Vico Office Constructability Manager

Clash detection and coordination in an integrated workflow




Clash detection is the low-hanging fruit for BIM practitioners.  But it is one thing to identify clashes between models and quite another to resolve the problems in preconstruction, thus shortening the schedule and saving the budget from costly re-work.


We have found that traditional clash detection cycles often go around in circles with one clash fixed creating another clash for another subcontractor.  With Vico Office Constructability Manager, we are proposing a new solution for the typical preconstruction challenges: one that gets subs on board early, one that involves the estimating and scheduling teams from the get-go; and one that includes clash detection, but with an interesting new twist: the the coordination can be quickly and effectively analyzed in terms of its affect on quantity counts, schedule, and estimate.


With Vico Office Constructability Manager, project stakeholders simply publish their models using Vico Office Client.  Once collected inside Vico Office Client, the BIM Manager or Coordination Leader can activate the appropriate models and select which layers and element types s/he would like to compare.


Using the Clash Detection Settings picklist, the Leader can quickly define common and even complex comparisons, save them, and re-run the comparisons when new model versions become available.  Now with the clashes presented in a spreadhseet-like list, the Leader can investigate the clashes with a split screen, turning the model translucent and highlighting the clash from every vantage point.  At this point, the Leader can investigate particular areas of concern and add user-defined constructability issues using Constructability Markers.  These new issues can be prioritized and addressed at the next meeting.


Reviewing the clash list, the Coordination Leader can decide to ignore clashes or to promote them to a Constructability Issue.  Marked as a Constructability Issue, the Leader can now annotate the item with notes, a cloud, a snapshot comparison of the 2D drawing, and snapshots from different angles in the model.  S/he can tag another teammate to investigate the issue, assign its priority, and even promote it to an RFI, if necessary.


To prepare for the coordination meeting, the Leader can organize a Constructability Analysis Report to share with project stakeholders and prioritize the items for discussion and resolution.


Vico Office Constructability Manager not only includes clash detection and coordination, but it is part of a larger integrated construction workflow for quantity takeoff, scheduling, and cost planning.


Using Vico Office Constructability Manager is very straightforward - we've built in our best practices to the workflow:


1. Publish models from your favorite BIM authoring tool to Vico Office.

2. Manage and activate models in Vico Office Client's Manage Models workflow item.

3. Define Clash Detection Settings by specifying which element types and layers should be compared to each other.

4. Run an automatic Clash Detection, using the defined setting or an earlier saved setting.

5. Review your Clashes, specify Constructability Issues, and add Markup with redlining and clouds.

6. Create and review the RFIs

7. Prepare Constructability Reports for the team with the Vico Office Client Report Editor


Publish Models to Vico Office


To start a project with Vico Office, simply publish all the available models to the Vico Office application using the Vico Office Client. There’s no need to convert files or ftp them – the Publish to Vico button appears in the BIM-authoring applications from Autodesk Revit, Tekla Structures, and Graphisoft ArchiCAD.


Using special Importers, you can also import CAD-Duct files and IFC files.


Once inside the Vico Office environment, users can interrogate the models, see how they’re organized, combine them, and prepare them for whichever task we’d like to do next.


In this case, we’re going to run a clash detection and constructability analysis next, so let’s select which models we’d like to use.

Activate the Models to Compare


You can see in the Manage Model workflow pane that we have several active models to work with. Now we can combine the models we’d like for the clash detection and constructability analysis. By using the filtering palette, we see that we have the substructure model from ArchiCAD, the structural model, and we can add the external and internal architectural models, as well as the site and mechanical model.


Model Manager, part of the Vico Office Client, provides functionality that allows project teams to monitor published model versions and activate newer model versions when this is desired. Older model versions are kept and can be re-activated if needed. Models can be published and activated from any of the supported modeling platforms (Revit 2009 and 2010, ArchiCAD 11, 12 and Constructor, Tekla Structures 15, and – new –AutoCAD Architecture, AutoCAD MEP), or imported (with the new IFC file import functionality and CAD-Duct importer). Model Management allows for tracking the models and model versions that have been published, and for activation of these models when desired.


Using the orbit command, we can circle the model and explore it further by using the transparency mode and other settings to help us visualize the building much easier.

