Motivated by recent developments in AR/VR technology and accessibility, an interdisciplinary team at a Sino-foreign Higher Education Institution in China have been engaged in the creation of a virtual reality learning resource that will be offered to students and educators in the institution's Civil Engineering department. In Civil Engineering education, it is difficult to explain to students how classroom theories translate into real life solutions and field trips can help resolve this problem. However, these must overcome fundamental concerns associated with student site visits, which include safety, logistics and accessibility for disadvantaged students. The presented case study details the development of a virtual field trip that is accessible from simple phone-based virtual reality headsets. The photoreal virtual field trip was constructed through multiple site visits to capture data and the experience now provides students with an opportunity to view the entire construction process of a university library. This paper contributes to current research by exploring the challenges and conjugate solutions encountered whilst building the virtual reality environment, and by presenting the first known photoreal virtual field trip that allows students to autonomously move both spatially and chronologically around a construction site. This will benefit other educational practitioners who are contemplating similar initiatives.