Vico Office Constructability Manager FAQs
Vico Office Constructability Manager is the clash detection and coordination module within the Vico Office integrated workflow. The coordinated models drive precise quantities in Vico Office Takeoff Manager, which in turn drives more precise location-based quantities for scheduling and production control. These quantities also drive more precise estimating and budgeting in Vico Office Cost Planner and Cost Explorer.
After reading through these questions, please navigate across the product line:
Also read through these questions:
Location-Based Managememt System FAQs (the theory which powers Vico scheduling solutions)
We also have a Vico Office Video Training Series for Estimators, Schedulers, Supers, and PMs who are looking to learn how to use the software. The videos are just 2-5 minutes in length, but dive into a particular feature. You can follow along with extra commentary and resources on our website or download the series to your desktop.
Q: I find that running coordination meetings are very difficult because there are so many issues to go through. How does the software make this easier?
A: Workflow is very essential to creating successful, productive meetings. Vico Office helps the BIM Manager or Coordination Specialist organize the clashes, group related clashes, and prioritize them. Please watch this video to learn more about the process.
Q: In other clash detection systems you need a Masters Degree in filtering. How do you organize a clash detection?
A: A simple palette of options allows the Constructability Manager to locate only relevant clashes. Take a look at this quick tutorial.
Q: Can you set guidelines for proximities to elements? For instance a 2' 0" clearance for no penetrations around concrete columns in a post tension slab... that would just be to confirm that plumbing does not conflict with the design parameters in addition to physical conflicts.
A: The answer is we do not do that yet... We are working on that, as we think that's a good idea, but we do not have that in the software yet.
Q: Let's say you are the constructability manager on the construction team. Do you need to have the BIM authoring tools on your laptop?
A: There are really two methods to move information into Vico Office. There are publishers... and the publishers we have today are for Revit, Tekla, and ArchiCAD. And in order to publish a model you do need to have access to that application. So if you were a construction company and you didn't do much modeling you might need to have a copy of ArchiCAD, Tekla, or Revit on a floating basis so that you would be able to publish models that were given to you in native format. If you do not have the authoring tool, the supplier... let's say the design team... can publish the model for you and send it to you and you can place it on your Vico Office server. In order to do that they would need to own a copy of Vico Office client (that's the $495 software)
Then there are importers. We have started to build importers because we know there are applications where there frequently may be data coming from the applications but it is very unlikely that you would have a copy of that software. So publishers are a little more powerful in that they allow you to control what you're publishing. So you may chose not to publish a certain type of information or you may chose to only publish parts of the model.
Importers are a little different in that you do not need the application. So there are several importers now for Vico Office. One is for CAD-Duct so you do not need to own a copy of CAD-Duct to do a CAD-Duct import. You just need the CAD-Duct file and you can import it. Similarly there is an IFC importer and you don't need any application you just need the file that you wish to import in IFC format. And for our customers in Sweden, we have a special importer called sbXML. Additionally, we have importers for SketchUp and DWG files.
Q: Let's say you're on a project team, does each member of the project team need a copy of Vico Office Client so that they can share information back and forth?
A: As you saw at the end of the demonstration, we put the report information into Word or Excel, etc. So creating a document that everyone can access whether it's a PDF or graphics doc is really quite easy. So you can do that then no one needs anything. If you want someone else to view the clashes as you would in the application and be able to read the information that the report was generated from (so to be able to look at those panels that you saw that showed RFIs and clashes and all the detail information
available to pan and zoom, etc.) Then you would need a Client and again that's the $495 part of Vico Office.
Q: Did Vico work with Autodesk to improve Navisworks. Is this a version of Navisworks or a new product?
A: Originally, two years ago when we where beginning to build this set of products, we did attempt to license Navisworks to be the engine. We're partners with Autodesk and part of their Developers' Network. Unfortunately at the time we were unable to do that because the API was not available. So we did build our own solution and what we tried to do is to make sure that it is something that could be used inside Vico Office and be a logical addition to the Vico Office implementation. We’ve looked at kind of the best of what everyone’s doing and we tried to make sure that Vico Office has the same capabilities.
