The Difference between BIM and Virtual Construction

Everyone knows a great 3D model when they see one. Superstructures, interiors, MEP, and foundations are all modeled whether it’s in SketchUp or Tekla, ArchiCAD or Revit. But what do you do with a model after you’ve built it? This is Virtual Construction .


We like to say that Virtual Construction is getting to build the project twice: one on the computer screen and once out at jobsite. So if we construct our model in the same way that we are going to build the project, we are also able to coordinate it, schedule it, and estimate it. And in Vico Office, we can do so much more!

what is the difference between BIM and Virtual Construction  

In Vico Office we can take in all types of BIMs from all project stakeholders – the design team, the engineers, the subs, your own in-house team, etc. and combine them to locate any constructability issues. By ironing these out on the computer screen in preconstruction, we can save headaches out in the field, and even prefabricate the pieces for straightforward installation.


Then we can generate construction-caliber quantities from the model geometry. These quantities by location power our crew-based scheduling and estimating.  We utilize Flowline to illustrate crews moving through locations at a particular productivity rate and can optimize the schedule based on project length, cost, risk, or a whole host of other variables. And, of course, we can also check our work with schedule simulations to make certain our assumptions are correct and communicate the schedule to both our subs and Owner.


Cost planning is iterative in Vico Office because we know that the design will be changing and models will arrive at different levels of completeness. But because of the unique database at the heart of Vico, all new models are perfectly synched with our established locations and estimate structure. This means that as soon as we publish the new geometry, the new quantities ripple through our estimate and schedule like dominoes falling in a pattern.


Virtual Construction doesn’t stop with a model…it starts with a model and the richness of a means and methods database and results in construction management reports the whole team can use to bring the project home on time and on budget. Imagine what
your firm can do by building the project twice. Vico Office is your ticket to Virtual Construction.


Learn more about Vico Office with these resources:

About Us: Is Vico a Clever Contraction of Virtual Construction?

Training Videos: Vico Office Training Videos for Estimating, Scheduling, Reporting and Production Control

Webinar: The 5D BIM Workflow in Vico Office

Blog: True 5D Starts with Estimating