siteLab® by Aurecon

  • 2020

  • Digital
    Apps and Software

Designed By:

  • Dave Mackenzie
  • Michael Gardiner

Commissioned By:


Unsigned Studio

Designed In:


siteLab® is an incredibly powerful, interactive software tool that acts as a “digital canvas” for non-engineers and lay people to visualise, experience, and interact with all engineering elements of a rich built environment or infrastructure design, in a single model, which is lifelike and photo realistic.

  • MORE
  • When buildings or infrastructure are designed, engineers traditionally use sophisticated engineering software programs to help them undertake the calculations necessary to size the various elements of the building. The engineering systems that go into a building include items such as beams, columns, ductwork, pipework, cabling, valves, pumps, switchboards, and myriad other systems. Each one of these systems has to be calculated and sized to suit the specific requirements of each building. The engineering programs used to undertake the calculations do not allow a lay person to visualise the engineering systems that will go into the building.

  • Engineers are familiar with their software and their own language, however, clients and users of buildings or infrastructure are not trained in reading, understanding, or interpreting engineering plans. Further, specific engineering disciplines work with their own software. Developed by project engineers, software development and visualisation experts, siteLab® delivers something that has previously not existed - a platform that integrates all engineering software systems into a single integrated model, which enables clients to see and experience, in virtual reality, all the elements of a building or infrastructure design.

  • siteLab® was created to allow non-engineers and lay people to visualise all engineering elements of an engineering design, to be seen in real time, and in a single model that is lifelike. As it does not require special software to run, it means users can load an executable file on to their computer or mobile device and immediately navigate their way through a building or infrastructure site. This allows for greater collaboration between engineers, the client, and end-users, which helps identify design challenges early, allows design changes to be made quickly and prior to construction, thus reducing risk.

  • siteLab® accommodates additional features and functionality to be added in to the virtual model. As an example, a steering wheel was added into a model developed for the Christchurch bus terminal, to enable bus drivers to ‘drive’ a virtual bus around the terminal long before the facility was physically constructed. This allowed drivers to experience turning circles for virtual buses of different dimensions and uncover blind spots or any other problem points, which could then be ironed out with the designers before the terminal was built. siteLab® allowed facilities managers to “see” into plant rooms and access points to satisfy themselves that sufficient access was available for maintenance and replacement of equipment. It enabled facility manager users of the facility to contribute valuable expertise to improving the design, before it was built, into something that was maintainable and safe. siteLab® has also been used to create safety videos of a building and a construction site, allowing staff to visualise the facility before being built, to experience and see any hazards that might exist, and run training and familiarisation programs to enhance the induction of facility users.