Vico Office Suite
A Construction-Oriented 5D BIM Environment
The construction industry is changing rapidly. The increased demand for efficiency, shorter delivery times, and higher quality is pushing owners and contractors to adopt new business models and technologies which will give them a competitive advantage. The integration of processes and improved communication throughout the design-to-construction life cycle has proved to be an essential part of this change. Integrated Project Delivery and BIM technology are today’s buzz words, and the necessity of a truly integrated social-BIM platform becomes evident.
Vico’s next generation 5D BIM solution was created for this need. Vico Office™ is purpose-built for construction, and is designed as a tightly-integrated, BIM-neutral platform to which multiple types of BIM models can be published, synthesized, and augmented with cost and schedule information. To maximize efficiency and meet the distinctive needs of the various construction process trades and phases, Vico Office is structured in a modular way, providing you with a tailored, yet expandable solution and a consistent, easy to use environment.
Using Vico Office, building owners and general contractors can collaborate efficiently, improve predictability, reduce risk, manage cost, and optimize schedules on large, complex building projects. We believe our integrated construction management software offers project teams the flexibility to specialize their disciplines (modeling, scheduling, estimating) and still collaborate (coordination, budgeting, and project control with all stakeholders).
3D BIM Visualization and Reporting
The greatest benefit of BIM technology is that we get to see the building before ground is ever broken. This is a tremendous benefit for all the project stakeholders because it can be difficult to visualize the structure from a stack of 2D drawings.
Right off the bat, Vico Office Client helps project stakeholders visualize all the models that make up the building: the architectural, the structural, the MEP, even a virtual mock-up of a very complicated material intersection.
Model management is a key component of Vico Office Client because it lets the user organize all the models related to a project, turn on and off the latest versions of these models, and even combine the models to see the “big picture.”
Reporting is another key aspect of the Vico Office Client. And it is important to note that the Vico Office reporting engine harnesses the complete project database. So imagine the flexibility of creating any type of report, customizable to your existing report types with logos, colors, fonts, etc., with all the fields of Vico Office at your disposal. Think what you can create with all this information:
- Quantity Takeoff Reports with the total quantities per takeoff item
- Quantity Takeoff by Locations Report looks at how materials are consumed across the jobsite
- Project Cost Reports for Estimates, Cost Variance, and more
- Visual Budget Reports show the current state of the project versus the target cost•
- Flowline Reports are a visual representation of the schedule where the calendar is tracked along the x-axis, locations are tracked along the y-axis, and crews are identified by colored lines, the slope of which represents their productivity rate
- Cost-and Resource-Loaded Schedules are the perfect vehicle for communicating with the Owner
- Resource Histograms indicate the allocation of crews across a project site
- Control Charts are simple way to monitor the percent complete for the various trades
- Cash Flow Reports can be produced at any time during construction
4D BIM Scheduling
Vico brings a very unique solution to the table when we discuss construction scheduling. Our combination of quantities by location, flowline, on-site production control, and communication is dynamic and powerful. So let’s start at the beginning:
Quantities by location: Vico LBS Manager helps our customers divide up the site into manageable areas per trade. If a crew is given a specific location for their efforts, clean and uninterrupted, their productivity should be maximized and their environment safe. Intrinsic to Vico Office is the user’s ability to define multiple location systems for trade-specific work sequences. These locations are then used to perform location-based quantity takeoff which is the input for location-based cost and schedule planning.
Flowline scheduling: this scheduling method centers around uninterrupted work flow for trades and works hand-in-hand with locations. Vico Schedule Planner is a scientific derivation of the BIM model geometry for quantities, combined with locations and crew productivity rates. Using flowline theory, Schedule Planner optimizes the construction schedule by at least 10%.
On-site production control: BIM doesn’t stay at HQ – it heads out to the jobsite with the Superintendent to manage the schedule and oversee crew progress. Calculating an optimal construction schedule is one thing, but controlling the project on-site with Vico Production Controller is what makes an A Player. Measuring work put in place by location and comparing actuals to planned helps Supers see potential conflicts far in advance. Now the team can work together to solve the scheduling conflict and avoid cascading delays.
Communication: Just as 3D BIM makes it easy for everyone on the team to visualize the completed project, our 4D BIM scheduling movies makes it easy for audiences (Owners, trades, teams) to see how the building will come together. Vico 4D Manager is more than just a schedule movie – it’s a powerful playback of the scientifically-derived Flowline schedule based on quantities by location and crew productivity rates. GCs use it to illustrate the schedule to both Owners and Subs.
And consider this: instead of building a schedule that is designed to identify claim opportunities, consider deriving a schedule designed to eliminate claims. Consider using a schedule with built-in functionality for controlling the project on-site and avoiding fire-fighting. Consider a scheduling system that works with Subs, not against them. Consider a scientific system which de-risks your projects and not the status quo.
We also offer a step-by-step guide to our 5D virtual construction workflow with video tutorials. These videos are just 2-5 minutes in length, but illustrate how to use a particular piece of functionality. You can access the video library index and view just what you need, or download the complete set of training videos.
5D BIM Estimating
Estimators are the backbone of any GC firm. They go to sleep each night with the weight of the firm’s profitability riding on their thoroughness. If they missed any portion of the project scope, the whole bid is at risk.
That scenario doesn’t change with BIM – we just make it very visual and very comprehensive. Now Estimators are able to rest easy, assured that they have not missed one iota of scope. Here’s how:
Quantity Takeoff: Just as you would takeoff quantities with drawings, Estimators still need to takeoff quantities of a model. Now, however, the software reads the model geometry and proposes several quantity calculations. The Estimator is still in control as to how those takeoff formulas will be calculated, but so much of the laborious work is now done automatically. With Vico Takeoff Manager, our powerful algorithm reads model geometry to produce a construction-caliber quantity takeoff.
Estimating: At Vico we call this step cost planning because there will be many iterations of the estimate as more and more information is learned about the project. And Estimators should not be leery of this terminology – it is not more work – it is a better use of time. Imagine the Estimating team being able to alert the project stakeholders when a design change impacts the cost and by how much – and being able to do so almost immediately. Vico Cost Planner makes estimating cool again. The estimate evolves as more and more details are refined for the project.
Budget Visualization: The views in Vico Office are incredible. Not just because you can see the 3D model in relation to the schedule or the budget, or see the individual line items of the estimate highlighted in the model; but because it helps lay people understand the ripple effects of design changes and their decisions. Vico Cost Explorer does exactly this – allows the Estimator to show the Owner when and where the budget is being impacted. With Vico’s Cost Explorer, project stakeholders can examine budget levers, the items which greatly influence a project’s ability to stay on track and run powerful comparisons.
Estimating tools have changed a lot since slide rules and digitizers, but the Estimator’s role actually takes on new importance in the BIM environment. S/he not only sees the project, but sees into the project to uncover the answers to key questions like: what happens to the cost and schedule if the design changes?
We invite you to take advantage of the many resources on our website for Estimators. There is so much to learn about BIM-based estimating that we’ve organized our meatiest resources here: