The 5D BIM Workflow in Vico Office 

How Does Virtual Construction Information Flow through the Enterprise?



The 5D BIM Workflow starts at the creation of a new project and ends with reporting and data mining.  When firms start gearing up for a new project, they add 2D drawings and 3D models to the Document Registry for version control and change management. 


Models can then be published to Vico Office from ArchiCAD, Tekla, Revit, AutoCAD Architecture, and/or AutoCAD MEP.  Or, using special CAD-specific Importers, IFC files, SketchUp files, CAD-Duct files, and even 3D DWG files can be used in Vico Office.


With Vico Office Document Controller we can quickly identify changes between drawing sets and model versions.  After honing in on the changes with slider and highlight modes, we can cloud and annotate issues, and even start a cross-team discussion or report upon the items in question.


After the BIM models are completed, we publish, augment, and compare 3D models from multiple project stakeholders all within the Vico Office Client.  For example, the architect can contribute an architectural model in ArchiCAD; the structural engineer can contribute a structural model in Tekla; the mechanical subcontractor can submit a model in Revit MEP; the HVAC subcontractor can submit a model in CAD-Duct. 


These models can be combined in Vico Office.  Then we identify any constructability issues in Vico Office Constructability Manager and report these issues to the design team for resolution.  If the issues cannot be resolved, they are promoted to an RFI and tracked through the project management data flow. 


Now the coordinated models can once again be compared to the 2D contract documents in Vico Office Document Controller as a final accuracy check before prefabrication and installation drawings are generated.


Now Project Engineers can identify critical points for sleeves, deck elevations, key framing locations, hangers and bracings, pipe runs, slab edges, etc. and map them in Vico Office Layout Manager.  They don't need the original BIM, just the latest version of the model inside Vico Office.  The virtual points are exported to a *.csv and loaded into survey gear like the Trimble Total Station.  Now they can be shot onsite!  The reverse workflow works to compare the original design to the as-built conditions and check for discrepancies. The actuals can be viewed in either 3D or a chart indicating the acceptable tolerances. 


As soon as we’ve identified the coordination issues, we use Vico Office Takeoff Manager to generate construction-caliber quantities.   Now with the quantities, estimators use Vico Office Cost Planner to create multiple iterations of the 5D estimate as the models’ level of detail increases.  With the estimate in place, we track the project budget in Vico Office Cost Explorer, helping the Owner recognize which decisions have the most impact on the budget and schedule.


Planners also take advantage of these quantities and start evaluating the project and creating the optimal combination of location systems for the trades in Vico Office LBS Manager.  By organizing the project locations, an optimal sequencing logic can be applied with Vico Office Schedule Planner, the model-based scheduling solution which utilizes flowline theory as opposed to traditional CPM.  These options can then be analyzed in terms of both cost and time.  And the Vico Office 4D Manager schedule presentation helps the GC and subs work together to evaluate what-if scenarios and determine the best solution. 


Finally, as the project moves from headquarters out to the field, the team utilizes Vico Office Production Controller to monitor and adjust crews as necessary.  With real-time inputs for actual crew productivity rates, the team has enough warning to avoid trade conflicts and cascading delays.


Comprehensive construction management reporting is organized in the Vico Office Client.  Since Vico Office is a database of projects, all fields and their values can be accessed with reporting.


Vico Office is the first purpose-built construction software that allows users to “plug in” the BIM authoring application of their choice and then perform a constructability analysis, quantity takeoff, a model-based schedule, model-based estimate, and on-site production control, all in an integrated workflow.


This integrated workflow is unique in the commercial construction market.  With Vico Office, you have a live model - a model where the 3D geometry is integrated with the quantities which is integrated with the 4D schedule which is integrated with the 5D estimate.  This means that when one element of the 3D model changes (let's say the building gets a new floor or a new material is chosen for the lobby floor), both the schedule and estimate automatically change.


This table represents how the modules are grouped per department:


2D-3D Change Management


Vico Document Controller compares 2D drawing set versions and 3D model versions to identify changes/deletions/additions. And for the first time, users can compare coordinated 3D models to the 2D contract documents for the final accuracy check.



