BIM: Virtual Building

An important basis are the 3D drawings of the objects or building parts created by CAD. Assuming that corresponding 3D drawings are available: How well can the building parts, flush-mounted pipes for electricity and water, fire doors and escape routes be displayed with the help of high-performance augmented reality data glasses?

We answered this question on request of a large architectural firm with the help of an application specially developed for Microsoft HoloLens.

The main objective was to present the planned industrial building to the viewer's eye, true to scale and on a 1:1 scale, in such a way that on the one hand it is possible to walk through the virtual rooms and on the other hand information such as required fire doors and information on the respective escape routes is superimposed in the field of vision.

The adjacent video gives an impression of the final solution: The view through the augmented reality data glasses is recorded and roughly corresponds to the image that appears in the viewer's field of vision.

Since the Microsoft HoloLens used has very good sensor technology, the virtual image remains almost perfectly anchored in space, even if the viewer moves.

Further explanations of the implemented functions

The virtual model is initially displayed on a scale of 1:36. At the touch of a button - or via the programmed gesture control of the Microsoft HoloLens - the two-story building is enlarged and builds up in front of the viewer's eye at a scale of 1:1. You can walk around the building and see it from all sides. The masonry and the objects shown correspond to the CAD plans.

Inside the building - also via gesture control - the courses of the flush-mounted pipes can be made visible.

Doors and walls where special fire protection regulations must be observed are marked in red and are automatically displayed when the user approaches the corresponding facilities.

On request, arrows are faded into the scenery and show the user the way, e.g. to a specific building facility or escape routes to the outside.


All in all, a successful implementation that was able to give our customer a first-class overview of the possibilities and what is technically feasible. The only downer: the rather high acquisition costs of 5,000 euros for the Microsoft HoloLens.