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Linking to Build Using QR Codes and Augmented Reality Apps

Posted by Patrick Krzyzosiak on Thu, Aug 21, 2014 @ 14:08 PM
Patrick Krzyzosiak
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Think about what you could do with the ability to “link” key project information to a location within a building that houses key systems. Now take that ability and imagine what it would be like to access this information from your smart phone or tablet device. That would be pretty cool, right?

This capability is currently being used on active construction projects.  The concept of “linking” requires Quick Response (QR) codes. Most people can recognize a QR code when they see one – however, do they actually use them to tag information on a project? QR codes offer the opportunity to create a more connected building thus making the issue of digital competency even more important to design and construction practices. 

Quick Response (QR) Codes and Augmented Reality (AR)

Quick Response (QR) and Augmented Reality (AR) extend the use of a tablet device or smart phone in the field. You can affix a QR code to any tangible object (building), to allow anyone who scans that code to access any information the team members associate with it.  Using mobile devices to read these codes also work together with augmented reality applications to access active jobsite information.

Linking to Build Offers Many Advantages

There are many advantages to using both QR codes and augmented reality applications.  Whether you are a member of the building team or a member of the facilities personnel, you can expect a range advantages depending on your role.  The following breaks out some of the advantages you can expect from linking to build: 

Augmented Reality in Construction   Augmented Reality in Construction 

Proposed design in the context of existing conditions using iPads.

Building Team:

When it comes to construction, communication is king.  Linking to build is just another way construction teams can be more effective and efficient with their time by having the information they need to perform a task.  With QR codes and augmented reality apps, construction teams have the ability to:

  • Orient the building team to the physical building and link location with the information needed to perform required tasks for construction.
  • See what is behind a wall. With any given location with a QR code, building teams can access associated project documentation including: RFIs, change orders, warranties, 2D plans, submittals, equipment manuals, and markup.

The result is a reduction in time to perform a task. The building team has the ability to access exact as-built information in real time. With a mobile devices, you are armed with knowing where building systems or components are located, whether they are located behind a wall or ceiling. Rather than opening up an entire wall, you can go to the direct location of the desired system, saw a hole at the site, and perform the required task.

Facilities Personnel:

When it comes to ensuring a facility is operating correctly, access to building systems information is critical.  Linking to operate a building is just another way facilities teams can more effective and efficient with their time by having the information they need to ensure everything is running properly.  With QR codes and augmented reality apps, facilities have the ability to:

  • Orient facility personnel to a company’s physical building and link location with information about systems.
  • See what is behind a wall for operational and maintenance applications.
  • All major building systems can be located through a QR code for instant access to all relating manuals, warranties, preventative maintenance schedules, and work history.
  • A room does not have to be out of commission to perform a maintenance, repair or upgrade. 
Augmented Reality in Construction

So what are you waiting for? Take a technology test drive on one of your active projects and see what it can do for you. Accessing building information via link is tremendously beneficial and can be used in a variety of ways. 

Do you imaginative ways for using QR codes and augmented reality for building? Please share them with us in the comments section. We’d love to hear them!

Topics: Augmented Reality, Construction Technology