3D BIM for Visualization


Vico Office works out-of-the-box with popular BIM authoring tools such as Graphisoft ArchiCAD, Autodesk Revit, and Tekla Structures. New in Release 4 are publishers for AutoCAD Architecture and AutoCAD MEP. Vico Office also includes additional importers for Google SketchUp, CAD Duct, 3D DWG, and IFC files.



3D BIM for Clash Detection


Vico Constructability Manager provides an integrated solution for clash detection and coordination resolution so that your team can identify constructability issues in the planning stage before they occur in the field.



3D BIM for Layout


Vico Layout Manager maps critical points in the virtual model to their corresponding physical points on the jobsite, speeding installation and eliminating costly rework.



3D BIM for Quantity Takeoff


Vico Takeoff Manager derives construction-caliber quantities by location from BIM models; these quantities by location power more accurate schedules and estimates.



4D BIM for Scheduling and Production Control


Vico LBS Manager is an organized approach to dividing the project into work locations. Location-based planning and management ensures that trade crews flow smoothly from prerequisite to successor tasks without interference. Locations defined in LBS Manager also yield quantities by location for use in scheduling and procurement.


Vico Schedule Planner creates construction schedules by using BIM model elements and associating them with tasks and the corresponding materials, resources, and labor; all of which are optimized by location.


Vico Production Controller is used in the build phase.  Planning the schedule is only half the battle - the other half is managing on-site production. Near real-time production updates from the site using Vico Production Controller enable forward-looking schedule forecasts so problems are flagged with ample time for remedial action.


Vico 4D Manager is a 4D simulation presentation tool that provides rich 3D visualization of the project timeline to the extended construction team.



5D BIM for Estimating


Vico Cost Planner is a powerful model-based cost estimating solution. Based on the concept of Target Cost Planning, Vico Cost Planner provides an environment for an evolving cost estimate that readily compares one version to another and any version to the original Target Cost Plan.


Vico Cost Explorer is the first model-based budgeting application that allows the extended project team to visually understand which aspects of the project are contributing to changes in cost. Pouring over rows and rows of spreadsheet data is a thing of the past.



Construction Management Reporting


Vico Office Client is the cornerstone of the Vico Office Suite. Here model versions are managed, information is shared across the team, and an inline reporting engine pulls information from all departments to deliver constructability reports, cost- and resource-loaded schedules, proposed design changes, cost estimates, cash flow reports, and other customizable reports.





This video offers a quick explanation of each product and how they work together:


Caption:  The 5D BIM Workflow in Vico Office starts with clash detection and constructability analysis, construction-caliber quantity takeoff, location breakdown structure, cost planning and target cost tracking, plus planning, schedule optimization, and schedule animations for communicating with the Owner and Subs.  Vico Office works with Revit, Tekla, and ArchiCAD models, as well as CAD-Duct, SketchUp, and IFC imports.  In addition, there is a full reporting engine to capture the intellectual property contained in the database structure.


Ready to learn more?  Follow the hyperlinks on this page to learn more about each of the Vico Office products.  And then refer to the following resources:


Do you have forty-five minutes?

Video: Full-Length Vico Office Demonstration


Do you have a couple hours and access to colleagues from scheduling and estimating?

Calculate your GC firm's BIM Score based on clash detection, scheduling, and estimating capabilities, best practices, and enterprise integration. Learn what distinguishes one GC from another by taking the same test for your competition.


Do you have an afternoon?

Webinar Series: Going 5D with Vico

Webinar Series: The BIM Master Class

Webinar Series: Using BIM in a Hard Bid

Webinar Series: Model Fidelity and Project Quality


Do you have a week?

Video Training: Cost Planner

Video Training: Schedule Planner

Video Training: Production Controller

Video Training: Reporting


Do you have four weeks?

Program: Vico Structured Evaluation


Do you have a year?

We strongly urge you to consider the Vico Customer Success Plan. It's one year of rigorous training, support, consulting, executive workshops, and resources designed to make get your company from zero to 5D BIM.


Do you want an article you can sink your teeth into?

Blog: 5 Pieces of Advice for GCs Considering BIM

Blog: BIM Doesn't Come in a Box

Blog: Top 10 Reasons to Do 5D BIM