As new rendering technology grows more sophisticated, a leading senior care design firm has expanded to using virtual reality.

StudioSIX5’s employees started training in February to use VR to enhance its design process. To start, it will use VR in its own office renovations, with executives noting it will allow employees to virtually move through space.

“Using virtual reality with Revit and 3ds Max is going to give us several advantages,” said Chan Geltemeyer, architectural production designer at StudioSIX5. “Virtual reality will allow us to immerse ourselves in the commons areas, residences and other community spaces we design. 

We will have the capability to virtually move around the space to see and feel how things will work before creating them in real life. We will address small nuances, mark up models with proposed finishes and change aspects of design with ease.”

StudioSIX5 said it wants to share VR with clients starting early next year. The hope is it will allow the design review process to become more immersive, especially when more inexperienced providers have challenges visualizing the space’s look and feel. 

It also will allow the client to adjust to see perspective renderings from the viewpoint of a long-term care resident.

“Another unique feature of VR is the ability to adjust the viewpoint — for example, demonstrating the viewpoint from the height of someone sitting in a wheelchair,” Geltemeyer said. 

“The technology will help us take our designs one step above best practices for bar and counter heights by showing us views from different perspectives.”

StudioSIX5 is based in central Texas and focuses on interior design in the senior living sector.