Xavier Ailleret et Nicolas Rageul
BU Ville, Route & Mobilités
Published on April 11, 2019

Reading time : 3 min

Virtual reality used in BIM

With virtual reality, a new milestone has been achieved in BIM: engineers can now invite their clients to enter the immersive showcase of their projects, with a level of realism and real-time interaction that has never been achieved before. Let’s take a dive into the industry of the future!

Réalité virtuelle et ingénierie

- Crédits : Egis

Virtual reality in engineering

As part of plans to widen a section of the A10 motorway north of Orleans (15 km of 2×4 lanes), the Egis teams tasked with the EPC management for Cofiroute since 2016 have achieved a first for the Group: the modelling of a junction zone in virtual reality. Using immersive goggles and motion controllers, the user can move around within the model to understand, become familiar with and even “sense” the construction project. The immersion is very effective, to the point that you can easily forget that you’re still physically sitting in a meeting room!

Beyond physical boundaries

This is where so-called immersive technology displays all its benefits. Considering that project management today is conducted using a digital model which offers more possibilities than a paper plan, virtual reality can help to go even further by offering, through 3D immersion, an intuitive and explicit comprehension of the project. Embedded in a virtual and technically accurate environment, the client immediately understands the project as if they were conducting a site visit and can quickly form an opinion on the design in progress.

Virtual reality offers the chance to provide a simulation which is unachievable by just a screen. While it is quite possible to view a 3-D model on a screen, this is nonetheless a two-dimensional reading surface which can only keep us “outside the model”. With virtual reality, we literally enter a full-scale three-dimensional model which offers us a highly realistic view of the project that we are visiting.

An array of applications

Virtual reality also offers benefits in terms of consultation with the public insofar that it contributes to obtaining the acceptance of residents or at the very least allaying their fears as to the impact of the project on their living environment.

Similarly, it is a bonus in terms of training on-site contributors who, in the case of a motorway project such as A10, comprise patrollers, roadworkers, foremen, etc. While not everyone is capable of reading and interpreting a technical plan, virtual reality lets them gain a grasp of the problems and issues they will be facing.

We now have the solutions and experience that allow us to drive complex designs in real time, technically manage projects by associating all stakeholders including the client and make a lasting impression with communication techniques. In the past, users needed a helping hand to adopt BIM. Today, they can’t get enough of it!


The authors

Xavier Ailleret,

Technical Director Road - BU Urban development, Road, Mobilities


Nicolas Rageul,

BIM Manager Corporate - BU Urban development, Road, Mobilities


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