An OPAIC team has published a research paper about using virtual reality to promote sustainable buildings.
Buildings made of raw earth are popular around the world due to their health benefits, indoor environment quality, passive solar gains, aesthetics, thermal efficiency, weathertightness, low cost of building materials and high functionality.
However, residential earth buildings are uncommon in New Zealand. Research shows that the lack of awareness of earth buildings and their benefits is one of the main barriers to earth construction.
The OPAIC team studied the use of virtual reality to promote residential earth buildings in New Zealand.
The team was made up of Senior Lecturer in Construction Dr Don Samarasinghe, Head of Department for Management Dr Lehan Stemmet, and former Head of Department for Information Technology Dr Nilufar Baghaei.
They designed and implemented a virtual reality model of a sustainable earth building including earth walls, rainwater harvesting tank, dry toilet, solar panels, and green wall as a sustainable building model.
They believe the research will eventually contribute to making advancements in finding new ways to effectively promote earth buildings as homes in New Zealand.