Virtual reality utility and usefulness in the furniture, fixture and equipment sector: a validation of interactive and distributed immersion

Abhinesh Prabhakaran, Abdul Majeed Mahamadu, Lamine Mahdjoubi, Colin Booth, Clinton Aigbavboa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: The Furniture, Fixture and Equipment (FFE) sector is well placed to leverage virtual reality (VR) technology for competitive and operational advantages; however, the diffusion of VR applications in this sector has followed a steep curve. This study reports on the implementation of two novel VR applications in the FFE sector and also investigates the challenges and benefits associated with their use and adaptability. Design/methodology/approach: A sequential exploratory mixed research methodology consisting of three phases was adopted for this study. This included identification of factors that affect/facilitate the implementation of VR (Challenges and Benefits) using experiments during in-house prototyping of VR applications, a rigorous literature review and questionnaire survey to solicit FFE Stakeholder's (n = 117) opinion on the utility and usefulness of the proposed applications and to the understand factors that facilitate and inhibit their implementation in FFE's context, particularly as a design communication and coordination tool. Findings: The findings of this study revealed that distributed and single-user VR has become essential to digitalising the FFE sector's design communication with improved design communication being regarded as the most important benefit of its use. Conversely, the most critical challenge that inhibits the implementation of these two VR applications in the FFE sector is the perceived cost. Originality/value: This study provides valuable insight to FFE's stakeholders to devise action plans to mitigate myriad complex and interrelated factors that affect the adoption of virtual reality technology in the FFE sector that are otherwise very hard to understand, and the consequential implementation of any mitigation plans cannot be devised.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)787-819
Number of pages33
JournalSmart and Sustainable Built Environment
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 8 Jun 2023


  • Adoption
  • Benefits
  • Challenges
  • Construction
  • Equipment
  • Fixture
  • Furniture
  • Virtual reality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Architecture
  • Cultural Studies
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Building and Construction
  • Urban Studies


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