM.”