Winning the project in today's environment requires extreme agility and technical expertise in various areas, including generating site logistics plans that help the team and potential clients understand the inherent nature of the project, and generating imagery and visualizations.
- Designers and contractors typically have to demonstrate that they are prepared to handle a project long before the permit is issued or a team is mobilized. From the VDC side of things, there are a lot of similarities to the initial process to win a project and a lot of benefits. Leveraging VDC, or virtual design and construction practices from the beginning, is a benefit to the project and the team. Depending on your team's tenacity, you can start the project using very sophisticated software and applications to convey your attention to detail, your understanding of the constraints, quantities, costs, and potential opportunities that might otherwise go unnoticed.
In the past, teams would overlay various discipline's drawings and try to figure out what conflicts arise before they start fabricating. This has been the way teams would coordinate for the past half-century or more. As you can imagine or have experienced, this is a method prone to issues that result in rework and schedule impacts. Throughout my experiences in both construction and architecture industries, teams that begin with a clear work flow or storyboard and a well-delineated division of labor can create some amazing solutions relatively quickly.
This can be done with a working session between all parties involved. Being in the same room and doing a page turn session can help to resolve many issues that might not have been considered during the design phase. There's also the possibility to leverage the initial surge of creating vast amounts of information throughout the life of the project with very little wasted effort. Some of the methods that I have seen use applications such as Archicad, Revit, or SketchUp to generate the site context, the massing of the building, the architecture, or even the site logistics information.
If you want to maintain a clear path forward, then use software that you'll use either to generate the construction documents with or that you'll be using to coordinate with. Some applications provide opportunities to jump to other applications easily during the process to generate high-quality renderings. Some applications have high-quality rendering tools built in or there are add-ons that allow you to easily move between experiences and environments. There are a few reasons to start with an application that is robust like Archicad or Revit.
You are able to extract quantity date, the level of detail can quickly increase with minimal effort, and the software is parametric. One of the reasons to start with BIM software is that you are working at the same level that the designers are designing the building in in most cases. Later, the assets that you developed can be integrated with the designer's model or it can become your working model. Native VDC or BIM applications are designed to integrate with rendering applications that are optimized for high-quality rendering solutions that can be rendered using multiple computers simultaneously called render farms.
The data extraction of quantities, areas, and materials can be nearly automatic and extracted as a spreadsheet and tied to historical values of cost. All-in-all, the goal is to win the project and show a high level of sophistication, agility, team cohesion, and the ability to adapt to ever-changing conditions. Ultimately, to bring the project to life, this is best done with a team that is using tools that are able to speak to one another naturally and fluently.
- Creating bids
- Authoring content
- Establishing BIM plan and requirements
- Organizing models
- Team coordination
- Document management
- Data capture and management