Construction is one of the most basic industries that has driven the development of society for centuries. However, as technology has progressed and become more diverse, many of the techniques used by construction workers have remained relatively static. Among the new and powerful tools available to the construction industry is Building Information Modeling (BIM). However, while BIM has revolutionized architectural design and construction planning, it has not had a profound impact on operations on the construction site. The Lynx team, consisting of three mechanical engineering students from Stanford University, and four computer science students from the Hasso Plattner Institute (HPI) at the University of Potsdam was originally charged with investigating how virtual reality might help to bring BIM to the construction site. However, after talking with people in the construction industry, conducting research and visiting construction sites , the team determined that the real problem on the construction site is not a lack of data, but rather a lack of communication.
Currently, the daily operations on construction sites do not function at an efficient level. When questions arise on a site, it requires the field workers to ask the superin- tendents in the trailer for additional information. These inquiries are usually solved by having the higher level management go out into the field with drawings and physically explaining what needs to be done. On large sites, this becomes a tremendous burden, as the superintendent needs to travel a lot. Ultimately, work is halted as a backlog of questions starts to pile up. Management in the trailer not only has to address questions from the field, but also has to monitor exactly what work is being performed in the field and who is performing the work. These problems beckon for a method to allow management in the planning trailer to answer the questions of those in the field and observe the work being done as needed. The Lynx system is a solution to these problems, which facilitates management and communication by allowing the superintendent to have multiple virtual presences in the field while also having immediate access to all project information at his computer, improving efficiency and accountability.