Applying Video Game Technology to Architecture – An On-Demand, First-Person Design Process

We helped our client save $25,000 in post-production marketing content and shortened the schedule by two weeks with the help of video game engines and uploading to the Mancini:Link app.

The Intro

Verizon was on a fast-paced deadline to build out three floors in an office building for one of their largest working groups. Mancini was up to the task, but knew that in order for a quick production turnaround, some serious design had to be done. Typically, a design development process can take weeks, but time was of the essence, and we wanted to make sure our client could view lots of great options to choose from. To pull it off, we turned to the research and development team’s Design Lab and the technology it has to establish a new way of visualizing our work.

The Technology

Using a multitude of advanced design software, the team laid out design options for the client digitally, so that if changes needed to happen, it was only a click away. This process accelerated our workflow so that we could deliver without sacrificing quality.

We started with advanced video game technology calibrated to architectural production. All our BIM models containing drawings and specifications were linked directly to this software so that any updates, like lighting, materials, and accessories could be made in real-time. This workflow setup helped us issue updated renders and animation of the design progress weekly, allowing the client insight into our process so that everyone was on the same page.

With department heads and steering committee’s approval being vital to the project timeline moving forward, it was important that everyone be able to access information in the same format.  Most of the presentations were created for virtual reality, which not everyone has access to. Typically, virtual reality is a big investment – especially with the equipment, setup, time and many other factors. We didn’t want Verizon to have to make all these extra investments to show off the design, so our in-house developer created Mancini:Link, an app where the team could directly upload 360-degree render-spheres everyone with access to easily view and explore the new space on their own. Using a phone’s internal gyroscope, users could navigate the whole 3D model all at once, giving us the opportunity to get real-time feedback and informalizing the design process.

Mancini:Link was born as a new solution that offers our clients greater transparency, access and interaction with design at every level. For Verizon, it was a way to get instant opinions that informed the design of the space and accelerated the collaborative process.

The ROI

This project set a new precedent for fast-paced projects at Mancini that require highly customizable design integrations but can’t afford long, drawn-out timelines.  By using this on-demand production and design process, the design team was able to cut out two-weeks off a very tight schedule.  Our first-person renders and animations also provided instant content for presentations and other marketing material that sold the design to decision-makers and investors!  The savings of two-weeks combined with content generation of renders, animations and other materials saved over $25,000 during the schematic and design development stages.

Wrap Up

Now the 55,000 square foot office for Verizon’s Wireless Networking Group injects a fresh perspective into the brand’s corporate identity. Located in an Annapolis Junction, Maryland building, level one houses a conference center, training room and additional amenities with the upper floors containing the agile workplaces. At the entrance to each floor, large windows, plants and seating areas create a central “courtyard” that acts as a welcome zone for staff. From there, workstations, gathering rooms and support spaces radiate out, taking advantage of the natural light.