טכניון מכון טכנולוגי לישראל
הטכניון מכון טכנולוגי לישראל - בית הספר ללימודי מוסמכים  
M.Sc Thesis
M.Sc StudentDayan Amit
Subject3D Visualizations as Cognition Enhancers for Apartment
Customization
DepartmentDepartment of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Supervisors Professor Rafael Sacks
Professor Yasha Jacob Grobman
Full Thesis text - in Hebrew Full thesis text - Hebrew Version


Abstract

Over recent decades, several trends and prominent factors have pushed the construction industry to embrace mass construction of individually customized dwellings. These trends formed new challenges for the construction companies that had to develop new methods and business processes to cope with. Despite many recorded efforts in the organization, methods and information technology fields for coping with the new challenges, it appears that little has been done to explore a possible gap between clients' requirements and the client's capabilities within the customization process.

While construction organizations developed and mastered their customization facilitation processes, for most of their customers this is a first experience that involves professional handling, which is not common within their usual daily skillset. Similar situations in the fields of retail and consumerism are known to negatively impact customer experience.

This study identifies similar trends and remedies that were formed in parallel consumption sectors and speculates that the construction industry may gain benefits by adopting similar approaches to enhance the costumers' cognitive learning. This research explores the hypothesis that (non-professional, first time) apartment purchasers' cognition may be enhanced by using virtual reality (VR) for demonstration purposes.

The study was conducted in collaboration with a construction company. A VR application for demonstration of a specific apartment type was developed. A controlled lab experiment was conducted in which participants used different learning materials.  Their achieved cognitive learning level within these controlled conditions was measured.

The study's results encompass measured metrics for the aspects of participants' cognition that were measured and analyzed: learning of dimensions and spaces, learning of apartment functionality, and memory of quantifiable elements within the apartment. Participants were also questioned about their subjective perception of the VR application's contribution to their apartment learning process.

For all the aspects mentioned, enhanced cognitive learning measures were recorded in the experimental group participants (who were using the VR app) compared to the control group participants who relied solely on conventional drawings. Statistical analysis for the significance of the improvements ranged mostly within the common acceptance range (P-Values<5%) with cognitive learning of dimensions and spaces as the most significant aspect (all measurements in this aspect were calculated to P-values<6%).

This research establishes a benchmark for ripening the potential of enhancing various aspects of customers' cognition through the use of VR, in particular for the support of construction companies' operations for apartment customization. Examples of possible use are discussed and the study ends with recommendations for further research that may assist expediting the implementation of such novel tools within industry practice.