BIM & VR Lab (To be updated...)
Cardiff University VR Lab includes a significant upgrade in both visualisation and computational fields. The hardware equipment includes private Cloud Computing facility, BIM based IPD (Integrated Project Delivery) facility, and Virtual Reality facility.
BIM Based Smart Virtual Reality Environment for Building Design and Emergency Management
Private Cloud Computing facility: A private Cloud computing environment has been successfully set up. It includes High Performance Computing pool (for closely coupled computing tasks, e.g. Parallel Finite Element Analysis etc.), High Throughput Computing pool (for loosely coupled / distributed computing tasks, e.g. large scale energy related simulation/optimization/prediction etc.), Web Service based Contents Management environment and various Cloud computing middleware and services. The facility can provide 200+ CPU cores, about 1 Terabit shared memory, 10+ Terabit storage and 10 Gigabit main Internet connection speeds; if it needs, the Cardiff BIM Cloud can further connect to other larger Cardiff University HPC services, e.g. 1000+ CPU cores Condor computing environment and the ARRCA HPC centre. This private Cloud will provide fundamental computing supports for large scale engineering modelling, simulation, optimization and life cycle big data storage.
BIM based IPD facility utilizes a 92” high quality multi-touch wall and supporting computing infrastructure to provide 3D/nD BIM based IPD (Integrated Project Delivery) using universal shared single model for building / infrastructure. The solution suits very well for the delivery team working at any stage during building/infrastructure life cycle, when clients, contractors, designers and other stake holders come together to finalize the design/refurbishing/construction conceptual model via the interactive communication with the “digital models”.
Virtual Reality facility includes a whole set of 3D glasses and special hamlet devices, a high end 3D projector, and a Kinect based computer game system (sensors and etc.) with necessary accessories. The developed applications combine BIM with Unity 3D computer game system, which working together with 3D projector / helmet / glasses can help users to merge themselves into a 3D virtual environment, to “feel” the building / infrastructure design / management to explore more feasible design / maintenance alternatives.