Define Clash Detection Settings

Now that we have selected our models for the clash detection, we need to determine how we will clash the elements contained in those models.

Performing automated clash detection requires setting up conditions and rules before the automatic analysis can be executed. The clash detection settings are easy to understand and define.


Defining Clash Detection Settings is a simple two-step process, in which the user can define two geometry selection sets, which will be compared to each other during the clash detection process. Selection sets can be defined based on Element Type and refined based on Layer Properties. The combination of two sets of Layer and Element Type selections can be saved for future use in named clash detection settings. The interface is clean and simple making it easy to hone in specific issues.


Once the clash detection settings are defined, the system finds the clashes, stores them in the project database, and then presents a listing of the clashes for the user according to the settings defined here.

Review and Prioritize the Clashes


After defining the Clash Detection Settings, an automated detection can be run, using the defined selection sets in the active Detection Setting.


During the clash detection process, found clashes are added to the list of clashes in the Constructability Manager view. Each element that collides with another element is considered a clash.


It is here that the user can review and prioritize the clashes. Reviewing the clashes is made easy by a unique set of viewing tools. The user can turn the model translucent to quickly identify the clash, or strip away the model elements to hone in on the clash. And, of course, the use can automatically zoom to the clash location which has been highlighted in yellow.


By prioritizing the clashes, we mean: Ignore, Group multiple clashes into one Constructability Issue, or promote the clash to a Constructability Issue. When a clash is classified as “Constructability Issue,” it is moved from the “Clash” list to the “Constructability Issues” list – it is this list that can then form the input for meetings. This is important because we do not want the team and/or the Subs sifting through hundreds of superfluous clashes. By identifying the real issues, we can streamline review meetings.

Cloud and Annotate Problems


When processing constructability issues, users can save a viewpoint that presents the detected problem in the model. The saved view can then be used to add markup to allow for further explaining of the problem that was found. Viewpoints with markup can be associated with both Constructability Issues and RFI’s, and can be included in Constructability and RFI reports.

Escalate Issues and Assign


A “priority” can be assigned to clashes and a “severity” can be assigned to Constructability Issues, to provide a sort order for urgency. Filtering and Sorting provides an easy way to see the desired set of clashes or Constructability Issues.


The “assignment” property allows for assigning Constructability Issues and RFIs to team members and for managing responsibility and follow-up for found problems.


Creation of RFIs is an integrated part of the Constructability Manager process. When the (preprocessed) set of Constructability Issues is reviewed by the project team, items that require additional information in order to be resolved can be escalated to an RFI status. In this case, a copy of the Constructability Issue is placed on the RFI tab of the Constructability Manager view and becomes an RFI with a number and description. Required information for RFI submittal can be entered and RFI reports can be generated.

Issue Constructability Reports for Review


Constructability Issues and RFIs can be reported with the reporting engine. Attached images and viewpoints with markup can be included in the report.


With the Reporting feature in Vico Office Client, Clashes, Constructability Issues and RFIs can be printed and saved in various file formats, including Excel, PDF and Word.

Vico Office Constructuability Manager lets you:

• Mix and match BIM models for clash detection
• Design and save your own clash detection settings
• Examine the clash from multiple angles, adding markup and redlining
• Prioritize, group, and promote clashes to Constructability Issues
• Create customizable Constructability Analysis Reports containing both 2D drawing snapshots and 3D model snapshots side-by-side

• Use coordinated models for quantity takeoff, 4D scheduling, and 5D estimating



To help you and your team learn more about clash detection and coordination within the Vico Office workflow, we've put together these resources:


Webinar: Watch the debut of Constructability Manager on Fridays with Vico

Webinar: Learn how Constructability Manager creates a New Preconstruction Process

Web Page: Explore the differences between Clash Detection and Coordination

Blog: Rethinking 3D BIM Coordination

Blog: Coordination Resolution - 40% Faster than Traditional Clash Detection



Vico Office Constructability Manager (view quality)

Vico Office Constructability Manager (print quality)


Be sure to also read the Features and Benefits and Frequently Asked Questions!


Enjoy this longer demonstration of Vico Office Constructability Manager...