The application of 3D modelling techniques in built environment evaluation.
Laing, Richard Alexander
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This paper describes a series of methodologies for use in evaluation of the built environment. The use of virtual models within Architecture and Engineering is widespread at the design stage, but has to date been limited in terms of application and interaction when evaluating the impact of designs on existing environments. Methodologies that have been established in other fields including environmental economics and retail studies were applied, to establish whether such methods were appropriate for use in the built environment. These methods have tended traditionally to use text-based scenarios, potentially causing methodological difficulties where research concerns aesthetic impact. A series of virtual models of existing areas were constructed within CAD and 3D Studio, and through the use of both online and onsite experiments, the capabilities of such models to convey information within experiments was tested. The research noted that 3D computer models have only rarely been used to facilitate real interaction between interested or affected parties. The paper describes how such models could be applied within public consultation and participation to provide a richer data set. This research concluded that methodologies including choice experimentation are capable of being completed using imagery as the device for information delivery. It was noted that the use of more interactive virtual environments should be tested in future work.