A first field test for augmented reality


On 12 April 2021, our augmented reality (AR) solution was tested for the first time in a real-life situation on the GeoMarne project in the suburbs of Paris, France. With construction company La Firminoise and our colleagues in France Thuy Pham and Vincent Prince from the Urban department and Vincent Doré and Thameur Mhiri from the IT department, this was an opportunity to discover the possibilities that augmented reality opens up on our building sites.


The tester: the GeoMarne project
The GeoMarne project is a geothermal urban heating network project, on which we are working as a project manager with ENGIE Solutions for the construction of the production plant and the heating network. The project entered the construction phase of the production plant at the end of 2020 and is now reaching the end of the structural work, an important stage before the arrival of the equipment.

This first augmented reality test had the dual objective of verifying the feasibility of the solution in real conditions (model setting, fluidity, autonomy, luminosity, etc.) and validating the accuracy of the structural work with the 3D model, superimposing reality on the model and thus seeing the discrepancies and anticipating the necessary corrections.

Accompanied by project managers Thuy Pham and Vincent Prince, a first visit took place in the power plant. Vincent Doré, AR and VR project manager in French Information Systems department, and Thameur Mhiri, Information Systems Director for France, first adjusted the glasses to "align" the model with reality. Once these adjustments were made, Thuy was able to put on the glasses and see if the building was as it should be in the model.

Following this first test, the site manager and the director of the construction company La Firminoise also put on the glasses. They were surprised and positively amazed by the result. Mr. Patrick Durant, the manager, confirmed that "This technology can be a real support on the building sites."

"This first test not only validated the feasibility of AR in real conditions, but also enabled us to identify non-conformities in the shell which could be analyzed and possibly corrected before the arrival of Technical Services: very promising for a first intervention!" confirmed Vincent Prince.


                                     Thuy Pham & Vincent Doré                                                                      Tractebel team with the site manager


The AR solution
In February 2021, Tractebel acquired two Microsoft HoloLens v2 headsets and NextBIM business software to easily display our BIM models onsite. Automatically aligned, it is then possible to determine discrepancies between reality and the model, make annotations and photos and easily share them with the teams upon return from the mission.

In conclusion
The AR solution completes our digital solution offer to accompany our clients from A to Z in their projects.

During the design phase, we can mobilize the virtual reality (VR) solution, and then during the construction phase, AR takes over to identify and measure any discrepancies onsite and remedy them as early as possible.

These solutions allow us to anticipate potential problems and to improve efficiency and technical quality, which will be appreciated by our clients, with a consequent reduction in planning risks and costs!