The Immersive Environments Lab (IEL) offers a high-end large multimodal display for visualization and research through the use of commodity level technology. Using a kit-of-parts approach, the IEL is able to continually improve its capabilities to follow the trends of newer visualization and interaction technology. The lab strives to incorporate newer technologies to enable and explore better ways to provide features like 3D visualization in the context of the built environment and spatial sciences. The lab acts as a scheduled presentation and testing space for both classes and research.
Other disciplines are benefiting from the facility: mechanical engineering, chemistry, bioinformatics, architectural engineering and construction. A sister lab of the IEL is the Immersive Construction (ICon) Lab, situated within the Department of Architectural Engineering.
Using virtual reality to visualize architecture allows the students to close a mental loop that they otherwise would not have been able to. One may follow the design process from conception to construction to completion.