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Code Explorer

Immersive Empathetic VR Training Tool


There is a disconnect between those who understand building codes and the impact of universal design, and those who are actually drawing and detailing bathrooms. We have created a VR tool that allows junior staff to explore codes in an immersive and interactive manner. The immersive nature creates an empathetic understanding of the physical implications those codes have on the feel and functionality from multiple perspectives, including as a child and using a wheelchair.

Project Architect /

Shepley Bulfinch

Type / 

Interactive VR model

Medium / 

Revit, Unreal Engine


Year / 


VR developer / 

Jess Purcell

The goals of the project are:

  1. Create an empathetic experience in which healthcare designers understand the impact of design choices for all users

  2. Help junior health care staff understand how to correctly document a bathroom

  3. Educate designers on the differences between the typical codes we encounter in a healthcare setting

There are three bathrooms identical in layout where the user can explore, compare, and test their knowledge.

A central lobby space orients the user to the three rooms, displays the project goals, and houses the silhouetted people menu for changing between user experiences

Click and drag to look around

Main Lobby Space

Allowing our designers to explore dimensions in 3 dimensions leads to stronger understanding of the purpose of those dimensions. Rolling up to an incorrectly placed sink is very obvious, because you can not reach it. Codes are lists of what to do, but VR can show you why.

Explore contains an almost complete set of ADA dimensions. Selecting objects in the room will turn off and on dimensions related to that object, or set of objects.

Explore in 360

Compare shows the user the critical differences between ADA and various state code ammendments

Compare in 360

Test challenges the user to identify 5 wrong dimensions from a smaller subset of dimensions. Non-compliant dimensions turn red showing the correct dimension and location of the object. Toggling back and forth makes it easier to see the difference.

Test in 360

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