Assessment of the Virtual Building Concept as A New Approach: : (A Case Study of Leading Design Firms in Saudi Arabia)


Dr. Nader Abdulhadi

Assistant Professor

College of Architecture & Planning

King Faisal University

The “Virtual Building” is a promising notion that is deemed to

Change current design methodologies. A new design

methodology that utilizes virtual buildings as building blocks is

advocated. The perceptions of design practitioners are obtained

by means of structured interviews. The findings indicate that

although practitioners are eager to the concept, they are

concerned about barriers such as affordability, availability of

qualified operators, availability of software that covers all the

needs by itself, technological limitations, cultural aspects, public

awareness, practicality of such idea, educational factor, and

resistance to change.

Participants agreed that the design community, clients, and the

construction industry as a whole would reap various benefits

from implementing the proposed methodology. Seventy percent

(70%) of the respondents strongly agree that the methodology

will support the overall design process and 100% at least agree

that this is true. Shortening the design cycle time, and reducing

corrections/rework come next. Provide more time for design

ranks fourth; while reducing conflicts, and strengthening the

relationship between client and office occupies the fifth rank.

The seventh is enabling architects to simulate the building over

its life. Reducing the design cost ranks eighth, while

increasing client’ involvement and satisfaction rank ninth and


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