AGI and 18th Street – Design Build Green Hubs

Using technology in community minded design

AGI Construction’s most ambitious venture is to launch their own small scale neighborhood development called the “Design Build Green Hub” under “Detroit Future Ops” which is a workforce and place making initiative. The project is located on 18th Street in Detroit’s southwest side located only a few blocks away from the iconic Michigan Central Station, which is currently under renovation by Ford Motor Company. The purpose of Design Build Green Hub is to serve as “a community resource center offering services and capacity building for a strong workforce and minority contractor pipeline.” The interesting thing about Design Build Green Hub is in how the community is involved in the design and implementation of the resource center.

Tanya Saldivar-Ali, Co owner and Business Development Director, of AGI Construction

Community involvement in the design, construction and implementation of Detroit Future Ops was first and foremost in the mind of AGI Construction co-owner, Tanya Saldivar-Ali and her husband and partner Luis. “Community equity is key in elevating Detroiters, Saldiver-Ali says. As they move into the community, they want to be able to use their resources as a platform for other people to stand on.” According to them, in order to best help the community one must listen and take heed to the community’s wants and needs and the best way to do that is to invite them into the process.



AGI started with a site cleanup initiative as a way to involved the community. Once that was done AGI decided to use virtual reality along with normal view panoramic tours in order to allow the residence to see space in the house so that they could be better able to make suggestions. According to Seann Lewis, “Virtual Reality allows companies to do things that they are either too costly or impossible to do. With VR clients can bring the public onto an active construction site in a safe manner.”

We first went with a simple 360 degree picture tour of the building. This was a fast and inexpensive way to allow the public to tour the construction site. The biggest drawback is that since this is a collection of photo spheres it is difficult, if not impossible to do things like create accurate floor plans.

Detroit Future Ops Tour

Tour of Detroit Future Ops Construction Site using photospheres

Detroit Future Ops Tour

Tour of Detroit Future Ops Construction Site using Google Cardboard


SeannLewiscom helped AGI obtain measurements and other data such as the condition of the roof and the overall prouductivity of the site using drones and Matterport scanners. By using technology to get the data we were able to do things faster and easier. The footage also translated into better marketing materials. The only downside is that in order to use the VR elements a separate app is needed on the phone.

Matterport is only one of many scanning solutions we use

Technology made community engagement easier

Technology allow for greater community engagement from start to finish. It allowed stakeholders to tour the site while it was under construction and it will allow them to see how their suggestions will affect the site when finished.

Those uses include:

  • using the point cloud in Revit in order to speed up workflow
  • using the video as one would the tour in order to inspect from the office
  • using the video in order to create a point cloud to use in a similar fashion as the inside
  • Both the video and the tour helps with marketing efforts

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