3 Uncommon Facts About Steel Doors

A well known fact about steel doors is their extreme durability. Something which is less known about steel doors is that they require little to no maintenance. CDF Partitions carries more than commercial steel doors: commercial wood doors, aluminum glass storefront doors, fire rated doors, hollow metal doors and more including hardware. A handy definition to know when dealing with steel doors is core which means the internal construction of a steel door. To familiarize yourself with more commercial door terminology review our definitions page. Below you will find three uncommon facts about steel doors.

1. Most Steel Doors in 2018 Are Bulletproof

Bullet resistance is only one reason steel doors protect you and your business from burglaries. Bullet resistance testing for doors is done in specific ratings which include caliber of bullet, number of shots, and velocity for tests. Steel doors assist in building security helping save money by protecting your assets. While steel doors is one step for prevention of unwanted access from intruders, we also recommend as a business owner you consider investing in security cameras as well.

2. Steel Doors Provide Safety in Natural Disasters

Depending on where your business is located there is, unfortunately, a high chance you may find yourself in the middle of a natural disaster. In the devastating and catastrophic event of an earthquake or tornado commercial steel doors and their frames help provide safety before evacuation. Being able to find cover in the security of a steel door frame during a natural disaster is one extra positive reason to consider a commercial steel door as the proper investment for your business.

3. Steel Doors Offer Insulating Properties

Steel doors are great for protection and they are also great for insulation. When building or remodeling your business a major deal breaker is the energy efficiency and the ability to cover your cooling and heating bills. If you know about insulating, unsurprisingly you can deduct steel doors will help dramatically in environments with high precipitation and high temperatures. Commercial buildings can be not only protected from fire, bullets and natural disasters using steel doors but also insulation and protection from the world and weather outside.

10 Commercial Door Definitions

When dealing with commercial doors, it’s important to know a vast amount of commercial door terminology to properly describe your project. A confusion from terminology gone unanswered could lead you to purchasing the wrong goods.

Get to know your future investment by familiarizing yourself with the 10 helpful commercial door definitions below. Some of these definitions you may already be familiar with. Later down the road, when you want to describe that one specific part of your doors you just can’t remember the name of, we hope one of these ten words appear in your memory.

  1. Face - surface of door exposed to view when closed.
  2. Buck - old school. archaic term for a door frame.
  3. Active leaf - that leaf or both leaves of a pair of doors for which the locking or latching mechanism or other operating hardware are intended
  4. Inactive leaf - the door leaf in a pair of doors which is normally held closed by top and bottom bolts.
  5. Handing - the swing of the door, e.g., right hand or left hand. To determine the hand of a door, view the door from the outside - the side that the hinges are on is the hand of the door - if the door swings away from the viewer, the hand is a regular hand, i.e., right or left hand - if the door swings to the viewer, the door is reverse swing, i.e., right hand reverse swing or or left hand reverse swing.
  6. Leaf - an individual door, used either singly or in multiple
  7. Jamb depth - overall width of frame profile - face to face dimension
  8. Spat - protective covering (usually stainless steel) wrapped around bottom of frames to prevent or minimize damage in this area
  9. Stop - part of frame against which door closes
  10. Door clearance - the space between door and frame rabbet, between door and finished floor, or between meeting edges of pairs of doors

To put it simply, in the world of commercial doors there is a lot to describe before ordering. If you don’t want to learn the lingo, we understand, you can leave it up to the professionals at CDF Distributors.

We carry Hollow Metal Doors, Steel Doors, Wood Doors, Metal Building Doors, Storefront Glass Doors, Fire Rated Doors, Metal Door Frames, and Commercial Door Hardware - everything to complete all your commercial door needs.

How Hollow Metal Doors Are Made

Since the 40's, technology has greatly improved how commercial hollow metal doors are made. The manufacturing process includes nine steps before a metal door is shipped out to be installed at a job site. First off, the process starts with the raw materials.

The standard material for a commercial metal door is galvanealed steel.

