Missoula International Airport is giving the public a closer look at its $67 million construction project by using virtual reality.
Airport staff say the VR software is extremely useful, because it brings two dimensional paper designs to life, allowing everyone to get clearer and better perspective of the space.
"You look up and there's security above, and we can look down towards baggage claim and there's the escalator," explained Airport Director, Cris Jensen.
A&E Architects' Brandon Prinzing and Scott Osten said this VR technology is an extremely powerful tool because it brings their two-dimensional designs to life.
And you don’t need a VR headset to view these three-dimensional designs because you can also see them on your smartphone or computer.
"When you put on that headset you really understand spatially how it's going to feel. It's not reality. It's still a design or illustration of what the airport could be, but it’s a really cool way to be in that space," explained architect Brandon Prinzing.
Prinzing said it really helps their clients understand and see their designs because they’re not just looking at their sketches on paper.
Jensen said it brings the design off the paper and makes it real.
"Right now as we're going through the design process, really everything we have seen has been in two dimensions, and now we have the ability to basically be inside the building and walk through it and experience it and really get a feel for it," Jensen said.
He emphasized it’s a really cool experience and makes the whole project a lot more exciting.
And this VR technology helps the architects and project managers too.
"It helps us to visualize in far greater detail what we're doing as designers. It gives us a more thorough look at how all the pieces come together in space in three dimensions. And it definitely enhances the design process," Osten said.
Osten says if client is not happy with the way something looks, with VR, they can make those adjustments a lot earlier and faster.