Drivers and barriers of virtual reality adoption in UK AEC industry

Abdulmalik Abubakar Badamasi*, Komal Raj Aryal, Usman Umar Makarfi, Mansir Dodo

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: 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. Design/methodology/approach: 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. Findings: 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. Originality/value: 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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1307-1318
Number of pages12
JournalEngineering, Construction and Architectural Management
Issue number3
Early online date29 Apr 2021
Publication statusPublished - 24 Mar 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, Emerald Publishing Limited.


  • AEC industry
  • Barriers
  • Drivers
  • United Kingdom
  • Virtual reality adoption


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