Implenia’s success using HEGIAS VR – from site development to marketing

Implenia is convinced of HEGIAS VR’s value and is successfully using our solution in the development of the Lokstadt site in Winterthur. At every stage of both planning and construction, the partners involved – i.e. investors, project developers, planners, architects, engineers, builders and real estate marketers – were able to visit the area with their customers in VR and exchange ideas directly via avatars. Implenia has already bought a subscription for HEGIAS VR because the Swiss construction and real estate service provider wants to expand its use.

What words! HEGIAS VR is “a real quantum leap” said Anita Eckardt recently, Head of the Specialties Division at Implenia and a member of the Executive Board.

“VR technology is not new. But the road from the availability of the technology to the daily use of VR in construction projects has been a long one. The company HEGIAS has made this possible with their intuitively operable solution for VR applications – a real quantum leap. “

She would know: innovations are the daily business of the manager of the multinational Swiss construction and real estate service provider.

In fact, with HEGIAS VR, we have achieved a breakthrough for the construction and real estate industry and have already proven its practicality in the first successful projects – including Implenia’s Lokstadt site in Winterthur.

HEGIAS VR – new and special

Anita Eckardt speaks from experience:

“What was missing until now for the breakthrough of VR was user-friendly software that users can use anywhere without installation and without relevant programming knowledge.”

HEGIAS VR is the first automated, browser-based solution for the use of Virtual Reality (VR). Actors in the planning, construction and real estate industries can use it to inspect, discuss and market their current models anytime and anywhere.

For HEGIAS VR, all you need is a standard computer and an internet browser. Simply drag and drop your project in one of many 3D formats (including IFC) from your desktop to your browser, and the project is ready for inspection with virtual reality glasses. Our software does the VR optimization automatically. You can move freely in an area or building, play through scenes, check room layouts, change the materials, and add furnishings, long before the first excavators hit the ground. What was previously reserved for large scale projects or luxury real estate is now affordable and accessible to all.

The Lokstadt site project in its planning phase

Implenia worked with us on the development of the Lokstadt site in Winterthur – a valuable “proof of concept” for us. In the development of this complex 2000 watt area, HEGIAS VR was used at an early stage: You could virtually immerse yourself in the (still) existing plaster model of the area and its planned buildings and inspect it from different perspectives.

A virtual model apartment in the planned high-rise building was also on display, including its outdoor view. Drone recordings at different heights made the view from the roof possible.

The expert Anita Eckardt is convinced of the value of HEGIAS as a company and by the HEGIAS VR product:

 “They are really cool. This startup is sure to be successful because the product is great. Communication is a key issue in the construction industry in order to avoid mistakes. That saves time and money. Now we have a mature platform that works well. “

The advantages are obvious: In every planning and construction phase, those involved, i.e. investors, project developers, planners, architects, engineers, builders and real estate marketers, can visit the property or area with their customers in VR and- very importantly- use avatars to exchange ideas immediately. Everyone can see and communicate about the same thing in real time.

The spatial effect of these buildings or the designs can be better assessed. And there are far fewer misunderstandings in communication and thus in the overall planning.

Visual experiences for historical preservationists and competition juries

Ulf Hoppenstedt, overall project manager for the Lokstadt area development at Implenia, accompanied our use of VR in Winterthur.

A hotel is planned in two former production halls of the former locomotive manufacturer SLM – in a first concept study with shipping containers as rooms. When the concept was experienced virtually, the concerns of the preservationists were quickly dispelled. The core feeling of the building was preserved, and the halls were by no means “crammed full”, as had previously been feared.

HEGIAS VR was also used for the architectural competition: The use of VR made the decision much easier for the jury members, reports Ulf Hoppenstedt. “They were able to visit the finalists’ buildings digitally in order to better assess the spatial effect of these buildings or the designs.”

Other advantages in marketing

The advantages of a VR solution when marketing objects are particularly easy to understand – be it to potential investors or apartment owners. In Winterthur, for example, the planned multi-purpose office building and the Lokstadt townhouses were presented to potential buyers in HEGIAS VR. Prospective buyers of the townhouses were able to move virtually from floor to floor in their house using VR glasses and thus gain a spatial overview that was not available to them from the sales plans.

According to Jelena Radovic, Head of Real Estate Marketing at Implenia, this spatial understanding and the experience of the residential property are essential drivers in purchasing decisions. With HEGIAS VR this can even be done on the couch at home – or in the VR showroom, which was obviously convincing in Winterthur: all eleven townhouses have now found a new owner.

HEGIAS is flexible and “suitable for corona”

HEGIAS VR is very flexible. This has become even more important in the time of the coronavirus, because planned projects can be undertaken and discussed together without being physically in the same place.

Implenia has already bought a license for the software and intends to expand its use. Anita Eckardt, who also heads the Innovation department at Implenia, confirms this:

“In the meantime, we have also implemented the first projects with HEGIAS VR in building technology planning and were able to identify and implement corrections and adjustments in the planning very quickly through the joint inspection.”

As you can see from Implenia’s example, HEGIAS VR can be used successfully from site development through to marketing. You can get an annual subscription from CHF 950 per year.

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