Vico Guest Blogger Series

A Shortcut to 5D BIM - Introducing the Data Pack

Posted by Holly Allison on Wed, Sep 14, 2011 @ 07:14 AM


In the popular Vico Comics, we explain that putting together a building is a lot like baking a cake.  Baking and building both have a sequence of events and instructions at each stage…like flouring the pan, cracking the eggs, mixing the wet and dry ingredients…oh, and preheating the oven.  To keep the analogy going, the Vico Standard 5D Library is your cookbook with instructions – it’s a collection of activities (like mixing for two minutes and gently folding in the chocolate).  The Vico Standard 5D Warehouse is your pantry of ingredients – all your coded building elements (like the sifted cake flour and Grade A large eggs)!  The Model Progression Specification is your recipe for the type of project you want to build (a three-layer pumpkin spice cake with cream cheese icing).


baking a cake is like building a skyscraper


When you put all of your ingredients together, carefully following the instructions in the recipe, you get a delicious and beautiful cake.  Likewise, when you model building elements to the level of detail required by the MPS and connect that to a knowledgebase of cost and time elements, you get a 5D BIM model perfect for estimating and scheduling.


The Vico Standard 5D Warehouse is a pre-configured collection of coded building elements suitable for linking 3D BIM models to Vico's 4D scheduling and 5D cost estimating applications. Building elements contained in the Warehouse are coded using the same nomenclature and classification systems as the Vico Standard 5D Library, so they work together seamlessly.  Users receive both an Autodesk Revit™ version of the Warehouse and a Graphisoft ArchiCAD™ version of the Warehouse.


The Vico Standard 5D Library gives users a standard collection of formulas and values suitable for linking 3D building information models to Vico’s 4D scheduling and 5D cost estimating applications. The Standard 5D Library is organized by the set of activities required to construct each building element and the sequence in which these activities are performed. Included in the Library are average productivity rates by trade and standard formulas for deriving labor and material resource requirements.


By combining model-derived quantities and contractor-specified unit prices with the Vico Standard 5D Library, users are able to automatically calculate task durations for project schedules and costs for project estimates. Users can overwrite any part of the Vico Standard 5D Library with their own, proprietary data or calculation method.


The Standard 5D Library provides:

•  Construction activity sets for over 3,000 building elements coded by CSI Uniformat

•  Formulas to derive labor and material resources for over 6,000 individual construction activities classified by CSI Masterformat 2004

•  Industry standard productivity rates and resource requirements for over 2,500 project tasks


Using the Library and Warehouse together is a best practice that reduces the effort required to define items, descriptions, dimensions, and properties of commonly used building elements.  These descriptions are persistent throughout Vico Office and can be applied to multiple building projects.  Recall that Vico Office is a database, so re-using this information is as simple as cutting and pasting.


vico data pack feeds the estimate and schedule


The Vico Standard 5D Warehouse is bundled with the Vico Standard 5D Library into the product we call the Data Pack.  When using a Model Progression Specification, the Data Pack can significantly jumpstart your project.  Users can quickly and easily transfer the specifications as-is into the new building project and use them immediately for higher-quality quantity takeoff.  And remember, the better the quantities, the better the estimate and schedule.


Recall than an MPS defines what, how, when, who by and at what level of detail (LOD) all aspects (such as model, estimate, schedule) of the project will be created.  Using the Data Pack is almost like cheating.   A lot of your MPS content is already created.  The Data Pack can provide the “how” for multiple LODs which is one of the most time consuming to create.



Caption: The Vico 5D Data Pack is a collection of information mined from over 400 5D BIM projects around the world. The information includes a collection of standard building elements in both ArchiCAD and Revit, a collection of estimating formulas and codes, as well as standard productivity data for scheduling tasks.  The content of the Data Pack is delivered in three modes: Excel source files, model libraries, and Vico Office reference files. The Excel source files are organized by code levels for the cost plan. The quantity formulas are predefined so that the 3D elements are automatically linked to your cost estimate. Users can add in their own unit prices for their geography and unique project history. The Revit and ArchiCAD content includes standard building elements like slabs, columns, walls, windows, beams, etc. organized by Uniformat category. These elements can be copy/pasted into your new project and automatically link the Revit Family Types and ArchiCAD Layer Name and ID, respectively, to your costing data. The Vico Office Reference Files can be unpacked in your dashboard and users can drag/drop content into new projects.  The combination of model geometry, quantity takeoff formulas, and scheduling task data jumpstarts new projects and provides a shortcut to a full 5D BIM project.


The Vico Office Data Pack includes the Standard 5D Library and Standard 5D Warehouse. This predefined integration provides customers a very comprehensive estimate in a matter of minutes. Now your properly formatted BIM model is completely integrated with the properly formatted estimate. At Vico, we call the Data Pack our shortcut to full 5D BIM.


The Data Pack is just another way that Vico delivers more value to our customers and helps them do 5D BIM on more and more projects.  We’ve harnessed the intellectual property from over 400 global building projects and synthesized it down into a Data Pack of building elements and their scheduling and estimating properties.  Who wouldn’t want this shortcut to full 5D BIM?


To learn more about this topic, please refer to the following resources:

Video: 5D BIM for Dummies

Webinar: Should You Build or Buy a BIM Knowledgebase of Cost and Time Elements?

Webinar: Using the 5D Data Pack on a New Project

Webinar: The Knowledge Base of Cost and Time Elements

Webinar: Understanding the Model Progression Specification

Webinar: The MPS 3.0

Product: The Vico Standard 5D Warehouse

Blog: Keeping Construction Practices Connected

Webpage: The Virtual Construction Toolkit - the 5D Data Pack

Webpage: Inside the 5D Data Pack

FAQs: 5D Data Pack FAQs



Tags: MPS, Standard 5D Warehouse, data pack, BIM knowledgebase, model progression specification, productvity rates, labor rates, material resource requirements, jumpstart your BIM project, Standard 5D Library