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Virtual Walk Through Of A Building Foundation System Using Game Engine

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2009 Annual Conference & Exposition


Austin, Texas

Publication Date

June 14, 2009

Start Date

June 14, 2009

End Date

June 17, 2009



Conference Session

Instructional Innovations in AEC Education

Tagged Division


Page Count


Page Numbers

14.1351.1 - 14.1351.10



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Paper Authors

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Mohammed Haque Texas A&M University


Reniz Moosa Texas A&M University

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Mr. Reniz Moosa is a graduate student in the Department of Construction Science, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas.

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Virtual walkthrough of a building foundation system using Game Engine


Today’s animation/visualization techniques provide a virtual experiential learning of built environment when combined with interactive design animation and virtual design navigation. 3D game engines offer a virtual world with high speed rendering quality, and user interactivity in allowing the user to explore the space and navigate as if in the real world, which is difficult to obtain using traditional 3D pre-rendered and non-interactive visualization tools.

Foundations are the underground structural entities in a building. Due to its setting and location, students find it difficult to visualize its role and presence in the structural system of the building. Apart from the initial stages during construction, the foundation system in the building remains unseen to everyone for the rest of its term of existence. The game engine technology could be utilized in this context as they have the capability to represent a virtual environment and induce a user interactive experience.

The objective is to create a model of a building in “Unreal Game Engine 2” with its detailed structural foundation systems. Hence, similar to an endoscope procedure in medicine, the user will be allowed to go under the ground and explore the foundations and slabs at its structural reinforcement level. For architecture students the added realism of these models can enhance understanding of their own design in relation to time, space, environment, and scale. Through this process, the student develops a deeper understanding of the underground foundation details and experiences a procedure that is only possible in the virtual world.

Introduction and Background

For any building project in its conceptual, pre-construction or construction phase, various levels of information in the form of 2D drawings, specifications, 3D images and videos are provided by the architect/ engineer to the client. The objective here is to offer the client an image which closely represents the final product. With time, as observed in any other fields of science and technology, visualization techniques have also improved and grown continuously. In this line, software’s and applications supporting virtual walkthrough have greatly benefited the design and construction industry.

“Animation/visualization techniques provide virtual experiential learning when combined with interactive design animation and virtual design navigation. These activities are self-directed, experiential, and personalized for the autonomous self-directed distance learner. Web based teaching and learning has potential advantages compared to traditional education since it is less expensive, easy-to-access, easy-to-update and platform independent. Although multimedia is generally considered as an individual pursuit, authors' study suggests that its use in classes with a large audience can be accommodated, provided that it is linked directly to the achievement of a specific group of learning objectives”.1

Haque, M., & Moosa, R. (2009, June), Virtual Walk Through Of A Building Foundation System Using Game Engine Paper presented at 2009 Annual Conference & Exposition, Austin, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--4741

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