Virtual Reality

Augmented Reality in Construction

Augmented Reality, also known as AR, is a hot topic in the software development industry. It is a technology that superimposes digital data on the physical world and makes that digital content a part of the real world. This technology allows you to add virtual 3D objects to the real world. In simple words, AR is a blend of the computerized and the actual worlds.

AR has many uses, e.g., you can view how furniture would look at a particular space at home before buying it, swap your face with any other thing, play a game on a table, and even view the structure of a home from inside before even constructing it. AR gives you a visual idea of something that is not in the real world.

AR uses computer vision technology. Computer vision is an artificial intelligence technology that reads the images and interprets it. It even identifies and classifies the objects from images and videos using deep learning.

Construction and architecture are one of the oldest professions that are being changed by innovation and technology. Though the process of implementation is slow, the future of the construction sector would probably depend upon technology.

Surveys and research indicate that in the last 2 decades, the productivity level of the construction sector has improved by 1% only. Secondly, the research and development budget of this sector is extremely low and needs improvement.

According to MIT research, the one technology that can bring innovation to the construction and architecture sector is Augmented Reality (AR). This technology can potentially bring improvements in this field.

Now, many builders have started using this technology to show designs on the construction site even before constructing it. It helps the builder and the owner of the building to visualize and understand the concept. Showing a Revit model on any device has become so easy with AR.

BIM, which is also known as Building Information Modeling, has already made the lives of construction engineers easier by enabling them to design plans and construct efficiently. Augmented reality has changed the BIM. With 3D models, a client can preview and understand the design more effectively than 2D blueprints. With the help of AR glasses, they can walk through the under-construction building and visualize it.

AR can also be used in training novice employees to learn about new things and understand the functions of machines. This helps in avoiding any potential injury as this training only happens through AR glasses.

Underground construction is a little tough job, it requires more care since there are many pipes and electric transmission lines. So, to understand and visualize the underground construction, AR glasses are used. Augmented reality is indeed transforming the construction industry.

Apart from that, there are many advantages of AR in the construction sector. Let’s have a look at them:

By bringing 3D models and AR together, designers and engineers can easily make changes. They can plan it better and evaluate aesthetics and feasibility. It also assists to spot the issues in the designs. It is equally important for clients to understand the concept and ask for some changes in the design before construction.  All in all, the design can quickly be finalized, which will ultimately save time.

3D models of building and augmented reality are boon for constructors. They can visualize which material should be used and where to make spaces for doors and windows. AR also helps them to conceptualize and make spaces for water pipes, electric wiring, and air ducts.

AR also helps in monitoring and inspecting the construction. For example, engineers can compare the design and the constructed building using AR technology. AR allows you to see the hidden items that include power lines and water pipelines, which helps engineers to identify the issues in construction.

Another advantage that technology provides is helping in maintenance. Because after the construction of a building, the most essential thing is its maintenance. During maintenance, the AR schematics and models are available for the maintenance team to identify the problems accurately in the building. Using AR, the maintenance is done more efficiently and saves a lot of time.

After the construction, the other important thing is to decorate the building, and that includes getting appropriate furniture and paint. Using AR, it becomes easier to choose the paint color. In AR, the colors of the building models can be changed, which helps the client to pick out the best color for the building. Various kinds of furniture can be placed in VR as well, and that helps the owner to identify the best-suited furniture for the rooms.

These were the main advantages of AR in the construction sector. We saw how augmented reality is helping the builders to construct buildings more accurately and efficiently, which ultimately saves cost and time.

Now, let’s have look at some well-known construction AR mobile apps.

Best Augment Reality Apps for Construction

1. Arki

Arki is perhaps the best AR construction app. This is available on both the App Store and Play Store. This app allows you to place 3D models of building anywhere and lets you visualize the concept of the building at that specific place. Another important feature of this app is that you can add shadows at any angle and see the output on the spot.

2. Houzz, Home Design & Remodel 

Houzz, Home Design & Remodel is available on App Store. It allows you to place hundreds of 3D models of different items like lights and furniture in your home. This will ultimately help you decide what to buy for a specific product.

3. AR Ruler App – Tape Measure

For an architect, the most important thing is the ruler. AR Ruler App uses augmented reality technology and the camera of the smart to measure in m, cm, mm, inches, and yards. Through this app, you can measure distance, angle in 3D space, area, the volume of 3D objects, etc.

4. AR Plan 3D – Camera to Plan

This is another app that used augmented reality technology and quickly measure the perimeter, walls, doors, and windows in 3D. After taking measurements, AR Plan 3D generates a floor plan that can be saved and share.


Architecture and construction are one of the ancient professions. A study shows that this sector is lacking innovation. The process of getting technology implemented is slow because of less R&D budget. The only technology that revolutionized the construction sector is Augmented Reality (AR) technology.  BIMs and AR are helping the constructors and engineers to design, plan, monitor, maintain, and decorate the buildings.

AR takes advantage of a camera and computer vision technology. Therefore, almost every modern smartphone has AR built-in. Apple and Google are both technology giants that have released their AR kits for developers. There are various apps already available in the Play Store and App Store. These apps are not only helping the engineers but also intrigue the other people who just need to measure something using their mobile phones and plan to buy some new items for their homes.  Augmented reality is undoubtedly going to play a vital role in the construction sector in terms of improving accuracy, efficiency, and reducing time.

About the author

Sam U

I am a professional graphics designer with over 6 years of experience. Currently doing research in virtual reality, augmented reality and mixed reality.
I hardly watch movies but love to read tech related books and articles.