Design and development of a virtual reality educational game for architectural and construction reviews

Fadi Castronovo, Dragana Nikolic, Silvia Mastrolembo Ventura, Vrinda Shroff, Anh Nguyen, Nguyen H.P. Dinh, Semih Yilmaz, Reza Akhavian, Cristian Gaedicke

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


The growing adoption of building information modeling platforms in the construction industry requires instructors to design and leverage innovative pedagogical interventions. Furthermore, construction instructors must support their students in gaining essential problem-solving skills such as the analysis and evaluation of proposed construction and design solutions. In this study, the research team aimed at designing and developing an educational virtual reality game to support students in evaluating and reviewing BIM-based design of residential buildings. Research has illustrated that reviewing designs using traditional methods, such as drawings, can tax a students' cognitive process. To tackle this issue, the team has developed the Design Review Simulator (DRS), a virtual reality educational simulation game. The learning objectives of the game are to support students in developing evaluation and reviewing skills of mistakes in construction projects through the use of virtual reality. We used a five-phase instructional design framework - A.D.D.I.E. - to analyze, design, develop, implement and evaluate the DRS game. Currently, the authors have performed the first three phases of the A.D.D.I.E. process. In the (1) analysis phase, the team evaluated literature, the future users of the games, and defined learning objectives. We then (2) designed and (3) developed the DRS in the Unity 3D game engine. The design proposal used as a test bed for this project was a residential townhouse in the heart of the San Francisco Bay Area and the BIM model was developed in Autodesk Revit. The model was provided by a local architectural firm specialized in renovations and retrofits. The team and the architects selected this model due to the high presence of modeling mistakes, making it effective example for educational purposes. The paper reports the analysis, design, and development efforts of the DRS in order to support other instructors and designers in developing future virtual reality games for construction education. Therefore, this experience's contribution provides a direction to future game developers in designing similar educational virtual reality games.

Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jun 2019
Event126th ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition: Charged Up for the Next 125 Years, ASEE 2019 - Tampa, United States
Duration: 15 Jun 201919 Jun 2019


Conference126th ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition: Charged Up for the Next 125 Years, ASEE 2019
Country/TerritoryUnited States

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Dr. Cristian Gaedicke earned the Ph.D. in civil engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2009 and is a licensed professional engineer (Civil). His research interests include connecting STEM education to engineering practice, sustainable construction materials, infrastructure, and construction engineering. Dr. Gaedicke has participated in engineering education projects sponsored by the NSF and Chevron and has served as co-PI on projects with MESA and Project Lead the Way.

Publisher Copyright:
© American Society for Engineering Education, 2019

Copyright 2020 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


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