What Is Galvanealed Steel?

Galvanealed steel is a steel surface that's received a galvanized coating that has been annealed, which is a proccess of heating and allowing to cool slowly, to make it easy to paint.

How does the Steel Get Shaped?

Next the steel doors go through a process called Shearing. This process cuts the sheet metal to the specified size needed for manufacturing.

Next the steel door components are taken to a punch press. Once the material has been sheared it’s time to move on the Punch Press.

How Does A Steel Door Punch Press Work?

The CNC Punch Press has 56 different tools used to make precision cuts for openings needed for metal door hardware, light kits, louvers and other accessories.

After punching, the steel is taken to the forming press. This press is used to form the edges of the hollow metal doors by bending the steel along a hard edge. This process uses a machine called a Press Break. A 300 ton press break is used with 2 stage forming dyes within the forming press to make sure there are tight crisp edges to every door giving it a precise fit within a hollow metal door frame.

Spot Welding The Metal Doors

One of the most important parts of the metal door manufacturing process is called Spot welding. Spot Welding is used to attach hinge, closer and lock reinforcements within the body of the door, as well as securing any additional stiffeners.

After the steel shell is assembled, a core is then added to the door. The core is used not only to provide a more rigid door, but also allows for additional features such as energy efficient door insulation, bullet resistance and sound proofing. There are three types of door cores: Honey Comb core, the steel stiffened core, and finally the polystyrene core. While in past the honeycomb core was most popular, environmental efficiency in modern buildings has demanded that a polystyrene core door become an industry standard.

Polystyrene offers a quiet, light weight fill with excellent insulation properties and is easily used in conjunction with steel stiffeners and other sound proofing. Special, rated polystyrene is also commonly used in fire rated metal doors because of it's ability to withstand high temperatures and inhibit flame spread.

Finishing The Door With Some Edge Welding

Finally, after all the components of the door are assembled, the metal door is then placed through a machine called an edge welder. This automatic welder merges both of the edges of the two door halves into one finished product.

 

The next step is to move the door into the finishing room. Here workers grind the edges of the weld down to a smooth finish, and make any finishing touches by sanding imperfections and stains. The door is then inspected one last time for quality before being mounted to hangars and entering the painting booth.

Hollow metal doors are typically painted with a baked on grey water based primer finish. This paint has a low voc, meets the lead free paint requirements, and is tested to meet the ansi spec 25010 for prime paints. This primer finish allows customers to easily paint the door to any desired color after it is installed.

After finishing, the door is just about ready to be shipped off to the customer. The last thing done before shipping is to label the door.

Are All Hollow Metal Doors Fire Rated?

 

If a hollow metal door doesn't have a proper label, than even if it actually is fire rated, then it won't meet fire codes. The fire-rating label is used to inform installation crews, as well as building owners and codes inspectors’ important details about the door, materials and fire rating. All of the doors manufactured by CDF meet a 3 hr fire rating, and always have proper labels!

 

Now the hollow metal door is complete! Time to carefully package the door, match it with the order, get it stacked on a pallet and it's ready to be shipped off.

Tips for Keeping Steel Doors Looking Their Best

Steel doors, whether they're used for commercial or residential applications, are great choices for strength and protection. It's much harder for a person to gain entrance when a commercial steel door is in their way as opposed to a wooden door.

However, no entryway is immune from the elements or human error. If you want to keep them looking their best, there are considerations to be made. Among those considerations is whether they will rust, and how to keep them clean without harming the surface.

If they have glass kits in them, that's another consideration, as well. But with some tips for maintenance and repair, you can keep a steel door really looking its best for a long time.

Protect the Door During Installation and Afterward

Any door that gets installed on a home or building needs to be put in the right way. That's not just about the proper fit of the door, or whether the hinges line up correctly. It's also about good clearance when the door is opened and closed, ensuring that the door is not rubbing on anything along the frame, and looking to see whether it hits anything if it's pushed closed or pushed open more aggressively.

