Case study

Hooyberghs | Holographic BIM visualization

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Hooyberghs

Holographic BIM visualization

Hooyberghs is a construction company with over 70 simultaneous sites throughout Belgium. They distinguish themselves by realizing all types of public buildings, commercial housing projects, social housing projects, and care institutions. They teamed up with us to visualize 3D BIM models on a 1:1 scale at the construction site.

Looking for innovation

Hooyberghs is trying to implement and follow the BIM standards for more and more of their projects. This allows them to perform and manage workflows more efficiently. As part of this BIM strategy, they are testing several platforms as their new workflow management tool. Most of these platforms already allow visualizing BIM models and floor plans on pc, tablet, and smartphone.

On-site demo

To take their current “way of working” to the next level, they want to be able to work completely hands-free. Therefore, they requested an on-site demo to test the HoloLens’ potential. We started the day with a presentation, discussing what we found during our desk research. Next, we visited the construction sites and handed out everyone a device attached to an industry hard hat. During this tour, we visualized their BIM models in 3D, at a 1:1 scale, and perfectly aligned to the actual building.

Easily clip on HoloLens to hard hat

Just like a hart hat, the HoloLens is placed on your head as part of your working gear. Needless to state the importance of being able to wear the HoloLens and a hard hat at the same time.

Luckily, you can attach brackets to any pin-lock suspension hard hat model, without any modification. These brackets can then be attached to the HoloLens as well. When you’re in the field and not using the HoloLens, you can still lift the vizer upwards, as you would do when using the HoloLens without a hard hat. Or you can remove the HoloLens and the brackets in just a matter of seconds. The brackets are bought separately from the HoloLens.

Proposed solution

By using the Microsoft HoloLens in combination with our custom developed software solution, all BIM models can be visualized in real scale on the construction site. This allows for contextualized project planning and better quality control during all phases of the project, while remaining hands-free. By integrating with a BIM Construction Management Software, existing data like project information, BIM models, annotations, etc only have to be entered and managed once.

Always-on: in the field connectivity

To ensure high performance holographic experiences of complex 3D BIM models while using the HoloLens, a traditional approach that compresses the models and removes polygons can mean a loss of important details. In that case, remote rendering is in order. Of course, this requires in the field internet connectivity at all times.

Proximus 5G

To offer Hooyberghs the fastest 5G network, we started looking for a partnership – and we found one with Proximus. Proximus strongly believes in the opportunity for construction workers to use HoloLens in their daily practices and understands the importance of a 5G connection. They decided to co-invest in the BIM visualizer, as it can also be implemented by other construction companies in the future.

Project journey

  • Inspire: Discovery workshop​

    To give the employees of Hooyberghs a clear understanding of what is possible, we organized an inspirational workshop. We started by explaining what smartglasses are and why we focus on the HoloLens. By doing so, the HoloLens' capabilities were discussed as well.

    To make these capabilities tangible, we demonstrated a few inspirational use cases. We brought enough devices for everyone to play around with the HoloLens.

    Curious what such a workshop would look like for you? Find out more.

  • Think: Functional & technical analysis​

    We performed an extended functional analysis to get a good understanding of the different planning and quality control processes. We investigated software solutions currently available on the market and learned that none of those met all the requirements. That's when we decided to build a custom solution for Hooyberghs.

    We created and deployed a mockup of the solution on the HoloLens for in the field user testing and collected feedback from multiple site managers.

    In parallel, we also performed a technical analysis during which we investigated the best way to visualize BIM models, and defined the best way for precise model alignment with the ‘real’ construction site.

  • Build: Holographic BIM visualization​

    We are currently building a custom application that allows for visualization of a (3D) BIM model and its different layers across the following specified viewing modes, namely: table-top mode, real-size (1:1), street view, mixed Reality mode (alignment on several landmarks, so called "anchor points" in the real, physical world).

    It also allows Hooyberhgs to visualize and create annotations, visualize different layers of a BIM (3D) model, create a report of a deviation between the BIM model and the real construction site, and so on!

Project highlights

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Months of hard work
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Internal bugs killed
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Coffees brewed
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Budget

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