Collaborative Virtual Reality as an Adaptable Boundary Object in the Design Phase of Facility Life Cycle

Annikka Lepola, Hannu Kärkkäinen, Henri Jalo, Osku Torro

Abstract

Although the large majority of costs of buildings incur in the later operation and maintenance phase, major decisions affecting these costs are made in the early design and construction phases. Virtual Reality (VR) and Collaborative Virtual Reality (CVR) have been noticed to have significant potential in involving the expertise and needs of various stakeholders into the early design phases, increasing the quality of building designs and reducing related costs. Boundary Object Theory has been noticed useful in better understanding and improving the knowledge transfer of actors with different backgrounds and expertise. VR and CVR remain yet little studied as boundary objects. We will address this research gap in this study by aiming to understand how CVR can act as an adaptable boundary object in the building design phase of the facility life cycle. We have made use of a qualitative approach, consisting of a multiple case study approach and semi-structured interviews in Finnish AEC industry companies and organisations. We contribute to academic research by providing a deeper understanding of how CVR functions as a boundary object, which enhances the transfer of knowledge in new ways between various stakeholders in the building design phase.

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