Once the door is installed, keeping objects out of the way of its travel path matters. Doors can be dented and damaged by hitting things placed in the way when they're pushed open, and that can lead to issues down the line.

Catch Any Problems Early

Steel doors are not always immune to dents, dings, scrapes, rust, and other problems. But if you catch these early you'll have more of a chance to correct them before they really become issues. Finding problems with your steel door early lets you treat those problems at the size they are, instead of waiting until they get bigger.

Allowing a problem to go on for too long may mean that you have to replace the door entirely, and that can get expensive. Rather than take that risk and incur that level of cost, look for problems with the door and fix any of them you find as soon as they become noticeable. You'll be glad you did.

Paint It the Right Way

A steel door needs to be painted properly. Not unlike when painting the exterior of a building to make it look its best and protect it from the elements, you don't want to just use any paint, or add a coat of paint over top of what's already there without being sure the two paints will work well with one another. Also keep in mind that doors that already fit very tightly may not close well after they are painted. Coats of paint build up over time, and that makes the door just slightly larger than it was before. It may not seem like much, but it does make a difference. If you need to paint a steel door, follow any manufacturer's instructions on doing so. If there aren't any, make sure you treat the door with care and use the right kind of paint.

Inspect the Door On a Regular Basis

You don't have to examine the door with a magnifying glass every day, but you do want to make sure you inspect it regularly. Whether it's on the back of your house or the front of your commercial building, the door will be subject to wear and tear. Taking a look at it frequently can help you spot issues, including damage that needs to be repaired, anything that could be a hazard to people using the door, and problems with the fit of the door that could be letting water in or raising your utility bills. A good inspection on your door means a chance to fix things fast, so you can move on with your plans.

Building Steel: 5 Reasons This Construction Material Rocks

The structural reliability and durability of any commercial construction is key and mustn’t be taken for granted. You should be confident that your construction can withstand any form of elemental hazard. Construction safety is crucial.

For this reason, the best choice is steel construction. You can avoid all the loss that comes with elemental hazards by making healthy construction options.

Choosing a durable building material for commercial construction is an excellent way to prevent any disaster. So far, steel is the safest and most recommended option for commercial construction. Check out the features of steel construction that make it the most reliable option for commercial building.

It’s Fireproof

The fireproof characteristic of steel is one of the germane reasons why it is a safe option for any business owner. Warehousing business will find this a great advantage during fire hazards as the fire spreads slowly through steel building, unlike wood constructions.

There have been speculations about the steel’s fire resistance over the years and tests have been carried out, and this is the reason it is manufactured with strict standards.

Minimal Maintenance

Maintaining any commercial construction needs a lot of resources. Wear and tear are inevitable in any construction but will happen at a faster rate when poorly durable materials are utilized for construction. When you use steel as your primary building material, the design will require less maintenance. The structural finesse of your building will stay in perfect shape. There is hardly any repair needed, and when there is, it’s going to be cheap.

Wind Resistance

Business buildings constructed with steel are best for windy regions. Steel is known to withstand intense high winds because it has the ability to bend without breaking. Consequently, you, your business and goods will be safe and protected under the most extreme wind situations. It is highly recommended for business owners in the windy regions.

Environmental Friendly

For the environmentally conscious, you can make your business portray your beliefs by using steel as your construction materials. Steel is one construction material that can be recycled for other projects. Why cut down trees in the forest when you can use steel? It is one of the most recyclable building materials without losing its core features. Utilizing steel for commercial construction, we are going to make the business and environment safer places.

 Trusted High-Grade Material

Over the decades, steel design has been the first choice material for commercial constructions. Steel comes with durability and construction safety never presented by other materials. Currently, steel is the most used framing materials for building and construction United States. Steel is used by almost 50% of business for construction. This is enough proof to name steel the most trusted construction material.

Steel is no doubt the most reliable long-lasting solution with construction safety at heart. Meanwhile, ensure that you comply the safety standards necessary for building facilities in your location.

