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THE CUTTING EDGE

Virtually Home

September 23, 1996|JENNIFER OLDHAM

Builders aiming to save money and provide the customer with more than cookie-cutter tract housing, are turning to software that creates virtual model homes. The software allows home buyers to explore 3-D floor plans. By choosing options offered by contractors on a touch-screen monitor, users can customize a floor plan to meet their needs. Here's how it works:

1. From a main menu, the user chooses among virtual models offered by the home builder by selecting the floor plan icon under the model's name.

2. Of the three floor plans offered at Windsor Park, this home buyer chose the 1.734-square-foot Stratford.

3. The tool bar in the left-hand corner of the floor plan gives the buyer options for modifying the plan. The icon with the picture of a home shows the exterior view of this model.

4. The camera icon, above, turns on a series of four buttons in each corner of the individual rooms on the floor plan. By clicking on a button in the lower left-hand corner of the living room, the buyer gets this view of the living room and kitchen.

5. Arrow buttons allow the viewer to travel to the left or right, changing his or her perspective of the room. The hammer-and-saw icon provides the user with a list of options for changing the room.

6. For instance, to transform the bedroom next to the kitchen into a dining room, the buyer would choose this option from the list. He or she can also choose to see the room furnished.

7. Other icons allow the viewer to return to the floor plan, to go upstairs or down, or to print out a plan copy. The Exit icon returns the user to the models menu.

Source: Steve Ormande, Ormande Presentations

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