AVR Verified Views – What Are They Used For?

Posted by in Frequently Asked Questions on 20th April 2020

Technology is playing an increasingly important role in the design, planning, and construction of buildings and landscapes. Computer-generated imagery (CGI) is routinely used to visually demonstrate what a proposed structure or environment will look like once work is complete.

However, the use of CGI has been seen as something of a double-edged sword within the industry. As computer-generated images can be created to create an artificial depiction of how an area might look, their reliability and accuracy have been questioned.

Now, verified views are being used to combat this issue. A verified view is created from real-world data, such as GPS locations, photography and site-specific data. When it’s collated, this information is used to build a realistic rendering of the proposed site.

Using a pre-agreed level of detail, a verified view offers an accurate portrayal of the relevant environment. Based on verifiable data, the authenticity and accuracy of verified views are beyond repute.

The level of detail contained with a verified view can vary but it must always meet the criteria of the pre-agreed Accurate Visual Representation (AVR) Level. Well-established across the industry, professionals can use AVR levels as a universally accepted framework to reflect the detail depicted in a verified view.

By using verified views and photomontages, architects, developers, and landowners can liaise with planning authorities and environmental agencies more meaningfully and with a greater deal of certainty.

Furthermore, the combination of verifiable data and CGI depictions of a proposed site allow for useful dialogue regarding proposed changes and potential planning application revisions.

Accurate Visual Representations – What Are The Benefits?

The use of AVRs has significantly increased since their introduction, mainly due to the range of benefits they offer. Incorporating verified views into planning applications and consultations has many advantages, including:

Improved Accuracy

The methodologies used to collate information used as the basis for verified views ensure imagery can be created with pinpoint accuracy. Indeed, the theory behind the use of AVR is tailored towards improving the accuracy and reliability of visual depictions used within the planning process.

With the ability to overcome some of the common criticisms aimed at computer-generated imagery, AVRs are trusted across the industry. While this is, in itself, a major advantage of using verified views, the increased authenticity associated with AVRs facilitates a range of additional benefits.

Increased Trust

Prior to the use of verified views, a considerable amount of distrust existed between planners, developers, environment agencies, planning committees, and the wider public. As many real-life completed projects bore little resemblance to the CGI visuals used to gain planning approval, subsequent applications were affected by the questionable level of accuracy used.

Due to the precision used to collate data and apply it to AVRs, this lack of trust is no longer present within the industry. Instead, all parties can rely on the data presented and be confident that it is verifiable, realistic and authentic.


The cost of landscape planning, architectural design and obtaining planning approval is always a key factor in any project. While the cost of some technologies may render their use impracticable, the cost-effectiveness of AVRs ensures they can be widely used throughout the industry.

Furthermore, the accessibility of sector-specific software means a wide range of professionals can access the specialist tools needed to create verifiable imagery.

Higher Rate of Approvals

Now that planning committees, government departments and members of the public can place a greater level of trust in the data used in planning applications, it is easier to secure approvals.

For planners, developers and landowners, any tool which simplifies or fast-tracks the process of obtaining planning approval is, of course, a welcome addition. In terms of real-world value, the ability to gain the confidence of gatekeepers means verified views are now an integral element of planning applications.

Universal Recognition

As the use of AVRs has increased, they are now widely recognised throughout the sector. In fact, the vast majority of tenders stipulate AVRs must be included before bids can be considered.

The clear classification between Level 0, 1, 2 and 3 AVRs ensures everyone within the industry can operate according to the same high standards. Again, this reduces the risk of miscommunication and creates a more transparent path to planning approval.

Compatible with Future Technologies

The combination of verifiable data, exceptional accuracy and visual presentations used in verified views means that AVRs are the most widely used example of advanced technology within the sector.

However, it’s important to consider how future technologies will be used and whether they will build upon the benefits associated with verified views.

As more architects, planners and designers begin to incorporate virtual and augmented reality into their work, it’s clear that the key benefits and style of verified views will complement and enhance the technology that’s due to follow.

Hiring a Landscape Architect

When you’re creating or modifying outdoor space, there are many advantages associated with hiring a landscape architect.

As well as minimising project costs, bringing your vision to life and incorporating vital elements into the project, a landscape architect can help you to secure the planning approval you need to move forward.

With extensive expertise and experience, landscape architects are familiar with the relevant rules, regulations, and guidelines regarding changes to outdoor spaces. Whether you’re modifying private land or working on a project in a public space, you’ll need to obtain planning permission from at least one body.

As landowners and developers know, obtaining planning approval can be a costly and time-consuming process. By working with a landscape architect, however, you can have professional verified views created and submit AVRs as part of your planning application. This, in conjunction with other parts of your application, can increase the likelihood of your request being accepted.

With many planning agencies, committees and bodies expecting AVRs to be submitted in the early stages of a planning application, it’s never too soon to liaise with a landscape architect. By gaining expert input from the outset, you can reduce your costs, streamline your project and fast-track your success.  

Whether you’re looking to learn more on the subject of verified views or are looking to discuss an upcoming project, we’d be more than happy to help. Get in touch with the team today on 0330 133 1983 for more information.