5 Tips to Choose the Best Steel Doors for Your Business

There are many styles and types of commercial doors out there. Wherever you are, you will have a number of options. But don’t get overwhelmed. We’re here to help you narrow them down.

Steel doors are the most popular commercial doors because of the versatility that they offer. They are designed to last for quite long time and provide additional security for your business.

Some steel doors are made specifically for unique purposes, such as rolling steel doors, overhead doors, folding gates, warehouse doors, impact doors, and automatic doors. Steel doors are built with security in mind. Here, we present you with tips for choosing the best steel doors for your business.

1.   Know your needs

The very first step in choosing the best commercial door is to consider your needs. Where the will be placed? Will it be visible to customers, clients or just your workers? You should also consider how many commercial doors you need. Decide whether you want to open it manually or automatically. Do you plan to use the door for a long time or your needs might change over time? Needs for commercial doors differ from business to business, so make sure you know yours.

2.   Consider your budget

Your budget is actually the primary determining factor when choosing the best commercial doors. Steel doors are affordable, but you must consider the quality you need and the quantity you are purchasing. While steel doors require little repair or maintenance, it’s an additional factor to include in your budgeting.

3.   Degree of security needed

Steel doors vary in their degree of security offered. Some are designed with glass fittings, while others are strictly thick and firm doors with offer a higher level of security. Decide where you will place the door. This will help determine the level of security needed. Steel doors are one of the most difficult doors to break into.

Consider the surrounding culture. Are you in a high crime area? If that’s the case, you’ll want to install some security cameras as well. Is the door going to be an internal door? Remember, the exterior doors will require the highest security.

4.   Consider the aesthetics

Steel doors are not always the most attractive selection. However, if style is a priority for your business, there are commercial doors made of steel and glass to add more of an aesthetic flair. These kind of steel doors are good for security with beauty in mind. The aesthetics should especially be considered for outdoor commercial steel doors. With ground-floor access to pedestrians, you’ll want to provide a more welcoming entrance.  It is a proven way to increase foot traffic.

5.   How long do you need it to last?

Steel doors anywhere will last up to 23 years. But dose designed with glass may not last so long. As earlier said, this depends on your needs and what you plan to use the door for. If you have security and durability in mind, then you should consider fitting a steel door. When security is not a primary factor, consider glass and wood doors for more aesthetic appeal.

 

 

Security & Safety: Why People Are Switching to Bullet-Proof Doors

Take a look at a nearby school and commercial holdings, you will notice that steel doors are now common as exterior and interior doors. The reason why people are now opting for steel doors isn’t just because of their durability, but because they are bullet-proof doors.

 

As mass shooting rise in the United States affecting schools, malls and entertainment venues. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims of these crimes and now even our senators and congressmen under fire. The outcome of this is that more business owners and event venue operators  are thinking about the "active shooter" scenario.

Sober Thinking & Planning For Security

Each business & event space should take some sober time to really apply some thinking and planning to this unfortunate scenario. One strong recommendation from authorities about these shooter  situations is for you to hid, secure the room and wait for police response. If that's the case then you should consider that only the only commercial doors that will actually shield you from the bullet sprays are steel doors.

You may wonder “Why must a commercial door be made of steel to make it a bullet-proof door?” Well, some wooden and glass door manufacturers claim that their doors are bullet proof. To a great length, commercial doors made of glass and wood won’t give you the protection a steel door will provide you.

The materials of the three classes of doors are by far different.

Choosing a Steel Door

Steel is the best material for commercial doors for the security conscious. There are many reasons you should also choose commercial steel doors.

·      Bullet resistance

Bullet-resistant steel doors can be an essential element for commercial and residential security plan when gun violence may be an issue.

·      Durability and longevity

Steel doors are more durable and last longer than wood and glass doors. Steel doors are less likely to need repairs because they don't crack like wood or shatter like glass. They are made with security in mind as they are better insulated and more resistant to vandalism.

