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Case study

Hooyberghs | Holographic BIM visualization


Visualizing holographic BIM models on construction sites

Hooyberghs is a construction company with over 70 simultaneous sites across Belgium. They distinguish themselves by realizing all types of public buildings, commercial housing projects, social housing projects, and care institutions. For their projects, they often use BIM (Building Information Modelling) standards, a digital representation of the physical and functional characteristics of a facility. They asked Mr. Watts to help them visualize 3D BIM models at the construction site with a HoloLens.

Building smart with BIM

BIM has become a very important concept in the construction industry. BIM technologies make it possible to represent the intrinsic and physical properties of any building. It enables construction firms to perform and manage workflows more efficiently. As part of their BIM strategy, Hooyberghs is testing several platforms for a 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, Hooyberghs wants to give its staff the ability 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. Then we visited the construction sites and gave 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 with the actual building.

Attach the HoloLens to any hard hat

Just like a hart hat, the HoloLens is placed on your head as part of your working gear – we don’t need to stress the importance of being able to wear the HoloLens and a hard hat simultaneously. Fortunately, you can attach brackets to any pin-lock suspension hard hat model, no modifications needed. These brackets can then be attached to the HoloLens as well.

When you are still in the field and not using the HoloLens, you can lift the vizor 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.

Customized software solution

By using the Microsoft HoloLens in combination with our customized 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 BIM Construction Management Software, existing data like project information, BIM models and annotations only need to be entered and managed once.

Always-on with Proximus 5G

To ensure high performance holographic experiences of complex 3D BIM models and avoid the loss of important details while using the HoloLens, in the field internet connectivity must be guaranteed at all time. That’s why we started looking for a partner who could provide Hooyberghs with the fastest 5G network – and we soon found one with Proximus.

Proximus strongly believes in the potential of the HoloLens for construction workers in their daily operations. And of course, they understand the importance of a 5G connection. Proximus decided to co-invest in the BIM visualizer, so it can also be implemented by other construction companies as well.

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 smart glasses are and why we focus on the HoloLens. We talked about the capabilities of the HoloLens and demonstrated a series of inspirational use cases. We brought enough devices for everyone to try out the HoloLens.

    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 that are currently available on the market and learned that none of those met all the requirements. That's when we decided to build a customized solution for Hooyberghs.

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

    In addition, we also performed a technical analysis during which we investigated the best method 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 customized application that allows for visualization of a (3D) BIM model and its different layers across the following specified viewing modes: 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 Hooyberghs 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

Months of hard work
Internal bugs killed
0 +
Coffees brewed
0 k

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