Mechanisms and Progression of a Building Collapse

This is the third educational Augmented Reality application we developed, this time for Building Construction (FSE 201) course at EKU. Professor Andrew Tinsley wanted to be able to graphically demonstrate the mechanisms and progression of a building collapse. This is a fundamental and powerful concept within the class and has been incredibly difficult to explain without the use of some sort of drawing software. As you can see in the video and figures 1 and 2, the 3d model adds a lot of functionality to the explanation.

To create this model, we used Google Sketchup (professional version). It took us about 1-2 hours to create an initial model and additional 2 hours to finely tune it according to professor Tinsley’s specifications. Once complete, the model was exported as .3DS file. You can download the .3DS file along with the scene, pattern and PDF pattern file at the end of this example.

Figure 1. Model of a building depicting load distribution

Figure 2. Model of a building depicting joist failure and floor collapse

To set up the AR scene, we loaded the pattern and the model into the BuildAR software and maximized the scene to a full window (1900×1200). This way the presenter could use the monitor for reference while handling the AR marker. For this recording (and all of our other recordings), we used Logitech Webcam Pro 9000 which is capable of 720p HD video. To capture/record this video, we used FRAPS, and for audio we used Sony lavaliere microphone. Audio footage was recorded separately from the video footage, and was later re-synced during the post-production. Once the lesson was recorded, we used Premiere CS5 to produce the footage, encode it and prepare it for delivery in professor Tinsley’s class.

Download Mechanisms and Progression of a Building Collapse files. Follow the instructions inside of the zipped file to run this simulation on your PC. We posted a brief instructional video on how to open up a scene on YouTube:

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