·      Emergency compatible

The commercial steel doors feature an option of 3-hours of fire rating. The fire-rated steel doors reduce the spread of smoke and fire. Others reasons why you should consider steel doors include: weather resistance, dent resistance, easy to remove graffiti from properly finished door and low cost of maintenance

Apart from steel doors, other there are other bullet-proof options for commercial doors.

Bullet-Proof Glass Doors

 

Want to purchase glass door and still need it to be bulletproof? Well, there are bullet-proof glass doors. Bulletproof glass doors are typically made of acrylic, polycarbonate or glass-clad polycarbonate materials. These materials designed for protection against bullets.  Naturally, it is not totally impenetrable. However, instead of shattering it can flex, thereby preventing the bullet from penetrating through.

However, don’t be fooled, many glass door manufacturers will claim that their doors are bullet proof while they are not. So if you are buying a bullet-proof glass door, check the specifications or seek the consultation of a professional.

Bullet-Proof Wood Doors

There special wooden commercial doors that are bullet-proof. These wood doors are of high aesthetic quality that matches any decorative designs while meeting your security needs. These doors are made of wood and steel. The interior of the doors is created from highly resistant wood materials that can reduce the impact of bullets. Complementing these bullet resistant characteristic of the wood is a steel frame and hinge. The casing and steel construction are made to meet the luxurious appearance and ballistic resistance of the door.

 

Use Steel Doors To Improve School Security

Most weeks on Monday through Friday, the young ones arrive with their backpacks at a building to learn and develop as citizens. That environment is expected to be secure for their enhanced learning.

Research scientists at the Center for Health and Public Service at New York University found that nearly 20% of urban students and over 10% of suburban students felt unsafe in their schools. It’s the responsibility of architects, parents, school boards and supervisors to provide that atmosphere for safety.

Safeguarding the thresholds with top-notch exterior steel doors is a great way to enhance school safety. Commercial grade security doors and frames help protect the barriers from all unauthorized intruders.

Creating Successful School Environments

For students to be successful in their academic pursuits, they require safe, secure and orderly atmospheres. There are several measures that can be taken to enhance that security and at least slow down potential gunmen or other unwanted invaders.

By taking action for your school, you could prevent greater loss of life. Though no program will be 100% effective against determined, armed attackers, preventative measurements to protect thresholds are the first steps.

Preventing Forced Entry

Safeguarding thresholds with top-notch and up-to-date exterior doors and hardware is a key factor in maintaining school safety. Commercial grade doors can be optimized to prevent forced entry with features like heavier gauge metals, reinforced steel and non-removable pin hinges.

While the benefit of heavier gauge (or thicker) metal is self-explanatory, reinforced steel and non-removable pin hinges require some explanation. Reinforced steel doors contain stiffeners inside the center of the door to prevent them from collapsing in on themselves when kicked, battered or rammed. Non-removable pin hinges are a special kind of hinge specifically made to prevent someone from being able to remove the door’s hardware from the frame. After all, a sturdy door doesn’t do much good if the hinges can simply be removed.

At a minimum, features like this are sure to increase the amount of time, effort and noise it takes to gain entry, allowing for a facility's staff to become alerted to something unusual going on and buying valuable minutes to respond to an emerging situation. At best, features like these will deter an unauthorized entry attempt altogether.

Choosing Secure Steel Exterior Doors

For starters, steel doors outlast their wood counterparts by at least 10 years. They’re much better insulated and resistant to vandalism. They’re the best choice for exterior door needs.

Aside from intruders, there are other types of school emergencies to be aware of. The commercial steel doors come with an option of up to 3-hours of fire rating. The fire-rated steel doors control the spread of smoke and fire.

The doors go through a very diligent testing system, not only to test the materials against fire, but also the closing devices used. Anyone installing these metal doors must understand the need for fire resistance and properly assemble and install the metal doors, to ensure that they meet the required criteria for local fire codes.

