Author: Elliot Green is the founder of TANRUM Lab, a Virtual Reality company that specifically focuses on creating training solutions for commercial applications.
The Benefits of VR in Landscaping and Design
When designing an outdoor space, your focus is to create a space with touch, feel and the world of nature at the heart of your design. Virtual Reality (VR) is now a viable tool at your disposal to help fully immerse your client in your grand vision.
Did you know that during the new build process, a large-scale development will have created 90 percent of the visuals and files they need to create a Virtual Reality experience? With some basic additions, these files can be converted from flat, 2D vision boards or fly-through animations into self-guided explorations of your newly designed space.
Want to walk the boardwalk, climb the high tower or see the view from the visitor center? VR can make all that possible.
This ability to take the existing drawings that you’re creating and then walk your client through the environment, making changes in real-time is a huge opportunity. It’s an opportunity in the bidding process to differentiate your brand from the competition. VR adds value to both client and designer who can see, feel and experience the space before the first shovel has even struck the ground.
Moncus Park a privately funded 100-acre space in Lafayette, Louisiana used VR while working with Design Workshop from Denver to provide donors, designers and the public an opportunity to experience the park during construction. This VR experience helped drive public awareness and donor consideration.
Using VR in Existing Builds
What about an existing landscape being adapted rather than built from new? There’s a VR solution. Using a technique called photogrammetry to build a 3D environment combining dozens of regular photographs then adds them to your computer-generated design so your clients and designers can walk the new space together. VR merges the existing hardscape with the new landscape.
One in five people in the US have tried VR; it’s gone from cutting-edge to the new norm. VR is used in almost every industry from training surgeons to fast-food restaurant staff. It has evolved over 80 years and is now a viable and stable solution to use with clients.
How to Grow Your Landscaping Design Business With VR
Use VR to excel beyond the competition. When your response to an RFP includes the opportunity for the client to experience the environment before it’s built, to edit the design, in real time you’re ahead.
VR is here and now. It can be applied to every stage, from design, through installation. Allowing you and your client to touch and walk the new environment.
Open your new development to the entire world; build a 360 Video VR camera into the park vista, stream the view, and anyone with an Internet connection can visit your park, from wherever they are in the world. Your pitch just went global.
To start, talk to your project designer about incorporating VR into the design process. The hardware is inexpensive. You can spend $600 for a VR headset. Our recommendation would be the Oculus Quest.
If the designer has already created new CAD drawings, the process can be as inexpensive as $800 to convert. It all depends on the scale of the project.