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Drivers and barriers of virtual reality adoption in UK AEC industry

Abdulmalik Abubakar Badamasi (School of Built Environment, Faculty of Science Engineering and Environment, University of Salford, Salford, UK)
Komal Raj Aryal (Faculty of Resilience, Rabdan Academy, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates)
Usman Umar Makarfi (Department of Architecture, Kaduna State University, Kaduna, Nigeria) (School of Built Environment, Faculty of Science Engineering and Environment, University of Salford, Salford, UK)
Mansir Dodo (Department of Building, Faculty of Environmental Design, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria)

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management

ISSN: 0969-9988

Article publication date: 29 April 2021

Issue publication date: 24 March 2022




Virtual reality (VR) offers unique features of a three-dimensional (3D) model during early design stages in the virtual environment with immersive functions. Although the potential of VR is to increase the effectiveness and productivity of the project phases from initial concept design to detailed design preparation. VR adoption in the United Kingdom (UK) Architectural Engineering and Construction (AEC) sector is slow compared to other sectors. This research focuses on ascertaining the drivers and barriers of VR in construction projects in the UK.


The study adopts an online survey design. It uses Bristol Online Survey (BOS) to create a structured questionnaire that is used to assess UK construction professionals using a convenience sampling technique. Therefore, researcher uses descriptive and inferential technique for data analysis and presentation based on Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) to analyze the questionnaire.


The research findings revealed the most significant barriers to VR adoption in UK construction industry were lack of skills/expertise and cultural change. Hence, the main drivers of VR adoption as rated by the professionals in the UK construction industry are improved safety, improved quality and improved productivity.

Practical implications

The identification and assessment of the drivers and barriers to VR adoption could advance VR adoption among construction professionals and other stakeholders of the UK AEC sector. This could also be extended to developing countries, given the status of VR as being in the developing stage.


This study provides valuable insights to construction professionals and stakeholders to plan actions that could enhance the drivers and mitigate the barriers of VR. This study's main contribution is to group and classify various drivers and barriers into easily understood categories, in order to potentiate the drivers and reduce the barriers effectively. The groupings could be used as benchmarks in similar studies in developing countries.



Badamasi, A.A., Aryal, K.R., Makarfi, U.U. and Dodo, M. (2022), "Drivers and barriers of virtual reality adoption in UK AEC industry", Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, Vol. 29 No. 3, pp. 1307-1318.



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