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November 13, 2017

The Future is Here: Virtual Reality as a Training Tool for Building Operators

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This report features an applied research consortia project that analyzed the potential value of VR for operations staff training. To accomplish this task, the project team developed a Virtual Environment (VE) for the West Campus Utility Plant on the University of Washington’s Seattle campus. We used this VE to compare conventional switchgear training with VR switchgear training, observing an operator’s interactions and movement in VR and through a questionnaire. We report our findings and recommendations for future research.

This report is a product of a an applied research consortia project at the Center for Education and Research in Construction and Mortenson Construction. Project collaborators included Devarshi Patel (MA, University of Washington), Marc Kinsman (Mortenson), Ryan Trickett (Mortenson), John Baker (Mortenson), and Prof. Carrie Sturts Dossick, Director of the Center for Education and Research in Construction (CERC) and Faculty lead in the Communication Technology and Organizational Practices Research Group (CTOP) at the University of Washington.