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Leveraging Technology to Improve the Client Experience

By Rick Arriaga

Senior Associate | Architect

Collaboration is at the heart of what we do as a firm. Given the value we place on client engagement and overall client experience, our team has eagerly embraced opportunities to leverage new technologies to collaborate with our clients during design.

In recent years, immersive photo-realistic imagery has offered our team a powerful tool for communicating design decisions. This imagery can serve as a catalyst for client understanding and decision-making across the course of a project, from the impact of spatial organization through to the aesthetic influence of finish selections.

Our teams have also used virtual reality (VR) for several years now, discovering that VR can often speed up the design process. The direct “experience” afforded by VR technology enables clients to grasp the design nuances of a space that were often difficult for designers to communicate. VR experiences often led clients to make quicker and more confident design decisions.

Our visualization methodology—including the tools and their application to the design process—are in constant development. We have found, for instance, that immersive opportunities embedded throughout the design process can generate strong buy-in from the client. The client’s ongoing familiarity and engagement with the design creates a powerful sense of design ownership.

In the past, a client would have been provided with rolls of construction drawings at project close-out. Today, we can offer clients a 3D model of their project alongside as-built drawings. This model can include building component information that can be used by facilities management team to track every aspect of the building’s life cycle.