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EtätyöVirtualsite provides a safe and risk-free meeting place

Sweco’s tried and tested digital tools, such as VirtualSite, provide people with a safe meeting place for planning and decision-making under realistic conditions.

Sweco’s XR tools and project VDC services enable the use of digitality according to rapidly changing needs. “XR tools have been used at Sweco for a long time in remote working, planning meetings and client project stakeholder meetings,” explains Technology Consultant Miikka Heinonen from Sweco. One of the tools is VirtualSite. “This illustrative viewing model allows people to meet safely and without risks.”

VirtualSite includes virtual models of either individual spaces and operations or extensive entities, such as complete buildings or factory areas. These virtual models are produced automatically based on a data model. “Objects can be added to the model by drone photography or more traditional laser scanning, for example,” explains Sweco’s XR Technology Manager Jyri Tuori. “In some cases, the model can also be supplemented visually.”

If an existing 3D data model is available for the location, the virtual model can be created quickly. “Even when background information is not available, the data model can be created in just a few weeks, taking into account the size and details of the space of course,” Tuori says. “The planning work is carried out through modelling, meaning that the virtual model enables making the most out of the data model.”

Physically apart, together in spirit

In virtual reality, people are physically apart, but there is a strong sense of connection. “If a picture is worth a thousand words, a virtual experience beats a thousand videos and is always individual,” Heinonen describes. Digital environments also encourage people to share tacit knowledge.

The realistic scale of the 3D environment allows people to experience the end result, which makes it significantly easier to understand than the methods used in traditional meetings. “For instance, users are able to inspect different properties, such as the height of a kitchen counter,” Tuori continues. “Users are almost automatically engaged in the configuration.”

The greatest benefits are gained in sharing information with different stakeholders. “The virtual model allows everyone to see for themselves how equipment can fit a certain space, what the space looks like and what the realistic design opportunities are,” Heinonen says. The same platform can be used for marketing purposes as well. “A guided virtual tour of the location is a great way to present the operations of the site.”

Digital solutions tailored to the client

In this exceptional situation, the barrage of new digital services can feel overwhelming. This is why Sweco’s specialists support the understanding of technology with ready-made training packages. Best practices are also sought out in cooperation with universities. “We are developing a training platform that allows our clients to easily implement digital tools,” Heinonen explains.

The selection of the correct tools always starts with the operational culture of the organisation. “Digitalisation is integrated to the current operations and customised client-specifically,” Heinonen says. When the organisation implements suitable tools, communication is clear and controlled. “Projects cannot be allowed to fail due to problems with information sharing or misunderstandings in remote meetings.”

VirtualSite makes information sharing effective and ensures a good end result – even under exceptional circumstances. “We can make the most out of popular Teams meetings, for example, by easily continuing the discussion in the virtual world,” Tuori says.