Q: After highlighting and reporting the clashes in Constructability Manager, could you send these updates to the various models? How does that work?
A: The Constructability Team has two ways of sharing information with the BIM model authors.
In Scenario One your design team has Vico Office Client… Then they could certainly read the comments in your Constructability Report and make the changes, publish the new model version, and then the Constructability Team would start using those new models. So to complete the loop they would make the refinements and hit the publish button again and when you run the analysis the next time those will incorporate and knock out the issues that they’ve resolved.
In Scenario Two where you design team do not have Vico Office Client, you can also report and share the information via a PDF file.
Essentially I think the question is pointed more at “is there a way of exporting information directly to ArchiCAD or Tekla and actually viewing that same information in the native software?” And that’s not available. The author of each model must update their BIM model with the issues identified in the Constructability Report.
But this question brings us back to process… The process has to be very well mapped out. The Model Progression Specification details exactly what you are going to do so that you can go back and forth from your analysis in Vico Office back to your modeling team to say “these are the changes that need to be made” before we publish again.
Q: Are you recommending that the BIM Coordinator or the Project Manager review and sort the clashes before each coordination meeting? How do you organize the difference between a clash and constructability issue?
A: Yes, the best practice is that the Project Manager organizes the clashes, captures viewpoints, and notations before the meeting. The Vico Office Constructability Manager workflow guides the user through identifying clashes, promoting important items to Constructability Issues, then to an RFI, and then to a Change Order.
Here is a quick tutorial explaining how that is completed...
Q: Can these RFIs from Vico Office be linked to an outside project information management system like Prolog or Constructware?
A: The answer to that is yes. We've connected to CMIC's ERP software for construction companies and we've also connected to Newforma using agcXML. We do plan to establish connections to other popular systems. You can also do a manually association that is really quite easy... as all the data that you generate in Vico Office can be saved outside of Vico Office and associated with any kind of project log or project accounting system or anything else.
Q: Can you tie multiple clashes to one RFI after it is created? For example, the conduit clash shown could repeat on each floor. So can you group those together?
A: I don't think you would necessarily want to group them. What you probably do is create a note that says typical and state the floors that it starts at and the floors that it ends at. Or you could take a very large picture of the whole thing. But I don't think typically you would want to associate a whole bunch of other ones. However you could... If you did choose to do it that way you can take any type of picture file which is what is generated inside the Vico Office Constructability Manager piece and you could associate it with a clash. So that it could even be a snapshot of the 2D drawing area where the clash occurs in 2D and you can show that in both the constructability manager panel as well as in the report.
Q: Can the cost of the change be associated with the clash resolution and become a part of the project cost analysis?
A: Yes. You can do that and there are really two methods for doing this. One is to create something that you then report on and create additive costs for the analysis of construction or constructability. The other way is that you could use tags in the cost planning system and you could add a tag that related to the cost of a constructability issue and you could track it and increment the cost of budget in that fashion.
Additional comment: Using the severity indictors that are in Constructability Manager... Depending on the level of information that you want to get out of your analysis... You can look at how many low, medium, and high severity issues there are and give each on e a general value. Say low severity is $200 medium are $700 and high are $1500. So you may do it that way as well just based on the total number of issues. You'll get a ball park number that will give you something to work with when you are calculating your ROIs for the first time.
Q: I see working drawing plan views incorporated in the report, are these generated automatically or is it something that gets manually placed in?
A: You are able to take a snapshot of anything that you have in digital form and place it both in the constructability issue as well as have it included in the report.
Q: With an integrated team what is the fastest process to solve clashes and avoid written RFIs.
A: This has two parts. The first part depends when you are able to get your coordination team on board. If they are a truly integrated team and they get a quick jump on the project you can start as schematic design is starting to come together and design development is just occurring you can figure out a lot of your primary elevation or locations like big ducts and some of the things that you know you will need in there. And then as the docs get developed a bit further you can jump in around 100% and finalize that information. You can do it a lot quicker when it goes down that way because we're all familiar with the project at that point since the project team knows what type of materials and what elements to expect as the design updates come out. So it just takes a couple weeks then.
