The role of virtual reality in HVAC design

The role of virtual reality in HVAC design

07 Sep 17:00 by Jason Thornhill


Retrofitting a new heating, ventilation or air conditioning system into an existing building can be complex but virtual reality is helping HVAC design engineers to plan and demo the latest systems in different spaces.

What is VR and AR?

Virtual reality is often described as an immersive technology. Once you have your VR goggles on, you are inside a computer generated world and can move around it.

Augmented reality adds digital elements to a live view, generally by using the camera functionality in a smartphone.

How is it used in HVAC design?

Instead of designing purely in 2D, HVAC design engineers can now visualize a component or system in a simulated space with the help of rendering technology in modern CAD software.

This is really useful when contractors and project managers need to know if equipment will fit an existing room or corridor. Without going into too many of the technicalities, it is now possible, with photogrammetry, to model the existing room in 3D, take away the old equipment, keep in place all the features like walls, doors and windows and model exactly how the new system will be laid out.

As well as supporting the design process, VR and AR can help with marketing and training.

HVAC sales engineers can use simulated 3D modelling to show exactly how a new HVAC system will look and operate in a given space. It allows sales teams to demonstrate the benefits of a new system in a way that is both relevant and engaging.

When it comes to training and maintenance, service engineers can use VR and AR to learn how to install, manage and maintain the equipment. Many AR apps also have built in manuals.

3D and immersive technology is changing the way HVAC manufacturers design, sell and service their products, adding an exciting new dimension for those working in this fast-moving industry.

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