Based in Poland, SIMLAB is a technology company that specializes in the digitization of buildings throughout the design and construction phases, and develops software toolkits for architecture, engineering, and construction teams to communicate more efficiently and effectively at every project stage. Using the Matterport cloud-based platform, the company creates products and features that integrate Matterport digital twins with Building Information Modeling (BIM) and Smart Home IoT technologies.
Partnering on Next-Generation Visual Documentation and Project Tracking
When a space is captured with a Matterport Pro2 camera, the Matterport platform turns it into a dimensionally-accurate digital twin composed of billions of 3D data points. SIMLAB integrates the data from sensors installed in that building to create intelligent models of factories, hospitals, hotels, and residential buildings. This enables project stakeholders to better track and view different points in time throughout the architectural design stage as well as inspect construction sites without traveling.
Matterport is an absolute game-changer because it brought digitization to the global construction industry,” says Marek Kozlak, Founder & CEO at SIMLAB. “We’re excited to collaborate as a Matterport Platform Partner on the next stages of this evolution, using digital twins as a powerful foundation for making data more interactive and responsive to a customer’s daily needs.”
Providing Seamless, Real-Time Updates
The SIMLAB and Matterport union is already having a global impact. One joint project is a large-scale hospital modernization in Tokyo that involves capturing digital twins of each floor every month.
After adding IoT sensors to the hospital, project team members can input data from those sensors into the Matterport digital twins to get real-time daily updates on the project site without needing to capture more scans. With a construction management platform like SIMLAB Stages, digital twins can be overlayed with BIM and engineering data to let hospital leadership view specific points before, during, and after the renovation without traveling to the site.
Nohara Holdings, one of Japan’s most respected construction resource specialists, and Misawa, one of the country’s top construction companies, used SIMLAB Stages and Matterport digital twins on a recent project to build model houses. Travel time to the sites was cut by 50 percent.
“SIMLAB Stages is a powerful tool to monitor construction progress over time,” says Stephanie Bay, BIM Construction Manager at Nohara Holdings Inc.. “Documentation in 3D provides important visuals from earlier construction stages, showing cables and studs, which are referenceable after applying finishes on the wall. It offers a fun user experience that satisfied the needs of our client, Misawa Home.”
Nohara Holdings chose Matterport and SIMLAB Stages to capture the interior construction phases of the Okubo Hospital in Tokyo, Japan. Matterport digital twins provided replicas of asset and material information, including ducts, pipes, and electrical wires, prior to finishing walls, ceilings, and floors. “The accessibility of asset information from digital twins significantly improved hospital management,” says Jun Inoue, Director of VDC Business Development Group at Nohara Holdings Inc. “When the Okubo Hospital management team viewed SIMLAB Stages of Matterport digital twins through construction phases, they requested that we utilize the platform next year through the planned construction of six additional floors.”
Creating a Living Timeline of Changes
Matterport 3D virtual walkthroughs are already popular ways for project owners to inspect a site without putting on their hardhats, but Stages has made it even faster and more efficient for a variety of stakeholders to share feedback and requests. In addition to being able to view the project at different points in time, SIMLAB has developed:
- Brushes to draw sketches in the 3D space, as well as corrections, recommendations, placement of furniture or objects in the space, mark characteristics or items that need to be fixed in the construction work.
- Notes that can be placed throughout the space and viewed at any time. Screenshots or audio messages can be added to notes or attached to a report.
- Reports that collect all the notes, voice notes, object photos, photos containing drawn notes, links, and more that can be exported into a PDF file.
The result is a living timeline of changes that project owners can visit days, weeks, or even years into the future. The digital twins are valuable not only for milestone documentation throughout the project, they’re also a resource that can help site owners with day-to-day management.
Eventually, SIMLAB and Matterport will offer a version of this solution to individual home and site owners — who don’t need to be fluent in design and engineering software — as they work with contractors on future renovations or additions.
Making Smart Home Installation Easier and Less Expensive
The depth of information that Matterport and SIMLAB provides has benefits beyond construction. Property owners are increasingly realizing the benefits of smart home automation technology to remotely monitor and control lighting, temperature, appliances, entertainment systems, and security systems. But installing professional-quality smart home sensors is costly.
SIMLAB is working with leading home automation providers, including KNX, to develop a scalable subscription service. Once a Matterport digital twin of a space is captured, property owners can embed their smart home sensors into them to create a multimedia digital command center available 24/7 through their computer, tablet or smartphone. Property owners can include information about facility assets within the digital replica and set a time schedule for upcoming maintenance.
The interactive documentation process of Matterport digital twins and SIMLAB Stages also makes it easier to integrate smart home technology into early stages of building or renovation. As team members work with the digital twins, they can add mark-ups indicating placements for home automation sensors, such as the areas where washing machines or air conditioners might go.
Nohara Holdings used Matterport and SIMLAB’s Smart Home Solution to provide one of Japan’s leading home construction companies with a smart-home dashboard, providing 3D visualization of home information, including product catalogs, warranties, and the maintenance-related information. “Homeowners receive an iPad to access the dashboard overlaid on a Matterport digital twin of the home,” says Inoue. “SIMLAB Smart Home makes it easy for owners to access asset information and controls to configure IoT devices that connect sensors or appliances into one dashboard. Japan has one of the oldest populations in the world, and the integration of smart sensors and devices within the home enhances the safety environment for a super aging population that desires independence with a high quality of life.”
“Our shared vision is to create products and services that digitally transform the design, engineering, construction and management of spaces,” says Kozlak. “The combined strengths of Matterport and SIMLAB give our clients and their customers the robust documentation they need to take control of the entire project lifecycle anytime, anywhere.”
SIMLAB is a Matterport Platform Partner that leverages Matterport’s APIs and SDKs to build and commercialize their apps and integrations with Matterport’s market-leading spatial data platform. As a Platform Partner, they gain access to a range of commercial benefits, such as Matterport’s distribution network and enhanced support as well as co-marketing and co-selling programs to help them successfully monetize their applications. To learn more about the Platform Partner Program and apply to join, visit https://matterport.com/platform-partner-program.
SIMLAB is a technology company that focuses on facility digitalization and developing software toolkits for AEC industry (Architecture Engineering Construction).
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