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Benefits of Virtual Design and Construction Solutions for AEC Industry


The capabilities of experts in the domains of architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) to plan, deliver, and manage buildings or infrastructure projects have been transformed by the rising sophistication of digital technologies. Building information modeling (BIM) allows for a broader management process across the project life cycle, with the generation of and access to a wider array of data associated with the structure being built. Computer-aided design (CAD) is now an indispensable tool in the design process, but building information modeling (BIM) allows for a broader management process across the project life cycle, with the generation of and access to a wider array of data associated with the structure being built.

Traditional design approaches were generally restricted to 2D technical drawings and schematics, whereas CAD enabled a fully 3D design process. BIM goes even further in some definitions, with time as the fourth “dimension” and cost as the fifth. BIM files are data-rich models that are sent down from the design team to contractors and construction engineers, and finally to the facility’s owners or managers. Each expert can add their layer of knowledge to the shared model, resulting in a dynamic smart object’ or parametric model that transforms in diverse ways depending on which input is changed.

Another way of creating performance models for design and production projects is virtual design and construction (VDC), which employs an integrated interdisciplinary approach. Between CAD, BIM, and VDC and how each technique can be utilized to achieve specific outcomes, there is some overlap as well as some misunderstanding. To take a holistic approach to building and infrastructure design and management, many AEC teams will combine the tools and procedures made available by various disciplines.

What is Virtual Design and Construction (VDC)?

Virtual Design and Construction (VDC) is a collaborative process in which design and construction partners simulate all work on a construction project in a 3D virtual environment before undertaking any on-site, real-world work. VDC helps project partners handle all areas of a project more efficiently, from schedule to budget to material procurement, and so on, to reach the intended result.

Different VDC technologies are being developed to enhance on-site safety. BIM, in particular, is gaining popularity because of its benefits across the project lifecycle. Since the integration of these technologies with BIM is seamless and consistent, stakeholders can easily include them in their existing workflows. BIM and VDC are quite similar, however, they are not the same.

VDC begins with the implementation of BIM solutions, and this extends far beyond new technology adoption. It emphasizes data-driven project collaboration, in which all project stakeholders collaborate to deliver a project that is on time, on schedule, and exactly as the owner expects it. The VDC process is a technology-based approach that ensures that the BIM model is used in a practical and highly effective manner throughout the project’s life cycle.

The BIM model, Level of development (LOD), Advanced digital tools, Collaboration space, and Collaborative mentality are the five aspects that enable VDC. Virtual Design and Construction enable project members to communicate in a shared language, with all necessary information visible and accessible at all times. Challenges are addressed proactively and cooperatively. Utilizing the abilities of all team members and seeking new solutions allows for innovation.

Benefits of Virtual Design and Construction (VDC) Solutions for the AEC Industry

Virtual Design and Construction is so comprehensive that it encompasses the entire construction process. It establishes a close linkage between virtual design and construction, making it easier to verify that a project’s physical construction is integrated into and reflective of its digital counterpart. The shift from digital to physical and back to digital is a big part of VDC.

Here are some key advantages associated with adopting Virtual Design and Construction:

1. Coordination & Collaboration

VDC facilitates collaboration by providing all team members with remote access to the most up-to-date information. Using technology to clearly express ideas that can be monitored and seen by key team members creates an open platform for quickly and cost-effectively resolving challenges. Multiple parties can communicate digitally during the design process, ensuring that everyone has the most up-to-date information. This enables efficient off-site cooperation, which is becoming increasingly vital in today’s global marketplace. It also enables the model to be moved from design to construction for layout purposes once work begins.

2. Project Planning & Scheduling

Architects and engineers can collaborate on virtual design and construction to develop more precise visual project designs, resulting in better transparency and more accurate scheduling. During the design phase of a project, BIM software can be used to incorporate scheduling and cost forecasts.

When project managers start scheduling early in the design phase, they have more opportunities to detect bottlenecks and other possible sources of delays and solve them before they become a problem. Long before construction begins, VDC technology allows a design and construction team to estimate, coordinate, plan, and build a project in virtual space. This provides a clear picture of the project to builders, partners, and other project team members, as well as the best method to proceed with construction, budgeting, scheduling, logistics, and safety.

