Maximizing BIM: Using Gamification to Improve Project Site Awareness during Construction

May 7, 2021
By

A man wearing a virtual-reality headset with a safety simulation shown on a television screen

Safety is serious, but that doesn’t mean we can’t have fun while learning about it.

Before stepping onto a jobsite, construction personnel study safety regulations and listen to presentations about the safety hazards they must avoid. We’re adding another layer to existing training programs by using gamification to quiz our teams on safety hazards and familiarize them with their projects.

Video Game Safety Simulation

Our Innovation and Operational Technology team examines how innovation can improve construction, so it was natural for the group to examine how we could implement virtual reality. We developed a safety simulation in-house to immerse users in a fully navigable 3D environment.

“We are already creating these 3D models that mirror our project sites and using them for systems installation. The next step is finding additional ways to maximize their usefulness,” said Project Innovation Co-Op Cole Spencer.

The safety simulation’s premise is straightforward: Each level immerses users in common construction scenarios, such as an excavation and an elevated slab pour, in which the player must identify safety hazards using a virtual laser pointer. Because we developed the simulation in-house, our team can add scenarios and hazards based on our Safety team’s needs or specific project team requests.

Our team studied Occupational Safety and Health Administration guidelines and our Safety Health and Environmental Management System to identify suitable hazards for each level. When a user identifies a hazard, a dialogue box confirms the hazard and elaborates on the proper protocol.

360-Degree Photo-Based Training

Our Virtual Design + Construction team also developed a 360-degree photo-based hazard training scenario. Team members can explore a static jobsite photo that has been edited to add safety hazards. As in the immersive simulation, explanations are displayed when a user identifies a hazard in the photo-based training.

Exploring Models

The fun doesn’t stop with safety. We’ve also used gamification to get project teams familiar with their project models. Using a model built by Virtual Design + Construction colleagues, our Innovation team simulated an Easter egg hunt within an existing project model. As project team members searched for the eggs within their jobsite’s models, they explored their projects virtually. Using this experience early in the job can help team members develop intimate knowledge of the models they’ll be working in before construction begins.

“These simulated and photo-based training experiences expand our capacity to practice identifying hazards that we must circumvent and mitigate,” said Corporate Safety Trainer Victor Saldaña. “Safety is our top value, and we use all the tools at our disposal to improve our team’s safety knowledge and practices.”