The other way to do it is we can wait until the GC is awarded the project and again they're working on getting mobilized on site and we'll just get a start with them as soon as they're ready to go and they have some subcontractors on board or even before that. And we'll use the basis of design information or any submittal information that is starting to come together for the project and start to put it together right at the very beginning. We'll try and make deliverables that transition... as we said... with Constructability Manager working with a lot of different platforms now, we have a lot of different import and export capabilities. So same with the coordination deliverables: we can put them into a package that works with whatever subcontractors might want to use it for further down the road.
Q: Is it possible to select complete files rather than individual objects to run clash detection again? And when reports are generated what other than the viewpoints and associated objects are automatically generated?
A: In terms of selecting complete files you don't actually run it like that, but if you think back to the import or model manager part of Vico Office those different listings are individual models. So essentially that's what you're doing. If I were to activate, for example, just the structural steel model and just the ductwork model then I would be comparing one model to another.
And then yes, there is a great deal of additional information available. You can add several more columns to that dashboard. There are more things that you that you can add there. And anything that can be referenced from the initial model or that's been typed in is then able to be reported on. So not only the clash instance and maybe a snapshot of something that's supporting, but all the detailed columns can be included.
Q: With multiple companies on a project can two or more of the companies sync project information?
A: For multiple companies there are multiple solutions. One solution would be to use what we call Compare & Update. So let's say hypothetically I'm working on the cost estimate for one part of the building and I have a colleague in another firm who's working on the same model and doing a complete cost estimate. I could then share my cost estimating data for my system with him and he can do what we call the Compare & Update in Vico Office. Compare & Update will show all of the line items and descriptions in cost plan 1 vs. cost plan 2 and it will actually show you the difference. And you can then decide whether you want to update so I would be able to... let's say I'm doing the architectural and structural and someone else is doing the plumbing... I could then bring the plumbing in through Compare & Update and update those quantities and those costs into my cost plan.
Q: If you already have Vico Office licenses is Constructability Manager included or additional to the license we already have?
A: It is included. So Vico Software Customers who had invested in Constructor will be getting a copy of Constructability Manager per license.
Q: What kind of BIM model does the owner get at the end of the day?
A: Quite frequently you will want to have a model in the native authoring system. You may also want to have a merged model whether it's in Vico Office or in another authoring tool. But you really give them whatever they want.
Q: What's the latest status on IFC export from other software that import into Vico?
A: The IFC Importer is finished and is available for purchase.
Q: You speak only about clash detection, what about other constructability issues, component similarity, or access?
A: Yes, that is what the manual marker method is for. So there are really three parts to clash detection or coordination. One part is the clashes themselves. The other is "I know there is an issue here" and that that would be an area for a manual diamond or "constructability marker" to be placed. And then finally I want to be able to do my sequencing to be able to see in 4D as this thing is built and the schedule progresses... Do I have other issues that are spatial in nature... So I want to be able to do all three of those and I can do those in Vico Office.
Here is a brief tutorial which demonstrates how to use manual "constructability markers" to identify items which are not geometry clashes.
Q: What happens after the Constructability Analyses meetings?
A: Now that the various BIM models have been combined and coordinated, the Estimator can perform a quantity takeoff, iterations of the cost plan, and then compare the current estimate to the target cost. Now the coordinated model from preconstruction can contribute its more precise quantities to estimating and scheduling.
Here's a tutorial video illustrating how the coordinated models can contribute their correct quantities for cost planning.
Q: I'm not sure I understand which should some first -- our first pass at the estimate or our clash detection?
A: Identifying clashes in the model can help you hone the estimate. After all, the quantities will be different after the clash is resolved and those quantities will feed a more precise cost plan and schedule. Using a laboratory building, follow the workflow as clashes are identified, quantity takeoffs are honed, cost plans are evolved, and budgets are compared to the target costs.
Wow, that's some great information on Constructability Manager. Would you like to speak with a member of our Business Development Team to schedule a demonstration?
Still researching? Here are some resources to help you:
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
Training: Vico Office Video Training Series