The future of Real Estate Development and Architecture

Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality are two markets with high growth in the past few years and have even bigger growth potential for the future of Real Estate, Architecture, and not only. Especially when taking into consideration how the COVID pandemic has accelerated this movement.

Great products have been developed such as Oculus Quest 2 that allowed for the VR industry to grow. There are even companies providing virtual office technology. They offer software for VR headsets that let you organize your own virtual office space. 

You can add calendars, weather, and more screens to add utility. Instead of switching between browsers and tabs, you can just move your head a bit as you would have multiple screens showing everything you need, and choose a few to have into your focus.

This alone is not that much value added to build the future of Real Estate and Architecture. We need to focus on the VR impacts to development.

What about architects?


Okay, we’re here to talk about architects. These VR offices are useful for architects as well. They just facilitate your workflow by literally putting everything in front of you. 

But they usually work with intense software such as Revit, 3DS Max, Unity, etc.

They need to put their idea into a 3D environment and these kinds of software are their means of doing so.

But, even with a huge display, or more, their workspace has never enough working real estate. Their projects are literally (sometimes) gargantuan buildings with tens of floors and hundreds of rooms that require plumbing, electrical schematics, decorations, design, lighting, etc.

You can only do so much with a 2D screen, no matter how big or small it is, or how many of them you have at your disposal.

Here is where Unity Reflect comes in

We’ve all heard about Unity. It’s a very popular game engine, for game developers. But architects use it too. 

They do so because Unity offers great tools for designing environments. They offer cutting-edge technologies for proper textures, lighting, real-time configuration features, etc.

There is more to that. Unity revealed Reflect, a tool built especially for architects and real estate developers.

This tool puts a lot of emphasis on real-time configuration, VR, and AR applications for all stakeholders involved. 

Engineers doing fieldwork will be able to preview certain structures in real-time just by using their phone or tablet. 

Using a specific app, they can access the files for the developed project and take a view over how it would look in real life, adjusted to real measurements and perspective. Once it’s locked in place, the engineer could walk around it to form a more structured opinion for better feedback.

Unity Reflect helps them share files easier and interact with them. The feedback loops are improved massively and communication as well.

Here is how the SHoP Architects team uses it:

How does Unity Reflect Help Architects?

Architects are the ones who have the most benefits from this. It facilitates the process of development, feedback, communication, real-time configuration, working on different aspects of the project, etc.

It also helps with more than just communication.

It actually helps developers build projects from micro to macro environments in a better way. They are used to build big projects with various development tools. We’re talking buildings with tens of floors or thousands of square feet as a footprint.

This makes it easier to configure in real-time their project, as well as the environment with sophisticated lighting settings, perspective views, and numerous other tools. 

Even more than that, it fully takes advantage of Virtual Reality technology to help Architects develop better projects. 

This is exceptionally useful when architects switch from macro to micro views for configuration. No more zooming in and out. 

With Unity Reflect, they will be able to go in first-person on each floor, and in each room to manage lighting, colors, textures, decorations, and more at scale. They will actually have a first-person view of their configurations in real-time.


Here is a short video illustrating these aspects: 

Closing thoughts

VR will impact most industries in the future. Real Estate and Architecture may have the most to gain out of these endeavors. 

With tools such as Unity Reflect, their productivity will go through the roof, communication will improve, and the techniques used will become much more sophisticated and easier to use.

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