Keeping Construction Practices Connected

Posted by Don Henrich on Oct 14, 2011 6:14:00 AM

Why is it that many companies in the AEC industry do not believe that using the same data throughout a construction project will yield benefits?  After all, what is "Lean" about performing an initial pricing exercise in Excel, later doing a more complete cost estimate in a different estimating system, and then finally having your operations personnel take off quantities and prices again for purposes of setting up procurement schedules and coordinating the many tasks related to the project? 


I can tell you the answer, "Nothing!"


While it is understandable that construction companies operating on relatively low profit margins wish to keep their overhead costs low, the lack of insight into the duplication in  their business processes seems short-sighted.  For example, you get or you build a BIM model for part of your project, do you have a data set that automatically connects each BIM object to your quantities?  Do you also have a data set that then furthers this quantity connection and classifies your estimating line items by system using Uniformat or another popular standard?  Then, does this data set extend the quantities (now) divided by locations and using standard subcontractor crew productivity data calculate durations for each crew by location and pump them automatically into your schedule or do you "create the schedule manually?"


Finally, can all of these "reports" for cost, schedule, procurement, resources, clash, and drawing sets be linked to the project, tracked in time, compared for differences and formatted to be tied to your financial accounting system?  If you cannot do this today, you are like many other firms, but what about the "other" firms, the ones that are growing?  The ones that are winning big jobs?  Of course, some of this success is based on their skills as builders, their experience, reputation, and their teams BUT, I can name 25 firms that are aggressively working to create an integrated enterprise where data is standardized, used by everyone, and flows through a typical project process from pursuit to completion, from department to department.   Hartela and Webcor are just two firms to announce this concept of BIM for the Enterprise.  Will these firms win more business in the future?  We'll see………it looks pretty good for them today!


One option for organizing your data is the Vico 5D Data Pack - comprised of the Library and the Warehouse.


The Vico Standard 5D Library

The Library gives users a standard collection of formulas and values suitable for combining 3D BIMs to our 4D scheduling and 5D cost estimating applications.  The Library is organized by the set of activities required to construct each building element and the sequence in which tese activities are performed.  The Library includes average productivity rates by trade and standard formulas for deriving labor and material resource requirements.  By combining the Library with model-derived quantities and contractor-supplied unit prices, users can automatically calculate task durations for project schedules and costs for project estimates.  Users can overwrite any part of the Library with their own proprietary data or calculation method.


The Library includes construction activity sets for over 3,000 building elements which are coded by CSI Uniformat.  It also includes formulas to derive labor and materials resources for over 6,000 construction activities classified by CSI Masterformat 2004.  The Library also contrains industry-standard productivity rates and resource requirements for over 2,500 construction tasks.


The Vico Standard 5D Warehouse

The Warehouse gives users a standard collection of coded building elements suitable for connecting their 3D BIMs to our 4D scheduling and 5D cost estimating applications.


The Building Elements contained in the Warehouse are coded using the same nomenclature and classification systems as the Vico Standard 5D Library, so they work together seamlessly.  Users receive both an Autodesk Revit (TM) version of the Warehouse and a Graphisoft ArchiCAD (TM) version of the Warehouse.


Caption: The Vico Office Data Pack includes the Standard 5D Library and Standard 5D Warehouse. This predefined integration provides customers a very comprehensive estimate in a matter of minutes. Now your properly formatted BIM model is completely integrated with the properly formatted estimate. At Vico, we call the Data Pack our shortcut to full 5D BIM. 


As you can see, there are many ways to improve the flow of data through your construction firm and propagate its re-use.  The 5D Data Pack, as we've said before, is truly a shortcut to 5D BIM, and a way to move your firm from a BIM Department to a BIM Enterprise.


Curious about how your firm stacks up?  Consider calculating your BIM Score to see how well-connected your operations are.


Then be sure to research these additional resources on the subject:

Product: The Vico Standard 5D Library

Product: The Vico Standard 5D Warehouse

Blog: A Shortcut to 5D BIM with the Vico Data Pack

Webinar: Should You Build or Buy a Knowledge Base?

Webinar: Applying the 5D Data Pack to Your New Project

Webinar: Understanding the Model Progression Specification

Webinar: The MPS 3.0

Webinar: Applying the 5D Data Pack to Your New Project

Webpage: The Virtual Construction Toolkit - the 5D Data Pack

Webpage: Inside the 5D Data Pack

FAQs: 5D Data Pack FAQs


Tags: Standard 5D Warehouse, 5D BIM, BIM Score, Enterprise BIM, 5D Data Pack, Standard 5D Library