CDF Distributors has developed a series of durable and affordable commercial doors. All doors go through vigorous testing, meeting the industry standard approval of the Underwriters Laboratories (UL), National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), American National Standards Institute (ANSI), and American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM).

For schedule convenience, CDF Distributors provides fast delivery. The FEDEX freight delivery works as a one streamlined network. FEDEX is regarded as the best international option for flexibility, reliability and cost-effectiveness. Local steel door deliveries extend to several other metro U.S. cities including ChicagoLos AngelesMiamiNashvilleSeattle, and New York.

Create Quality Acoustics With Sound Control Doors

The need for soundproofing has been gaining popularity for many commercial and residential purposes. Unfortunately, doors will always be weak links for specific acoustical needs. Instead of spending thousands of dollars on acoustically sound rated doors, you can produce your own high quality sound proof for a fraction of the price.

In most cases you only need a few tools to ensure maximum soundproofing results. Some common DIY products include drywall or fiberboard, green glue, soundproofing rubber, acoustic caulk, a door gasket and an automatic door bottom. When considering your soundproofing needs, keep three things in mind:

There are several simple and cheap methods to soundproof your doors. This would also work well for any relevant windows in the areas of desired noise proofing. If you’re working with a hollow interior wood door, sound will pass through quite easily. You may consider using a much thicker, such as a solid exterior door.

THE VARIOUS NEEDS FOR SOUND CONTROL

There are numerous reasons why acoustical control may be needed. Military, education and office environments are just a few scenarios that would require high acoustical performance. With great sound control, participants will enjoy more security, privacy and focus.

Hospital patients’ physiological health may be impacted by poor acoustical conditions. The improved conditions will help give patients and their families a deeper sense of privacy, comfort, safety and security.

Musicians are another core group that will often require quality sound proof environments. When practicing in practice rooms, band rooms, or home studios, the sound quality can hugely impact their rehearsal and focus abilities.

INSTALLING A SOUNDPROOFING DOOR SWEEP

Regardless of your current scenario, there are excellent door bottom gap sealers to cheaply soundproof. Whether you’re working on a hotel, motel, apartment building, office space or education environment, quality acoustics starts with action steps.

Before installing anything, you’ll want to make sure the door is thoroughly fitted to the frame. Inspect for any gaps or crevices that sound could pass through. Most sound proofing door sweeps will have a rubber loop carefully cut to the width of your door. For this reason, it’s important to have accurate door measurements on hand.

After ensuring you have the correct sizing, screw in the door sweep to mount it. If using a commercial metal or steel door, you’ll need to drill pilot holes first. For wood doors, mount with glue as well as the screws to avoid splitting wood. Painting over to match the doors’ finish is always a nice touch.

For additional quality control, consider purchasing a super soundproofing mat. You could use caulk and lead tape to replace molding and fill in any additional gaps. This is always better than expandable foam for thermal insulation needs. Incidentally, the foam is even worse than an airgap for sound control needs.

ADDITIONAL ENVIRONMENT PROTECTION DOOR INSTALLMENTS

If you’re looking at soundproofing your doors, you may also wish to weather proof your doors. This is a huge step in energy bill savings, especially during the chilly winter months. Much like soundproofing, you’ll want to identify the trouble spots and seal off the leakages. You’ll find many DIY supplies at your local home improvement depot store.

3 Thrilling Construction Uses For Immersive Reality

The use of immersive reality technology has exploded throughout 2016. Well-known corporations are placing huge investments in its development. ABI Research experts predict it will balloon into a $100-billion-dollar industry by 2020.

The exciting technology can be broken down into three distinct categories: Mixed Reality (MR), Augmented Reality (AR), and Virtual Reality (VR). The Microsoft’s HoloLens is a great, recent example of mixed reality, which is a split combination of reality and the virtual world. Augmented reality uses “markers” to add pieces of virtual information within the known world. And then there’s virtual reality which fully immerses users into an alternate world.

