Vico Office LBS Manager FAQs
Vico Office LBS Manager lets users define a location structure, consisting of any combination of floors and zones, in their project. Locations are used to perform location-based quantity takeoff with Takeoff Manager, which can then be used as input for location-based cost and schedule planning with Cost Planner and Schedule Planner.
Now let's be honest - location breakdown structures are not the most exciting piece of virtual construction, but it might, in fact, be the most critical:
1. We create multiple location systems so we can optimize the flow of trades through the project. This flowline technique has been documented to compress the schedule by at least 10% without adding risk to the project.
2. These multiple location systems are persistent -- so that every time the design changes (and you know it will) you don't have to go back and re-do the LBS.
3. With LBS Manager, you don't have to go back to the CAD system when you create new or modify existing locations.
4. Having quantities by location is the key to 4D schedules and 5D estimates. Quantities by location are the final variable we need in the formula to create cost- and resource-loaded schedule and cash flow reports.
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 designed for Schedulers, Estimators, Supers, and PMs. The videos are only 2-5 minutes in length, but dive deep into each piece of functionality. You can follow along on the website with additional commentary and resources, or download the series to your desktop.
We also have two whitepapers that explain construction scheduling:
Q: I'm not sure I understand how the software knows how to divide BIM model elements into pieces, let alone quanties by each location. Can you please show that?
A: The key to 5D BIM is quantities by location – these quantities are the building blocks for the cost- and resource-loaded schedule. Creating location systems is easy in Vico Office LBS Manager. Simply draw out your locations and they remain persistent no matter how many times the model is updated. The next step is to add logic to the building tasks and then optimize the schedule by balancing the crew sizes and their productivity rates.
A: Locations play a critical role in both construction scheduling and on-site production control. Using flowline techniques, it is easy to see how trades flow through the locations at their actual productivity rate and compare that to the plan. Alerts show where crews are having difficulty and projections show Superintendents what the ripple effects – or cascading delays – will be. Now the team can work together to solve the scheduling issue well in advance.
Here's a quick video that explains how flowline works...and especially, how locations fit.
A: It is very easy to propose alternate construction sequencing based on material availability or site access when GCs are planning a project. Simply by changing the locations, we can see the schedule simulation build out the project and automatically update the project cash flow and resource histogram.
It's really as simple as this...
Q: Our models change all the time. I don't want to have to go back and forth reapplying locations in either the BIM file or in Vico Office. What do I do?
A: When working on a BIM project, the models will change often – that’s just a fact of life. But one thing remains constant – the location breakdown structures you establish in Vico Office LBS Manager are persistent for all your models and all your BIM versions. This means you don’t have to go back to the CAD system and update everything. What a time saver! Integrated 3D-4D-5D BIM sure is more powerful than glue-ware.
Here you can see what happens when we active a newer version of the model we've been working on...
Q: I like the idea that the locations are persistent, but I still to be able to change them when I want to/need to. Is this possible with the system?
A: It’s easy to change the geometry of the locations in Vico Office LBS Manager without having to go back to the CAD system. Moving zones and splitting locations helps us achieve equal quantities per locations and these are important to keep crews flowing smoothly on the construction project. And, of course, it is very easy to maintain task sequencing logic, too, because these are part of the locations.
Here's a (very odd) change we made to a slab pour...
Q: Sometimes we receive models that aren't modeled correctly. But we don't necessarily want to fight the architect for changes. What are the types of problems we can fix ourselves so that we can use the model, but not change the contract liability?
A: Sometimes GCs receive a BIM that isn’t modeled with rigor for construction purposes. That doesn’t mean you can’t overcome the problem. For example, Vico Office LBS Manager lets you properly assign columns according to stories rather than columns drawn full height…without having to go back to the original CAD system. Locations make it so easy to add more detailed logic to your construction schedules.
But, of course, we'd also like to recommend that you introduce the Model Progression Specification to the design team!
Q: Help me understand the difference between Locations and Location Systems.
A: Location Systems are a powerful way to organize quantities per location per trade. Here’s how it works: A location breakdown structure can includes floors of the building which can then be divided into location systems (the 1st Floor example includes superstructure, exterior, and MEP) and each divided into separate work zones. These 3D zones then calculate the quantities by location, and when combined with productivity rates and resources, define the task durations.
Here's a quick explanation...
Q: If a project doesn’t allow for approximately equal scope in locations can we still use locations and location structures to organize it?
A: Yes, absolutely. There’s a misconception out there that location based management systems like this are only really useful for repetitive work where you have a fifty story building. The concept of having different sized locations is why the idea of it only being useful for repetitive items doesn’t stand up. The key to this is to have the location reporting what work is in that area. We would ideally like to just be able to optimize more and keep that work similar but there are logistical constraints, there are physical constraints so we can’t always do that. And the reason why this is so powerful and why it can be applied to almost any work is that it will count what is in that location. If it is not in that location it won’t count it and won’t put a task in the area. You don’t have to manually say it is here, it’s not here it will automatically do that for you.
Q: When you split a building vertically how do you handle steel columns that go through multiple levels?
A: That really is location systems… If you want to you can create a location system that will not split those columns. So it will go in the lifts for each column. Or probably more appropriate is to have what we call manual assignment which means when you create your floor to floor locations it will split the columns until you manually assign them to a floor. So the column that goes from floor one comes through into floor two then you don’t want to split it - you want to say that it’s on floor one so you manually assign it to that location. It is really pretty easy: it’s just selecting the column that you want to and putting it into that location.
Q: Is it possible to cut an element in two pieces (for example a slab) without creating a location and assign the pieces to certain locations or should this be done in the CAD software?
A: You can cut an element and reassign it to another location. We wouldn’t require you to cut any elements in the CAD authoring tool. That is the whole purpose of LBS Manager.
But we also allow you to have what we call “location systems” where we allow elements to be cut in different ways depending on tasks that you require in different location structures so you can have quantities by location that are more meaningful for the specific tasks.
As an example… on the steel structure going up… Maybe we would have another location system so that we could get the steel rather than floor to floor it might be spliced between floors and that might require an individual location structure. But if you didn’t do that you could actually reassign the pieces if they were cut in the authoring tool to be the right length as we would hope for a structural design model. We would indeed be able to just manually assign those to the location where we are going to place them. So the base of the steel column would be assigned to the location where the base is rather than splitting that column.
Q: Is creating Locations the same as floors? I don't understand. Can you show me what you mean by locations?
A: Your locations should be the largest possible manageable work zone - so offices, operating rooms, pours for concrete, etc. Vico LBS Manager provides the tools that let users define a location structure, consisting of any combination of floors and zones, in their Vico Office project. The defined location structure has no relation with the locations that were defined in the authoring BIM application, which makes it possible to define and maintain a uniform location structure for all project information published to the Vico Office Project. We'll use this simple example to show locations...