Featuring  Matt Hoff of Mortenson Construction

How a leading commercial builder is employing the latest BIM and augmented reality technology for 3D building visualizations on construction projects.




Tell us about yourself.

I originally started with Mortenson as a surveyor seven years ago.  After taking BIM courses at the local community college, I was able to transition into a BIM role within their Virtual Design & Construction department. I am now the Integrated Construction Coordinator within that department.


Tell us about your company.

Mortenson Construction originated in Minneapolis, MN in the 1950/60’s.  Through superior service, innovation & stewardship, Mortenson has grown to a multi-billion dollar company with operating groups all over the United States.


What were your first experiences with BIM and Augmented Reality technologies?

My first experience with BIM was creating virtual mockups of complicated architectural details. With augmented reality, my first experience was trying out the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset.


How did you hear about SmartReality and when?

A Mortenson employee from another operating group sat in on a presentation of SmartReality by James Benham at a conference last year. He then posted a video of that mobile app demonstration to our internal communication board.


What has been your involvement in getting SmartReality and other BIM initiatives implemented within your company?

I contributed three models during SmartReality’s beta testing process that helped work out kinks and shape development of the current product. In the process, these models have also helped me show my company affordable ways to get AR and project visualizations into the hands of a tremendous amount of people.


What are your favorite features of the mobile app?

I love how easily and quickly SmartReality allows you to transition between models and projects within the app.


Which employees do you see using the SmartReality app within your company?

BIM personnel, business development and marketing employees can all benefit from using SmartReality’s augmented reality technology on a regular basis.


Describe a past project in which SmartReality could have been a game changer.

At Colorado University at Boulder, we are adding on to the existing football stadium and building new facilities adjacent. As the design process is slow, SmartReality could easily have been used to help the owner/architect get a better feel of spatial recognition of the intended product well in advance of construction beginning. We hope to utilize SmartReality in similar scenarios in the future.


What other innovative BIM technology is your company researching?

We are currently working with various companies to streamline 3D control and layout from Revit by way of traditional layout methods or with a robotic total station. We are also heavily involved with laser scan technology research and development. We constantly find ways to implement it in our BIM coordination process.


Over the next decade, in what ways do you hope to see augmented reality technology evolve, particularly in construction?

I really like what I have seen from SmartReality using the Leap Motion controller to manipulate augmented reality visualizations with manual gestures. In the future, I hope to see human interaction with AR and VR taken to the next level!