Virtual Reality and BIM Methodology as Teaching- Learning Improvement Tools for Sanitary Engineering Courses
Keywords:virtual design, BIM, plumbing systems, virtual reality, architecture, civil engineering
Virtual Reality (VR) is the term often used to describe a 3D environment where objects and images of the real world are simulated through technology. In Architecture or Civil Engineering, the design process with 2D planes could lead to error due to misinterpretation in the visualisation of elements. The civil engineering programme of a University mandates teaching of the BIM methodology in all courses, allowing the students to learn about the organisation and optimisation of projects from design to construction. The engineering students are required to manage many variables with BIM methodology, especially in mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems (MEP). Nevertheless, the BIM´s teaching method could be enriched by analysing 3D project models using virtual reality (VR). Whereas BIM organises and optimises a project through a 3D model, VR can introduce the user into a model very close to reality, improving the interpretation and analysis of details. The present study contributes to the implementation of a Plumbing Engineering course in a Civil Engineering programme. The proposed methodology was applied in an experimental group of undergraduate students and test results compared with a corresponding group that made used of a traditional approach. Based on the results of the study, students can visualise the accessories and recognise a good design in a creative and innovative way using the VR–BIM method
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