3. Enhance Safety & Quality

VDC can be used to generate visuals for the construction process. This method has proven to be useful in identifying site logistics barriers or potentially hazardous activities that would otherwise go unnoticed in standard planning and scheduling. VDC can also be used to coordinate building systems to the point where prefabrication or modularization in a controlled environment off-site is possible. When operating in a controlled setting, such as a warehouse bay, safety, quality, and productivity can all be considerably improved. Many projects have successfully used VDC to prefabricate hospital patient rooms, baths, and overhead MEP systems in congested corridors and controlled situations.

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4. Reduce Wastage & Rework

On construction projects, reworks are the biggest example of waste and lost productivity. When a project must be dismantled and reassembled, it constitutes a significant waste of time and money. Rework is estimated to account for up to 30% of building expenditures, according to industry analysts. Virtual design and construction software allows construction businesses to communicate and collaborate across teams during all phases of project design and delivery, decreasing design discrepancies.

When the subsystems of a building are developed individually, conflicts always arise when the designs are combined into a single model. All subsystems are modeled together from the start using VDC, and companies may make use of software collision detection technologies that can discover potential design conflicts before they lead to rework and delays on the project site.

5. Easy Facility Maintenance

When a construction project is finished, the construction company passes over the final deliverables to the project owner, along with all necessary information for building upkeep. While as-built drawings or diagrams are frequently included among the final project deliverables, they must be updated and maintained regularly. Construction project owners can retain a current model of the building by using virtual design and construction throughout the design, construction, and operation processes. This model can be used to guide and streamline normal maintenance or expedite repair work.

6. Save on Time, Money & Efforts

During the preconstruction phase, VDC initiatives can help detect constructability difficulties, identify gaps in the sequence and timeline, and modify material kinds and layouts for real-time cost analysis. Helping an owner understand their budget and accurately predict costs is a vital element of preconstruction. Builders can now estimate in 3-D, allowing them to spend less time conducting several project take-offs and more time on the finer details and material price. During construction, Virtual Design and Construction can assist project team members in maintaining excellent communication by relaying information on deliveries, construction progress, any unforeseen issues, safety concerns, and quality inspections.

7. Close More Bids

Due to the great complexity of projects, construction has one of the most expensive and time-consuming bidding processes of any industry. Many people are involved when a construction company submits a bid for a large project: the client who reviews the bid, architectural and engineering firms who collaborate on a proposal, general and specialized contractors who deliver quotes, materials information, and other submittals, material suppliers who provide pricing, and so on.

Construction organizations can leverage virtual design and construction to demonstrate the organizational and collaborative abilities required to complete a project successfully. Engineers and architects can collaborate on a visual model of the project to deliver to the client using Virtual Design and Construction. Integrated models that include knowledge about building items, processes that must be completed to get the outcome, and the structure of those activities exhibit expertise and assist construction organizations in winning additional projects. 

Virtual Design and Construction has the potential to drastically revolutionize the construction industry. Late adopters risk falling so far behind that they are unable to compete in the market. This is already the case in several markets. Contractors that want to position themselves for success in the ever-changing business should invest in VDC training.

Forward-thinking business leaders are always looking for innovative methods to increase profitability, and for design and construction professionals, profitability is built on delivering results on time and within budget.

The AEC industry is accelerating its transition to VDC (Virtual Design and Construction). Experts can handle projects more holistically in the digital environment, which serves as a platform for major performance improvements. Industry leaders have already shifted to a VDC approach, paving the way for a future in which owners simply need outcomes from a collaborative virtual platform.

Outsourcing to a professional BIM/VDC partner allows you to acquire all of the VDC (Virtual Design and Construction) help you need from the design phase to the final construction phase.

INDOVANCE Inc with its exclusive delivery hub in India is a global CAD outsourcing partner serving the needs of the AEC industry since 2003. At INDOVANCE we focus on the unique need of each project or client and believe in addressing the real challenges and guarantee that the process will be well-coordinated, smooth, efficient, and hassle-free.  We collaborate with our customers around the world to develop bespoke business solutions using our enormous engineering talent pool.

We deliver a full range of BIM modeling projects. We work on parametric family creation, model creation for all LOD (Level of Detail), 4D and 5D support, and model phasing, as well. We also provide complete support for CAD to BIM, point cloud to BIM, SCAN to BIM, and PDF to BIM conversions.

For more queries regarding any of the above-mentioned topics, feel free to connect with us on our website www.indovance.com, or contact us on +1-919-238-4044

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