Overview of the Guide

The Interactive Workspace Guide is an online resource for identifying the use of interactive workspaces.  This section focuses on providing an overview of the different attributes of interactive workspaces, along with summarizing how they can help a team improve their performance.  It also summarizes where you can find a workspace or potentially develop your own space.

WHAT IS AN INTERACTIVE WORKSPACE?

An Interactive Workspace is a team meeting room that has been augmented with technology to enable visualization, interaction with digital information, and team collaboration for enhanced decision-making. Interactive Workspaces come in many different shapes and sizes.  An Interactive Workspace can range from a simple multiple screen display in a jobsite trailer to a large scale, multi-screen display environment used to view and interact with 3D models.

WHY SHOULD I USE AN INTERACTIVE WORKSPACE?

Interactive Workspaces enable improved team performance within collaborative work sessions. The research performed for the development of this guide has shown significant value of leveraging Interactive Workspaces in meetings to enhance team communication, while supporting the design and design review activities performed by a team.


The architectural, engineering and construction industry is rapidly changing in terms of visualization, problem solving and collaboration. At this point in time, building information modeling, related collaboration software and integrated project delivery methods are commonplace project endeavors. While these tools and methods may define the industry, the ability to be in touch with them can only take place in interactive workspaces through collaborative team integration and face-to-face communication.


As the industry sees projects becoming increasingly complex, early integration of team members means delivering a higher performing building that is on budget and on time. Interactive workspaces enable early team integration where architects, engineers, builders and even facility managers can work side by side to enable success for the lifetime of a project. In this manner, the goals of individual stakeholders break down so that the entire team develops a greater understanding for shared project goals. Team members then begin to make decisions for the long-term benefit of the entire project rather than the immediate benefits to a single company. With this approach an interactive environment allows the most innovative practices between project stakeholders to surface, especially crucial in complex hospital, data center, or sustainable goal related projects.


By using an interactive workspace, communication becomes effortless as key decisions are made. This results in compressed schedules and early, effective understanding between team members. In complex projects with increased specialization, the vast majority of RFI’s proposed can take extensive periods of time to receive clarification. In an interactive workspace, stakeholders can ask questions and receive answers instantaneously. Fewer RFI’s means a shorter schedule timeframe. With personal interaction and collaborative visualization of project models or drawings, key issues and misunderstandings can be confronted and resolved in a matter of seconds to minutes. 


The benefits of an interactive workspace do not focus on one sector of the AEC industry or one project phase within a building. The abilities including effective building model visualization and better understanding of technical issues can be applied from design to facility management professionals and phases.

HOW CAN I USE AN INTERACTIVE WORKSPACE?

Interactive Workspace can improve planning and design tasks when collaborative teams are generating new information on a project.  The workspaces can also significantly improve review activities by using full scale 3D walkthroughs of virtual models, or by aiding analysis, leveraging the large screens and simultaneous display of different sources of information.


The use cases are broken down into three major categories: Collaborative Design (including planning and design activities), Collaborative Review (including visualizing and analyzing design information), and Education & Training. A detailed list of categories of using an Interactive Workspace are given in this guide, but the specific uses deployed in a given setting may include multiple categories of uses, thus it is important to develop both a workshop and the types of uses needed for that workshop setting.


In addition, over the lifecycle of a project's development, a given use case can be leveraged for iterative review sessions, each with discrete or multiple features of the Interactive Workspace. Throughout the design process, more detailed information may need to be developed to target a specific use case (e.g. Maintenance Facility Management Review) as a second or third meeting occur.

 HOW DO I FIND AN INTERACTIVE WORKSPACE?

Many different workspace environments exist.  Some are very simple.  Others are quite comprehensive and complex.  We have compiled a database of some of the more comprehensive Interactive Workspaces to illustrate the scale and scope of environments.  You can search through this database to see what types of displays may be in your area, or reach out to the project team to discuss your interests.

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