Whether you’re creating safer training scenarios, developing project blueprints, working out technical issues or showing off a completed project, immersive technologies will take construction to a new level of efficiency and effectiveness. Though immersive devices are still very early in commercial development stages, experts and industry leaders are grasping on. Because when you can change the way you see the world, you can change the world you see.

MIXED REALITY HEADSET RELEASED                               

Perhaps one of the most exciting, user-friendly pieces talked about this year has just been released. Microsoft has been working all year to produce the HoloLens headset, which noticeably resembles a StarTrek device. This wireless headset hit the market just in time for 2016 Christmas gifts. Though with a $3,000 price tag, only a privileged few will find one wrapped beneath the tree.

The headset resembles two rings of a 3D solar system, which unfold in concentric circles. The first, inner circle rests around your head and uses a bicycle-helmet-style ratcheting dial to tighten it securely. The front sticks to your forehead, and the back rests below the backside of your skull.

Users interact with their environment by making specific changes with their index finger. Journalists with early-release experiences noted some user inconvenience due to the precise index finger movement and overall headset discomfort. But at the end of the day, it lets you add the virtual world to your current reality, completely transforming the world you see. Comfortable or not, that’s pretty amazing.

AUGMENTED REALITY GLASSES DEVELOPED

Using “markers” AR glasses allow users to note ultra-specific adjustments in real time and space. Participants add pieces of virtual information to the known environment. Google glass has already begun providing AR glasses for military uses. But the goal is to branch out into enterprise customers within the year.

DAQRI, a California-based company, has a mission to create the most powerful AR platform humanly possible. They made a huge push forward with their smart helmet, which has great construction project application. It can accurately be described as a visionary tool for the 21st century worker.

Using AR glasses, field workers can find enhanced solutions. Entire repair manuals can be displayed before their eyes during technical difficulties. DAQRI’s smart helmet greatly improve efficiency with an enhanced degree of situational awareness. The glasses could easily be used in construction helmets, opening up the next level of project possibilities.

VIRTUAL REALITY BETA-TESTING STARTED

Completely surrounding and all-encompassing environments are possible with VR. Single-users can don a device which allows them to move within a virtual scene. Using kinesthesia and proprioception, the device can track the direction of motion distinct from the direction of eye gaze. While the range of view will vary according the device, participants will be able to turn around, look up and down and see a complete environment, known as virtual reality.

Several construction companies, such as PCL Construction Services and Sellen Construction, have begun beta-testing VR uses onsite using a new product from a Seattle startup called Context VR. It’s a mobile app that contractors can use for as-built records, remote walk-throughs, progress reports, estimating, safety training and facility management. By simply uploading engineering drawings or floor plans as PDF, app users can “walk through” the space, taking photos from a 360-degree camera.

This startup is just one example of the many ways VR can entirely shift the construction industry. Using VR can help construction workers discover new ways to envision projects. They can allow potential buyers and investors to explore first-hand the new environment without needing to be present in the exact location.

The Cave Automated Virtual Environment (CAVE) is another great virtual reality technique with direct application for construction. Firms such as the Boston-based Suffolk Construction have begun using this technique for immersive experiences through mid-construction project sites. This ability has greatly cut down on time and costs due to a reduced number of changes requested mid-project.

STAR TREK DAYDREAMS RAPIDLY EMERGE

If you grew up watching futuristic series such as the Star Wars or Star Trek phenomenon, then the emerging immersive technology will seem familiar. We are entering a whole new phase of possibilities with our technological advances.

At this point, it’s more about the price range and its wide-spread availability. Companies such as Facebook, Google and Microsoft are constantly exploring new ways to fully utilize immersive reality. Emerging headsets, interactive hand controllers and movement sensors will revolutionize the entire construction process.

Developing construction firms should take note. Not only could safety be significantly improved through enhanced off-site training scenarios, but also the production and display of projects can be stream-lined. Designers, contractors and contractors will be able to make better decisions, earlier on. While there’s a high ticket price, VR, AR, and MR are here to stay.