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Virtual Walkthroughs: A new tool for construction managers and their clients.

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Virtual Walkthroughs: A new tool for construction managers and their clients.


When building something like a hotel or resort, you want to be sure the room layout and aesthetics are exactly how you want them.  When building multiple identical units, precision is key.

Most major hotel and resort chains have pre-designed and approved ‘mock-up’ units that they implement in their new buildings. However, many independent organizations do not have these on hand and need a way to see a finished room before production can begin.

Building mock-up units accomplishes many goals. “The client gets a chance to see color schemes and how different pieces of furniture, fixtures and equipment will look in the room,” said Senior Project Manager Patrick Barbier. “It also gives us and the design team a chance to do a constructability review, making sure any potential issue is fixed before going into mass production.”

Building mock-up units during the preconstruction phase also helps to solidify the costs and allows W. M. Jordan and our trade partners to place material orders well in advance of when they will be needed.

Before WMJ begins construction in 2021 on UVA’s Inn at Darden project, room design and layout needed to be approved by the client.  WMJ built two different mock-up rooms in rented warehouse space in Charlottesville, VA. To facilitate a virtual ‘walkthrough’, every aspect of the unit was filmed and sent to the client and design partners, allowing everyone to see the mock-up without being there in person. A Matterport click through tour was also included for our clients to simulate walking through the rooms as well as the halls of the future hotel.

There are multiple benefits of a ‘virtual walkthrough.’ In this current environment it allows our teams to view the unit while maintaining social distancing guidelines. Additionally, many members of the design team are spread throughout the country (offices in Maryland, Texas, Georgia and all over Virginia). They could view the mock-up units without the expense and time of traveling to and from Charlottesville.

W. M. Jordan’s experience working on hotel and resort projects has shown that when decisions on things like room design, layout and finishes can be made in advance, there is more time to focus on other amenities of the project like lobbies, restaurants and bars. This allows for a faster ‘speed to market’; getting our clients businesses up and running more quickly.

As virtual meetings become the new normal, virtual walkthroughs have also proven to have a place in the world of construction.