Towards Immersive Virtual Environments using 360 Cameras for Human Building Interaction Studies

TR Number



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title


Virginia Tech


Virtual Reality has been growing in popularity and demand as technology has been substantially improved and become more readily available to the general public in the recent years. Similarly, the Architecture, Engineering and Construction industries have benefited from these advances and extensive research has been performed to adopt and streamline its utilization. An example of this adoption has been the use of Immersive Virtual Environments (IVE) as a representation of the built environment for different purposes such as building design and occupant behavior studies in the post construction stage – i.e., Human Building Interaction.

This research has investigated a workflow for different alternatives of reality-capturing-based technologies that have been tested to generate a more realistic representation of the built environment regarding HBI. One of these alternatives considered was 360-image based IVEs. This alternative in particular was tested and compared by the means of a preliminary user study in order to evaluate whether it is an adequate representation of the built environment regarding HBI, and how it is compared to commonly used benchmarked Graphical based IVEs. Ultimately, participants of this user study reported a strong feeling of immersion and presence in the 360-image based IVE and showed a better performance in cognitive tasks such as reading speed and comprehension. In contrast, participants showed a better performance in object identification and finding in the Graphical based IVE. The results of our preliminary user study indicate that 360-image based IVEs could potentially be an adequate representation in the study of Human Building Interaction based on these metrics. Further research with a larger sample size should be done in performed in order to generalize any findings.



Human-Building Interaction, Virtual Reality, 360 Camera, 360 Panorama, Immersive Virtual Environment