Should your design ideas always be conveyed through photorealistic renders?
Renders are a great way of portraying the aesthetic design of a building/structure. They give the closest illustration of how the design would look materialized. This is most useful for the stakeholders and users of the project. However, for contractors who are mostly concerned with their tasks and phase of the project, they would most benefit from a simplistic and clear design that has all the essential details and annotations of the project, without the need for detail in the aesthetic conceptual design of the entire project. Moreover, in the early phases of the project when ideas are being brainstormed and explored, it would not be time savvy to spend substantial amounts of time and effort in creating photorealistic designs. Thus, it depends on the situation and purpose of the portrayal of the design.
Name some applications where viewing the building and model information in virtual reality or augmented reality would be most beneficial?
In large projects when many different groups and contractors collaborate, augmented, assisted, or virtual reality is beneficial during the collaborative processes. If they all have access to the virtual model and can see it as close to reality as possible and even in full size, they can go through the design plan and see how plumbing systems, structural elements, design elements, and HVAC systems, etc, all interact. In doing so, they can also ensure they don't conflict and follow regulations and design guidelines. By identifying these issues early on before construction, the project saves money and time.
How can schedule views be used to assist with procurement and model-based estimating?
Schedule views assist with both cost and timeline project management and planning. By having a layout of the type of materials, the quantity, and their timeline, the project design plan can quantify the material use and estimate the costs. It also allows the planning of the project timeline since quantifying the number of windows, walls, and other components of a building give a good idea of the potential length of the phases of the project.