Adoption of Virtual Reality in the construction industry – A case study of COWI
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Projects in the construction industry are increasingly complex, involving collaboration between a wide range of stakeholders and specialized sections. Ambiguous communication between participants and misunderstandings about planned design are among the main causes for errors and budget overruns. The introduction of Virtual Reality (VR) presents opportunities to produce more realistic visualization by improving spatial perception for users, and has been shown to increase users’ ability to uncover errors and deficiencies prior to construction. For companies, adoption of VR may potentially open new business opportunities and enhance current services. However, research shows that innovation in the construction industry is slow and that the adoption of new technology is perceived as difficult. This thesis aims to identify how COWI may use VR to create value and how they may improve their VR capabilities. In order to answer this objective thoroughly, it has been broken down into three research questions: • RQ0: What are valuable use cases for VR in COWI? • RQ1: What is the current state of VR adoption in COWI? • RQ2: What should be emphasized in order to increase COWI’s VR capabilities? These research questions are answered through a qualitative case study by conducting 12 interviews with COWI personnel, which are analyzed together with internal COWI documents and a thorough literature review. The findings from the thesis present several use cases that can provide significant value for COWI if applied appropriately. The current state of VR adoption in COWI is characterized by varying degrees of competence within and between departments and sections. Vital information for implementation is present in the VR Community site on COWI's internal home page, but there is low awareness about the opportunities that are present. Several suggestions are provided for how COWI may improve their VR capabilities. The five main recommendations involve establishing a guideline bank for the use of VR, expanding the internal communication channels, developing VR facilities, establishing a centralized unit for governance of VR, and establishing informational feedback loops for experience gained through projects.
Master's thesis in Industrial economics