Vico Adds Two Dimensions to the Balfour Beatty - Parsons Brinckerhoff BIM Storm


What can you do with a BIM in five weeks?  That was the question posed by the organizers of a recent BIM Storm in Washington DC.  The event coincided with the EcoBuild Conference where they had ongoing live collaboration sessions from the show floor.


What can you do with a BIM in 24 hours?  That was the question posed to us by the BIM Storm event sponsors Balfour Beatty Construction and Parsons Brinckerhoff.  The timeline was tight, just as we like it!


In the interest of time, and to appease my wife, I tag teamed the work with my trusted Left Coast colleague, Clive Jordan.  The three hour time difference really worked well and ensured we could finish work without destroying our personal evening plans!


I was an estimator in my previous life and Clive was a scheduler, so this made us shoe-ins to join the BBPB Team.


We received three concept models late Wednesday afternoon.  And by Thursday morning we had a cost plan, schedule and 4D simulation for each concept version, a targeted comparison, and a powerpoint presentation to demonstrate to the BBPB Team.


The timeline went something like this…


Wednesday (Day 1)


5pm Eastern – Published three concept models (from different sources) and automatically created quantity takeoffs.


publish BIM models to Vico Office

Caption: Here are the three concept models published in Vico Office.  Although this exercise used Revit models, Vico Office also works with ArchiCAD, Tekla, SketchUp, CAD-Duct, IFC files, and 3D DWGs.  So no matter where your models are coming from (the design team, the subs, the engineers), you can work with them together in Vico Office.


6pm Eastern - Investigated models, renamed and reallocated some of the TakeOff Items (TOIs) so all three options used the same consistent naming conventions then pulled in element estimating build ups from previous projects. This ensured all 3 models were aligned in terms of nomenclature which would provide more useful comparison data.


interrogating the model quantities

Caption: In the takeoff model 2-way-view we can select TOIs and visualize them in the model with the yellow highlighting. The models had been created by different sources so we used this view to then rename/create new TOIs and reallocate elements, if required.


8pm Eastern – Reviewed the quantity takeoff, looking for any missing quantities in the cost plan  and used integrated multi window views to ensure everything in the model had been picked up in the estimate.  I then investigated some similar historical projects to compare the pricing and make sure it was correct.



Caption: In this three-way-view, we can see that the yellow-highlighted roof slabs on the building are also highlighted in the quantity takeoff, and below in the estimate.  This is a great advantage for estimators pulling all-nighters on the bid – you can very quickly see that all the scope has been accounted for.


9pm Eastern – I sent the project to my colleague, Clive, for his review.  Since he’s an expert scheduler, he was better suited to create the appropriate schedule tasks while I reviewed different budget options in Cost Explorer and started work on the comparison reports.



Caption: Here in Vico Office Cost Explorer, we compared the Cost Plan to the Target Cost for Design Option #2 & #3.  The color-coded tree structure shows us that we are over-budget on the Exterior Enclosure in project #2.


6pm Pacific – Working out of Vico’s new Irvine, California office, Clive was able to map the Tasks to the Cost Plan items and create the Location Breakdown Structure (LBS) to provide quantities per schedule location.



Caption: Here we see the start of the Location Breakdown Structure by first creating boundaries for each floor.  Eventually, we will divide the project into manageable work areas by trade so we will have precise quantities by location for each trade.  When these quantities per location are combined with the Subs’ productivity rates and anticipated manpower, we get the durations.


Back on East Coast Time...



Caption: While Clive was working on the schedule, I started comparing costs for the three models submitted.  With this actionable intelligence, we could make informed decisions about which option met our goals.


8pm Pacific – Clive created the schedule versions and reviewed the resource allocations.



Caption: Here are four quick summarized reports out of Vico Office Schedule Planner.  From top to bottom: the flowline schedule, the gantt chart, the resource histogram, and the cash flow report.


9pm Pacific – Clive reviewed the 4D simulations (created as a by-product from Vico’s integrated process), refined the schedules, and analyzed the versions.



Caption: Here is a screencapture from the 4D simulation.  Simulation is an imprecise industry term, but in Vico parlance, it is the resulting animation of the BIM derived from the quantities per location and sub productivity data.


Thursday (Day 2)


8am Eastern -- Create Powerpoint presentation and present to team.  You can watch the presentation to the Balfour Beatty – Parsons Brinckerhoff Team below.


Caption: Here's our presentation to the Balfour Beatty Construction and Parsons Brinckerhoff teams.  Roll the videotape!


Yes, they were simple concept projects and this was only an “exercise,” but try doing all the steps outlined above, providing real 4D and 5D data in that period of time using traditional means! I’m sure you will agree is not possible.


It was refreshing for Clive and me to “get our hands dirty” taking us back to our construction roots.  The entire exercise reminded us how powerful Vico Office is in the real world!  We really appreciated the invitation from BBPB and love the BIM Storm concept.  Needless to say, the BBPB Team knocked the ball out of the park in DC.  No one had ever seen a complete schedule and estimate pulled together so seamlessly.


If you and your team would like to learn more about Vico Office, we have a structured, 30-day evaluation program.  We help you learn Vico Office through a series of training, exercises, and even homework assignments over the course of thirty days…not 24 hours.  The content covers clash/constructability analysis, quantity takeoff, schedule planning, estimating, and on-site production control.  Let us know if you’re interested – we’d be happy to help you get started.



Tags: bim storm, balfour beatty construction, 4D schedule, 24 hour turnaround, parsons brinckerhoff, 5D estimate, bim storm presentation