An evaluation of immersive virtual reality systems for design reviews

F. Castronovo, Dragana Nikolic, Yifan Liu, John I. Messner

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


With the growth of building information modeling (BIM) approaches to facility design, architectural, engineering, and construction (AEC) industry has been shifting to the use of three-dimensional (3D) virtual facility mockups during design. Studies have shown that 3D models when displayed in an immersive projection display environment allow users to interact with the virtual environment at full scale, and review the designed space in a more intuitive manner. Virtual environments and VR systems however, can vary greatly in levels of immersion and user experience they offer. Thus, for a novice user choosing an appropriate and effective system for specific tasks can be daunting. To understand the benefits of specific VR systems for facility design, this research presents results from conducting design reviews in two immersive display systems. The first system was a fully immersive 5-wall CAVETM environment, while the second was a semi-immersive 3 screen display system. For each design review, the user experience of a reviewing team was documented and analyzed through targeted questionnaires. The large screens, field of view, level of immersion and the overall value of both systems for design reviews were rated consistently high. Furthermore, based on the comments provided by the project team, the fully-immersive system was found to be more appropriate for smaller groups that desire a higher level of immersion. Additionally, the semi-immersive system with a larger footprint was found to be more suitable for larger groups for various use cases. These results aim to guide future users to make an informed decision when selecting an appropriate immersive display system.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 31 Oct 2013
EventInternational Conference on Construction Applications of Virtual Reality - London, United Kingdom
Duration: 30 Oct 201331 Oct 2013
Conference number: 13th


ConferenceInternational Conference on Construction Applications of Virtual Reality
Abbreviated titleCONVR
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Internet address


  • virtual construction
  • immersive projection
  • Design review
  • Virtual reality


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