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The product

Working alongside ISG as the main contractor, this particular installation is a pretty impressive one. The cylinder provides an immersive, collaborative space for visualising a range of data including site mapping data, geological information, concept designs, interactive VR walkthroughs and 3D laser scan data in one immersive workspace.

It’s the first university installation in the UK to benefit from gesture-control enabled through Kinect sensors, and the first to use our Remote Site Visit setup. This particular tool allows for 360° livestreaming into the cylinder, meaning that team members out in the field can provide a wraparound livestream to others inside the cylinder.

Other functions include integrations with industry-standard tools such as Unity Reflect, Revit, Navisworks, Esri, plus tools for accessing platforms such as Matterport in full 360°. Integrating the Igloo into the NBI has been key from the start, with visualisations built in Unity aiding the design process. Powered by our Igloo Elite software package, the Igloo offers plenty of functionality for students, staff, and local businesses alike.

The result

It was super important to the University to offer its students technology that is already being used in industry – and with the Igloo, alongside its other facilities, the University has the tools it needs to prepare graduates for a future of work in the construction industry.

The Igloo offers a space for external clients and students alike to collaborate, not just with team members physically on site, but remote members too, thanks to the Igloo’s video conferencing capabilities.

Going forward

With inhouse Unity and Unreal content creation capabilities, the University is well-placed to take full advantage of the Igloo’s capabilities, even outside of the School of Architecture and Built Environment. For example, there are ideas around how the Igloo can be used for facilities management by the University staff themselves. And there are already plenty of plans to make the Igloo’s capabilities available to businesses in the construction industry.


“The Igloo visualisation centre is a tremendous asset to the NBI and will be central to the support offered to business.”

Paul Davies, Knowledge Transfer Manager, School of Architecture and Built Environment

“The cutting-edge facilities provide businesses with methods to test out new working practices and we are then able to mirror these, integrating them into our courses ensuring that our graduates are at the cutting edge ready to take up positions as the next generation of Built Environment professionals.”

Dr David Heesom, Reader in Building Information Modelling, School of Architecture and Built Environment