Vico Office Takeoff Manager FAQs

Vico Office Takeoff Manager examines the BIM model geometry, applies special algorithms, and produces construction-caliber quantities necessary for 4D BIM scheduling and 5D BIM estimating.


It only makes sense that construction-caliber quantities are extracted after the various models have been put through clash detection and coordination.  Now the quantities are even more precise for estimators and schedulers.


The Takeoff Manager module is necessary (along with Vico Office Client) for both downstream activities: 4D scheduling and 5D estimating.  The scheduler and estimator must have the quantities to power their activities.


After reading through these questions, please navigate across the product line:

Vico Office FAQs

Vico Office Client FAQs

Vico Office Constructability Manager FAQs

Vico Office LBS Manager FAQs

Vico Office Schedule Planner FAQs

Vico Office Production Controller FAQs

Vico Office 4D Manager FAQs

Vico Office Cost Planner FAQs

Vico Office Cost Explorer FAQs

Also read through these questions:

Model Progression Specification FAQs

Location-Based Managememt System FAQs (the theory which powers Vico scheduling solutions)

5D Data Pack FAQs


We also offer a step-by-step guide to our 5D virtual construction workflow with video tutorials. These videos are just 2-5 minutes in length, but illustrate how to use a particular piece of functionality. You can access the video library index and view just what you need, or download the complete set of training videos.


Q:  Is it possible to use Uniformat and MasterFormat in Takeoff Manager?


A:  Takeoff Manager uses CSI MasterFormat and Uniformat. For the element level when we link a pad footing, let’s say, to something in the Cost Planner the footing is classified to Uniformat level because that is an elemental cost plan breakdown. Then the activities which go into constructing that footing, as in the formwork, concrete, and rebar, are classified in MasterFormat and the resources are also classified in MasterFormat. So then we can view the cost plan in two ways… We can look at the cost per element or the cost per actual activity so we use a mix and match.  Again, it’s country-specific - the new rules of measurement in the UK currently works where you just keep breaking the element down into the activities and it all has a similar structure. We can cater for all different ways.


Q:   Many objects in Revit are modeled as generic objects. When they are exported to Vico Office do we have the count for those objects? Is there any way to get dimensional data from these generic models?


A:   If something is just a simple object such as a wall we can quantify them and measure them with the onscreen measuring tool to get the exact quantities. But if it is an object that has come from a Revit library then we will have less available quantities. What we can do is we can try changing the algorithm so could change it from object to a wall to generate more useful quantities so again just because we’ve got something from an architect in a particular way we can try different algorithms to see if we can get the quantities required.


Q:  How accurate are the quantities for the published models and how much modification is required?


A:  Again it is dependent on if you have the design and construction teams following an MPS… This means that they will use the right objects and hopefully you’ll have a minimum amount of rework. The other end of the spectrum is when an architect uses many different tools for many similar objects and doesn’t have a standard way of drawing and then you have to refine things.


How accurate are the quantities? Well, the takeoff algorithm computes the quantities based on the geometry. For example with volume… we saw many decimal places there and it’s something a computer can do far more accurately than we can with a scale rule or a simple on screen version of the takeoff.  But it’s again related to what goes into the system and the benefit of Vico Office is that it facilitates a sanity check on the quantities and it’s easy to manipulate and change them should you not agree with that information.


Also, depending on if it’s a design-intent model, the quantities may not be at the level of detail that you need for construction quantities which is why many GCs are taking the design intent model and building it up to a level of construction detail.


Q: There are several property types that are different across the popular BIM authoring platforms like Marks and Families.  How do you denote that when your project has these different BIM models?


A: After publishing your Revit model to Vico Office, simply mark which properties will contribute to the quantity takeoff.  It is important to note that we use our own proprietary quantity takeoff algorithms, not the prescribed CAD quantities. Our quantities are called construction-caliber because they are uniquely suited to estimating purposes. The 5D workflow continues with constructability analysis, location breakdown structure, cost planning, and scheduling. 




Q:   Can you demonstrate how you verify complete quantities by viewing the graphic model?


A:  We can choose one way, two way, three way and four way views and if we select the model in one of the views and the Takeoff Manager in the other view… If we select any item in Takeoff Manager it will show that item in the model. So it is quite interactive between any views that we choose to show together.


Here is a quick video which shows how the model is visually connected to the takeoff line item and the cost plan line item.



Q:  Can you tell us more about the Takeoff Manager quantity extraction algorithms?


A:  The construction-caliber quantities reported in Vico Office Takeoff Manager are not a direct report from the BIM model. The quantities are a derivation of the model geometry to which an intelligent algorithm is applied.  It is very important to note that there is not an "easy button" for quantity takeoff which results in construction-caliber quantities.  Please watch the following two tutorials to learn much more about the algorithms.



Here is another example of the intelligent algorithms applied to model geometry so that we can extract quantities from the BIM.



Q: How do the quantities from Takeoff Manager get used by Estimators to start building the estimate?


A: Using construction-caliber quantities derived from the BIM model geometry, estimators can quickly hone iterative cost plans to arrive at the estimate.  The important piece to remember is that the quantities are visual - the quantity takeoff can be viewed as a spreadsheet next to the BIM model.  When the estimator clicks on a quantity takeoff item, the corresponding elements in the model are highlighted.  Estimators can be certain that the quantities are accurate by amending a mis-labeled element and/or "painting" the correct element so that it is included in the count.


This video explains the estimating workflow from quantity takeoff, to setting a target cost, and then working on the cost plan.



Q: How do you identify which elements have missing quantities and then how do you address that?


A:  Vico Office Takeoff Manager understands that not all BIM elements will be modeled correctly. Users can quickly filter on missing quantities, interrogate the model, and manually add missing quantities.


Here is a quick tutorial to illustrate that feature.





Q:  Can you generate steel weight and or volume if you’re using Revit Structure?


A:  You typically wouldn’t model rebar just because the model would end up very large. But if you were to model rebar… Yes you can. And that would be the same principal as modeling normal steel work such as columns or beams. Every column or beam has a weight per square foot associated with it and if we know the length it’s just a simple calculation within Vico in which you’ll use the length and use the consumption which is the weight per foot to get the overall tonnage. But the actual modeling of rebar is rarely done.


Q:  Besides 3D takeoff can Vico Office provide 2D quantity takeoffs from a DWG or a PDF?


A:  Today the takeoff would have to be keyed in. We are building 2D takeoff into a future release, but for Release 3 in order to use 2D values you would key them in as Ian showed you when he created a simple estimate in the beginning… and you can combine those with the model quantities.


Q:  I just attend your webinar which I found to be quite good. I do have one question though. On some projects, Contractors are asked to Tender for Works where a detailed BOQ has been developed. If this process is to be followed, how can they be engaged earlier in the project as I understood your webinar to suggest?


A:  It varies dependent on the type of contract. If a BQ has been provided are you liable for checking and taking ownership of those quantities?  I used to be an Estimator back in the days of the client retaining ownership and therefore any mistakes were paid for with no contractor risk. I haven’t seen that for a long time so I guess it’s the former.

If you have to take ownership then you can quickly check those quantities with a model, find the good and bad issues and make allowances in your tender to have a competitive advantage. Some people call that "evil BIM"!  The earlier in the process you can be involved then that gives the best opportunity to reap the rewards but there are benefits to be had at every stage.