BIM vs VDC: Application, Benefits, and Components

BIM VS VDC

The rapid evolution of technology within the construction industry has led to both advancements and confusions.

When I first transitioned from traditional drafting (2D drawings) to using BIM, my workflow became more efficient and accurate. However, during new hires, I realized that fresh graduates or newly hired engineers and designers often mix the concepts of BIM and VDC.

You know why!

As new methods like Virtual Design and Construction (VDC) and Building Information Modeling (BIM) emerge, they are often misunderstood and perceived as interchangeable by those unfamiliar with their distinct applications and components. Although these technologies are closely related and can complement each other, their unique qualities and functions are sometimes overlooked. 

Let’s help construction professionals by clarifying the difference between BIM and VDC!

Table of Contents

What is BIM?

Building information modeling (BIM) is not just software. It is an advanced technological process that creates a highly accurate digital representation of the physical and functional characteristics of a building or infrastructure project.

Moreover, it allows architects, engineers, and contractors to collaborate on a single, shared 3D model encompassing geometric and non-geometric data.

Application

Bim can be used in multiple construction projects, including:

  • Residential buildings
  • Commercial heights
  • Healthcare facilities
  • Industrial buildings
  • Educational buildings
  • Retail spaces

Benefits

Bim presents numerous benefits including:

  • Real-time visualization and document management.
  • Enhanced cross team coordination.
  • Improved Design decisions and early problem detection.
  • Reduced construction costs and enhanced design accuracy.
  • Easy access to information through integrated data
  • Enhanced construction documentation
  • Improved facility operation and maintenance.

Components

Here are some of the essential components of BIM:

  • BIM software platform.
  • BIM data repository.
  • BIM enabled collaboration tools.
  • BIM enabled analysis tools.
  • BIM enabled visualization tools.
  • BIM enabled project management.

What is VDC?

Virtual design and construction (VDC) is an extensive process that employs digital technology to enhance the planning, design, construction, and operation of buildings. It involves multidisciplinary performance models encompassing the product, team organization, and work processes.

Further, it integrates digital representations to simulate complex construction projects by addressing potential challenges.

Application

VDC is an umbrella that offers various activities to make construction processes efficient. It includes:

  • 3D site scanning
  • 3D model creation
  • 3D coordination/clash detection
  • Constructability studies
  • Design change analysis.
  • Model-based quantity take-offs.
  • Model-based scheduling.

Benefits

VDC offers a wide range of benefits in multiple AEC projects. Some of the key benefits are:

  • Improved communication through a common data environment (CDE).
  • Enhanced collaborative approach with Cloud-based platform.
  • Informed decision-making with real-time access to project data.
  • Reduce risks by identifying them in the design process.
  • Accurately estimate material quantities
  • Cost management to prevent task silos and costly rework.
  • Minimize waste and validate installations.

Components

Virtual Design and Construction (VDC) comprises various components that enhance its functionality and impact in the AEC industry.

  • Building Information Modeling BIM
  • 3D Visualization
  • Integrated Project Delivery (IPD).
  • Clash Detection and Coordination
  • Simulation and Analysis
  • Collaborative Workflows
  • Construction Sequencing and 4D Planning
  • Facilities Management and Asset Lifecycle

Conclusion

To sum up, while BIM (part and coordination) and VDC processes play pivotal roles in the construction industry, they serve different yet interconnected purposes. However, remember that VDC does not always require BIM, and BIM can be implemented without being framed within VDC.

Additionally, no construction engineer or contractor could deny that these methodologies advance collaboration and communication in construction projects. They save time and improve the predictability of cost, quantity, and quality. These features will make them industry standards for design and planning in construction projects.

Fact to know:

Research indicates that an experienced and skilled BIM outsourcing company could save you 10% of project cost and reduces the construction delays up to 45%.

Well, you want more?

Join Eracore

With our proven 4 step system to integrate the most advanced MEP BIM practices, see project profits and labor productivity increase up to 35% in weeks.

phase to the construction of the project. It stimulates collaboration among multidisciplinary teams, including architects, engineers, urban planners, and GIS specialists.

FAQs

BIM and VDC are expected to become an essential standard in the construction industry. Driving accuracy, sustainability, and innovation.
High cost, complex projects, data management, resistance to change, and inexperienced design engineers are some of the common challenges.
In VDC, Plannerly, BIM scope, ACC, MTWO, Synchro, and PlanGrid are commonly used software while Autodesk Revit, Revitzo, Navisworks, BIM Collab, and ArchiCAD are some of the key software used in BIM.
VDC engineers work closely with BIM modelers, architects, and clients to create a cohesive construction plan.
BIM software creates digital models of a project that enables us to optimize the use of materials. While VDC simulates different construction scenarios to find the most sustainable option for the project.

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