Introducing BVN REAL: Off-the-plan virtual reality house viewings are here

Introducing BVN REAL: Off-the-plan virtual reality house viewings are here
Introducing BVN REAL: Off-the-plan virtual reality house viewings are here

Imagine being able to explore your new apartment, move your furniture around, and change the entire design palette at the click of a button. Thanks to the innovative technology of Virtual Reality (VR) and the talented team behind BVN REAL, apartment floorplans are being brought to life, with several buyers already trialing the product.

The cutting-edge new VR production studio named BVN REAL is a subsidiary business of award-winning architectural design firm BVN and is led by creative director Barry Dineen and a team of highly skilled Game Developer Designers, 3D Visualisation Artists, VR Experience Developers, and Experience Designers. The product took four years to build and has already won the coveted 'Unreal Award' in 2018 (prior to the public launch) as well as receiving two other nominations in The AEC Excellence Awards.

“Right now, people need to interpret, imagine, and visualise their future home using architectural drawings, plans, and 3D renders of the space. With VR they can actually step into their future for themselves and feel what it is like to be there.

Our VR experiences give people the confidence to know that what they are seeing is exactly what they are going to get. It’s building trust and reducing the risk involved in one of the biggest purchases of buyers lives.”

Barry Dineen, Creative Director at BVN REAL 

BVN REAL creative director Barry Dineen humbly acknowledged that although previous iterations of the technology were not taken to immediately, perseverance and user research led the team to focus in on how people authentically engage with VR.

“The result is a powerfully immersive experience designed expressly for human interaction. A lot of developers and sales teams have dismissed VR because they tried a VR experience that was not designed with human behaviour at its core. When they try BVN REAL’s experiences there is an “ah-ha” moment where they see the true potential for VR for themselves.”

Introducing BVN REAL: Off-the-plan virtual reality house viewings are here
Users experiencing VR in the studio


  1. Users can instantly move between different apartment configurations and floorplans to compare options on offer
  2. Users have the ability to configure the space in real-time

    “Our experiences allow them to try out different materials and finishes options, change out furniture and fittings to their taste, or even strip it back to the empty shell so that they can get a better feeling for the space itself.”

    Barry Dineen, Creative Director at BVN REAL

  3. A realistic sunlight system enables users to experience the property at all times of the day
  4. All elements of the apartments virtually function the way they would in real life

    “A major goal of any VR experience is presence – feeling like you are actually in that place. When a user tries to turn on a tap and the tap does nothing, they are reminded that they are in a virtual environment.

    We want the technology to disappear so that they can truly appreciate the design of a space. At first adding running taps felt like a novelty but over time we have grown to realise the importance of reacting to people’s input.”

    Barry Dineen, Creative Director at BVN REAL

    1. BVN REAL experiences are often ‘multiplayer’ because people feel more relaxed and comfortable when sharing the virtual experience with another real person. Currently, an avatar is used to represent those in the VR simulation with you

      “Realistically not many people are buying apartments on their own so we are trying to replicate what would happen if the apartment already existed. People walk around together a discuss the features and amenities. What really amazes us in our VR experiences is how many important conversations happen in the bathroom - even when the VR is situated on the 83rd floor of Sydney’s highest residential building with amazing views over the city.”

      Barry Dineen, Creative Director at BVN REAL

      1. Sales agents can join in at any stage to answer any questions live from within the VR simulation


      In concurrence with Barry Dineen’s sentiment about VR giving buyers the ability to see a home before they buy it, BVN Co-CEO Neil Logan explains that it also helps provide more transparency and helps advocate for better built outcomes.

      “VR has radically changed the way we communicate design. What was once opaque to many is now transparent and easily digestible. It has facilitated better understanding of design intent and has provided the opportunity for better built outcomes.

      We are proud to make this service available to broader markets. In doing this we believe that we are contributing to the design of a better future”.

      BVN co-CEO Neil Logan

      Introducing BVN REAL: Off-the-plan virtual reality house viewings are here
      Penthouse apart VR


      A typical 3-bedroom apartment takes approximately 2 to 4 weeks to develop. Often architects will use BIM to build their designs in 3D, making it easier to prepare each design component for the gaming software used to create the virtual reality experience (BVN REAL use Unreal Engine from Epic Games).

      Designers will also supply the BVN REAL team with imagery of the fixtures, finishes, and furniture, which will be used to populate the VR design.


      Virtual Reality’s capabilities extend far beyond unbuilt architecture. Not only is BVN REAL exploring VR within our current reality, but also within purely virtual worlds that will never exist in our own. In the past, the team has created Makerspaces which allow school students to build and launch full-size rockets.

      Creative Director Barry has grand ideas for the future of BVN REAL, such as developing the world’s largest museum/gallery.

      “I really want to develop the worlds biggest museum/gallery as a virtual place that people can visit that allows us to do things and see things that we could never do or see in the real world – and it would be accessible to everyone.”

      Barry Dineen, Creative Director at BVN REAL

      We look forward to following the progress of BVN REAL’s exciting future developments with the VR architecture space.



      Olivia Round

      Olivia Round

      Olivia Round is the Features Editor of Olivia specialises in news reporting, in-depth editorial content and video + podcast interviews with industry experts.

      VR Virtual Reality Technology Design Future


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