Vico Guest Blogger Series

Why 5D Comes before 4D in Vico Office

Posted by Holly Allison on Thu, May 26, 2011 @ 10:51 AM


I recently spent a long weekend with my two-and-a-half year old nephew.  I was given instructions to play soccer, golf, pretend lawn mowing (very similar to pretend vacuuming), and pretend cooking with him.  I was also charged with reading books during story hour each evening.  And I was told that when he gets fidgety to ask him to sing the A-B-C’s and practice counting one to ten.


I wasn’t too concerned when letters of the alphabet started disappearing.  But for the life of me, I couldn’t get him to include a 4 in his counting.  (It’s also peculiar that 8 is ocho, but let’s get back to the missing 4.)  I tried using his flashcards; I tried lining up his stuffed animals for the roll call; but 4 was mysteriously absent.


We have a similar situation at Vico.  When everyone learned to count 3D, 4D, 5D BIM, we went ahead and changed the order.  We count 3D, 5D, 4D.  Why is that?  Everyone knows that 4 comes before 5!


Quantities drive the schedule and the estimate, but with Vico Office, the estimator takes the lead in the workflow.  Here’s how it works:


With Vico Takeoff Manager, we automatically examine the model geometry to generate construction-caliber quantities. Now with the quantities, estimators use Vico Cost Planner to create multiple iterations of the 5D estimate as the models’ level of detail increases.


These quantities are the driver behind activities.  After all, aren’t we looking for a scientific way to calculate materials and durations?  So if we have to hang drywall, tape, mud, prime and paint, we can get a much more robust calculation for both materials and labor if we know the total surface area minus windows and doors.  The Assemblies and Components for labor, material and equipment from Cost Planner contain quantities and unit costs, which results in automatic cost-loading of schedule tasks by associating cost plan items with Tasks.


And here’s where Task Manager comes into play.  The Task Manager, part of the Vico Schedule Planner, is used to establish the link between cost and schedule information by mapping Cost Assemblies and Components to defined Tasks. Cost Assemblies and Components contain quantities for labor, material, and equipment. Task Manager uses this information to calculate the amount of work that is associated with a Task by applying a Production Rate to one or more of the mapped Assemblies or Components using the equation: component quantity per location divided by production rate equals duration.  Labor Cost Components that are mapped to tasks are recognized as required crew resources and can be extracted automatically, allowing for calculation of optimal crew configuration and size and resource loading of the schedule.


And now the planning team has the information they need.  Planners also take advantage of these quantities and start evaluating the project and creating the optimal combination of location systems for the trades in Vico LBS Manager. By organizing the project locations, an optimal sequencing logic can be applied with Vico Schedule Planner, and the flowline schedule can be optimized. And the Vico 4D Manager schedule presentation helps the GC and subs work together to evaluate what-if scenarios and determine the best solution.


Vico Office makes a point of highlighting the integration between the data flow of the estimator and the scheduler. Why is this important? Quantities by location impact both the estimate and the schedule, so the 5D connection to the 3D model has to be real-time, as does the 4D connection to the 5D model.  A coordinated project model feeds quantities to the team.  Those detailed quantities feed cost estimates, and the line items in an estimate feed the project schedule.  And this is why 5 comes before 4 at Vico.


Subcontractors are brought into the process to assess and plan proper crew and resource sizing to produce a complete project plan where all stakeholders own the plan and are committed to a consistent set of outcomes. Everything from material and labor cost to precise task durations are derived from this information model and kept up to date as inevitable changes occur. Because Vico Office integrates these workflows, we get cost- and resource-loaded schedules -- a much more valuable Owner deliverable.



Caption: We all learned to count 3-4-5, but at Vico we count 3-5-4 to highlight that several 5D BIM estimating tasks feed the 4D BIM schedule.  The quantities that define our schedule come from the 3D BIM model.  Vico Office Cost Planner takes these quantities and associates them with construction means and methods.  We can then assign productivity rates from past projects or work with our Subs for commitments.  Feeding estimating data into the schedule data is one of the core building blocks that makes the Vico Office unique.  And it is this tight integration that allows us to produce a live BIM model that can answer the question: what impact will this change have on my estimate and schedule? 


Now if I could only get my nephew to include a 4 in his counting! 


To learn more about the 5D virtual construction workflow, please see:

Webinar: 5D in Vico Office

Video: 5D BIM for Dummies

Training: Vico Office Cost Planner Video Tutorials


To learn more about the 4 in 4D BIM, please see:

Webinar: 4D BIM with Vico

Webinar: Introducing LBS Manager

Webinar: Introduction to Location-Based Management and Last Planner

Webpage: Scheduling Solutions in Vico Office

Whitepaper: A Comparison of Tradition CPM to Location-Based Scheduling

Whitepaper: The Combination of Last Planner System and Location-Based Management System


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. We have training videos for Estimators, Schedulers, Supers, and anyone who does CM Reporting.

Tags: cost planner, 5D BIM, Takeoff Manager, vico office, 4D BIM, LBS Manager, Schedule Planner, 4D Manager