Four Ways 3-D Visualization can help improve your ROI

by: Matt Lukens

3D modeling gives architects the ability to more closely collaborate with consultants, engineers, and clients towards a shared project goal. Here are four ways that 3D visualization can help you generate buzz before groundbreaking.

  1. What You See Is What You Get

    A well-crafted architectural visualization leaves nothing to the imagination. Being able to visually communicate, whether with another project professional or a client untrained in architectural study, is key to moving a project in a cohesive direction. It’s also vital in staying on the same page in large projects and ensuring that unforeseen landmines don’t derail or add costs to a project. With visualization technologies, architects can offer a much clearer, authentic-looking iteration of their structures and ideas. Presenting designs, especially to clients who have final say on the project but may not know much about the actual process, can end up making or breaking an architect’s approach. 3D renderings offer quick feedback on revisions without the labor-intensive requirement, and allow owners and designers to take low risk chances or try out more cost-effective methods early in the design process.

  2. Urban Massing and Contextual Visuals For Deeper Understanding

    CE LIME EDIT Beyond simple aesthetic corrections, 3D renderings can clarify whether a particular structure is going to be feasible in a certain location before money is spent to fully design or build it, and can give developers a rough idea of whether or not the building is going to work in the fabric of a given environment. Sometimes this method is used to identify desirable lines of sight, evaluate signage size and placement, or draw attention to an iconic architectural element.Using massing analysis, research from site visits, civil studies, and survey information, designers can construct an urban environment based on current properties, community spaces, streets, and prominent civic structures. This living, interactive map then becomes a launch pad for identifying opportunities, spotting potential problems, and planning a project within an existing framework.This is especially important for obtaining approval from special governing entities such as historic preservation boards, home owners associations, and local government committees. These renderings help establish what needs to be bargained for in terms of connectivity to roads and infrastructure, fickle zoning and code regulations, and parking needs.

    For instance, WMB-ROI recently worked with developer Mainstay Financial Services to develop a master plan for their Lake Morton Assisted Living campus. WMB-ROI created a dynamic large-scale model of the area to help the client identify potential opportunities, address infill development, and clearly display the scope, scale, and aesthetics of the project phases to the Historic Preservation Board. Because of these renderings, a three-story memory care facility and a renovated bungalow are in development, with future aspirations on the horizon.

  3. Catching a Buzz

    We process visual content 60,000x faster than words.  A well-executed rendering can be a versatile marketing tool that can be placed on job signs, in newspaper stories, or on the internet to generate buzz early on in a project’s life. With the advent of interactive visuals, designers can take this a step further, creating rich virtual reality tours that showcase everything from the macro to the micro. A beautiful 3-D rendering can go a long way towards securing the necessary funding for a project, as it can provide potential investors, future tenants, and the general public with more information about what will be built. These visualizations also provide developers with the ability to more accurately budget for the project, and this gives investors the ability to target audiences with more confidence.Our firm recently produced marketing materials for Balmoral Estates, a gated development in Haines City, Florida. Their award-winning website featured interactive virtual tours of the development’s townhomes, an animated tour of the site, and realistic 3-D renderings of the development’s luxury amenities. Because of these immersive tours, the developer was able to presell all the townhomes before even breaking ground.

    14188_UnitI_Fitzwilliam_3D Plan 1st Floor 14188_UnitI_Fitzwilliam_3D Plan 2nd Floor_Edited

  4. NOT IN MY BACK YARD

    On the opposite end of the spectrum, visualization services can mitigate backlash of citizens and neighbors who take a “not in my backyard” stance towards a new development. Whether it is a concern of property value, surrounding historic structures, or neighborhood resistance, developers eager to roll their projects often face criticism from the public. Something as simple as strategic landscaping can be the difference between disgruntled neighbors and a cooperative relationship. With visualizations, developers can offer design choices, display their understanding of the public’s concerns, and show them the feasibility of these proposals. For instance, when WMB-ROI worked with Polk County on the water treatment operations facility, neighboring residents had concerns about the large warehouse and other structures becoming an eyesore. To quell their concerns, WMB-ROI produced eye-level renderings to show the landscape planning would both beautify their neighborhood and use existing topography to obscure the facility from their line of vision.