Over the past few years virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) technologies have infiltrated a number of industries and it seems construction, is the technologies latest venture.
In short, VR and AR are modern technologies that allow users to enter an immersive and computer simulated reality where they can replicate a desired environment.
This is an opportunity for advancement and innovation for the construction industry as these technologies can be used for both design and training purposes. The use of VR mainly, allows contractors, engineers and architects alike to pitch their ideas with a very realistic visual aid, in the form of a virtual walk through of the vision they have created for the structure. These visuals when utilized correctly will effectively communicate the plan the professional has for the structure and will prove to be a very persuasive pitch that allows the client to catch a glimpse of the finished product.
Another use for these technologies within the construction industry is to assist companies with safety training for their team. Virtual reality technologies allow workers to become virtually acquainted with the necessary machinery they will need to use.
So what are your thoughts on this topic? Should we rely more on technologies like VR and AR when it comes to construction or stick with traditional practices that have been effective for years? I guess only time will tell, but the opportunities these technologies present are intriguing to say the least.
Late last year I had the pleasure of joining the BellMont Façade Engineering team as their Junior Marketing co-coordinator. When applying for a job within a civil and structural engineering firm I thought that I had a sound idea of what the industry entailed. In actuality, the work it encompassed was far more than I imagined, leading me to strongly believe that the work my co-workers are capable of, is nothing short of amazing.
I always pictured it the same way, a person sitting at a desk sketching the plans for what would become a flawless structure I could pass on the street. The reality is, there are many different sectors of engineering. In my time so far I have learnt that civil and structural engineering is not just drawing up plans and watching them magically come to life at the hands of skilled tradesmen, but rather hands on work on strata buildings, heritage buildings and iconic monuments to name a few. These projects involve hours of consultations and inspections, pages upon pages of expert given recommendations, months to years of progress watching a project truly blossom, hundreds of projects in the ultimate balancing act and the most rewarding part, having the power to successfully transform a buildings health.
So I leave you with this…The best way I’ve come to understand it and a way that might help you too, is to think of a civil or structural engineer as your structures doctor. Just like you, your structures health is going to have moments where it’s not at its best and requires professional advice. BellMont Facade Engineering have over 17 years of experience in the structural and civil engineering industry overseeing the restoration of hundreds of buildings. So…who you gonna call? Ghostbusters! No…Its BellMont of course! (Unless your building is haunted, we don’t do that sort of thing ;) )
On paper, these two professions can understandably seem quite similar. Architects and engineers are closely associated with one another when it comes to the creation and transformation of a building and yet, they play two very different roles.
An easy way to visualise the differences between the professions that I came across was, to think of them as the two sides of the brain. On one side we have the architect whose approach to a building is theoretical, creative and artistic and on the opposing side we have the engineer, who works in a precise, systematic and mathematical way. Just like the brain, both sides are integral, but for different reasons.
Both of these disciplines are integral in the world of infrastructure and complement each other quite well, with the engineer possessing the ability to use scientific principles to determine whether the architect’s plans are physically possible and what materials need to be used to get the job done in a safe and effective manner.
Now that you are aware of the distinct differences between an architect and an engineer, you will know who to call when you have an issue with your structure. Hint: It’s us.
As the deadline for window locks on all NSW Strata buildings looms let’s take a look at what prompted NSW Fair Trading to introduce this legislation, what it is all about and what it means for strata managers.
What prompted the legislation?
Records provided by the Children’s Hospital at Westmead found that over ten years, 91 of the patients admitted to the hospital were children who had fallen from a window or balcony. With an average of 50 children falling from balconies and windows each year in Australia, it was time to introduce new legislation that would see a reduction in these staggering figures.
What is it?
This window safety legislation is applicable to all multi storey buildings throughout the state, requiring strata managers to ensure the installation of safety devices on all windows. While strata managers are not required to enforce the use of these devices, they must oversee the installation of locks that allow the windows to both open and close, but with a maximum opening of 12.5cm. In addition to this the lock installed should be able to withstand up to 250 newtons of pressure, which is equivalent to 25kg.
What does it mean for strata managers?
The introduction of this legislation gives strata managers until March 13 to have openable windows, throughout the whole building, that are less than 1.7 m above the floor and more than 2m above the surface, fitted with locks. If these regulations are not adhered to the strata manager will be fined.
This new legislation is definitely a step in the right direction for strata managers across the state, as it adds another layer of security and safety for tenants, which in turn leaves less room for incident and results in happier tenants.
With the deadline just around the corner…are your windows ready?