New virtual reality technology to preview homes before they’re built


New virtual reality (VR) technology has been released that allows people to preview homes before they are built using just their floor plans.

PropTech company Enviz has launched Plans 3D and Plans 2D, which allow architects and designers to bring their clients’ residential floor plans to life with the help of VR.

Plans 2D brings floor plans to 1:1 scale, allowing users to see their design at their feet, wherever they are in the world, via mobile device or tablet. 

While Plans3D goes one step further, creating a 1:1 scale of the entire home, with an immersive AR/VR experience, which can be accessed using a VR headset, mobile phone, tablet or computer.

Enviz Chief Executive Officer Michael Shaw said the ability to physically walk through a floor plan was a valuable experience for Australians wishing to experience what their home will be like before they build.

“Being able to virtually engage with a design at their building site, with our mobile app, is an asset to the design and construction industry and its customers,” Mr Shaw said.

“Everyday Australians who do not regularly view floorplans will benefit the most, with an immediate understanding of the size, flow and connections of a new build.

“Plans 3D will help eliminate uncertainty in the finished product as the user experience will allow a proposed design to be reviewed and validated by clients, resulting in better design outcomes for clients.”

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Jye Bohm and Sophie O’Dea used the product to preview their new home when it was in the design stage.

“Walking through our home before it was built was incredible,” Mr Bohm said. 

“Seeing the height of the ceilings, the size of the rooms, and getting a better feel for the layout of the house gave us so much confidence with our design, and made us so excited for it to be completed.”

After previewing the home, the couple were confident with the majority of the design but did make changes including amending room sizes, adding windows, changing joinery, and changing bathroom layouts. 

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“These are all items that we hadn’t picked up on needing to change from looking at the floor plans, and have saved us significant costs down the track in variation fees,” Mr Bohm said. 

“Further, some of the changes would not have been able to be changed once the build commences, so on top of saving costs, we’ve also avoided finishing the build then regretting decisions.”

Mr Shaw said the product had been made as cost-effective as possible, allowing all architects and interior designers to include it as a value-add to their clients.

“Plans 3D’s conversion of floor plans to a virtual reality walk-through experience is $600, while a conversion to Plans 2D is just $20,” he said.

“We see this as a small additional cost to a design with fantastic value to users.”

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Mr Shaw hopes the product will be a major drawcard for architects and designers showcasing their designs to clients. 

“Customer engagement based on a virtual experience before building commences delivers greater peace of mind for all parties,” he said. 

“Demand for richer, engaging experiences from the housing industry and consumers will continue to drive the Proptech sector.”

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