Vico Guest Blogger Series

The Alphabet Soup of BIM

Posted by Holly Allison on Thu, Nov 08, 2012 @ 12:59 PM

We had an IT Manager call the other day.  He had scheduled his firm’s first meeting to start talking about BIM and he wanted to know which resources would be best for that first meeting. 


We recommended watching the BIM for Dummies video series so that everyone in the meeting could see what’s possible with the technology today.  Then we recommended The BIM Checklist to see how different departments share information back and forth in the 5D workflow.  Then as a follow-up to the meeting, we recommended the BIM Reading List which is organized by role – a list of articles specifically for the BIM Task Force, for Estimators, for Schedulers, and for Executives.


But we suggested that what might help, too, was a simple glossary of common BIM terms.  This way, the group could effectively speak about BIM with a “cheat sheet” to help keep all the acronyms straight.


2D BIM: Vico Office contains a powerful change detection tool for spotting differences between 2D drawing sets (and even 3D models!). This version review step is critical for design coordination from the start of the project. Additionally, the Coordination Resolution service yields both composite drawings and 2D installation drawings. These are great deliverables for field use because the last thing you want are subs going up and down ladders or coming back to the trailer to get a question answered.


3D BIM: Vico Office is a powerful solution for both clash detection and coordination integrated within the complete BIM workflow. It is one thing to identify clashes between models and quite another to resolve the problems in preconstruction, thus shortening the schedule and saving the budget from costly re-work. Streamlining the RFI process is also integral to any project. In Vico it starts by clouding changes in the 2D drawings and clashes in the 3D models and then managing the communication flow about these issues, identifying their impact on schedule and budget, and resolving them.


4D BIM: Scheduling is comprised of four components in Vico Office: quantities by location, flowline theory, on-site production control, and 4D movie simulations. Our scheduling solutions are powered by location-based management system which relies on the progress of work crews as they migrate (or flow) through a building. The goal is to preserve the work crew's productivity rate as they move from location to location and minimize the number of starts and stops.


5D BIM: The 5D BIM estimating applications in Vico Office are a powerful use of construction-caliber quantities, iterative cost planning, budget tracking, and target cost comparisons for design changes. Vico’s construction estimating software bridges the gap between 2D drawings and 5D BIM models by recognizing model-based and non-model-based elements in the estimate and visually linking the cost items to the model elements.


6D BIM: 6D BIM models are another natural deliverable from Vico’s Lean Coordination service. This model contains the room elements, such as room name, number, and space type connected with asset information such as manufacturer, model numbers, serial numbers, and any operations and maintenance requirements. So instead of the encyclopedia set of three-ring binders at the end of the project, GCs can give the Owner a 6D BIM model complete with all the information their facilities' team needs.


BIM Report Card: Can you re-use a design model for construction coordination, scheduling, and estimating? The Vico BIM Quality Assessment and Refinement Service will give you a definitive answer. Our comprehensive evaluation grades the model across eight disciplines. We deliver an independent third party report indicating where improvements need to be made so your project team can make an informed decision.


BIM Score: Calculate your GC firm's BIM Score based on clash detection, scheduling, and estimating capabilities, best practices, and enterprise integration. Learn what distinguishes one GC from another by taking the same test for your competition.


CPM Alignment: We all learned to schedule using critical path management.  But how would that CPM schedule look as a Flowline Schedule in Vico? Many Owners and GCs like to compare their CPM schedule to a location-based schedule to see where there might be areas for improvement, risk mitigation, resource balancing, etc. The Vico CPM Alignment Service does just that.  In two to four weeks, we translate your activity-based CPM schedule into a Location-Based schedule, complete with Flowline view for successfully orchestrating trades.  We also provide a fully-optimized schedule alternative so you can compare and contrast the two approaches.


CSP = Customer Success Plan

The Vico Customer Success Plan is a structured regimen designed to accelerate your firm's success with 5D BIM. Your company agrees to proper training and support, unique executive workshops, specialized consulting, mentoring, and peer review. Vico agrees to keep your momentum rolling throughout the year, building upon installation, implementation, training, and project success. Together, this commitment results in your 5D BIM success.


Flowline Schedule: Flowline theory is an integral part of Vico scheduling solutions. Flowline theory asserts that subcontractors can work at optimum productivity rates with optimum safety and craftsmanship if their location is free of unnecessary materials and other crews.  By graphing the crews according to their productivity rate and location, we can quickly recognize issues with the schedule and address it with optimization techniques.


LBMS = Location-Based Management System

One of the key differentiators of Vico's construction software is location-based management. Because we know the quantities by location from the model geometry and crew productivity rates from pull scheduling sessions and past projects, we can focus on optimizing crew flow and improving project durations by targeting production rates.


LPS = Last Planner System

This system was developed at the Lean Construction Institute and is designed to improve the reliability of the commitments of the team members (the PMs, the Last Planners, and the Subs).  With this system, planning is a collaborative effort and the participants work together to identify which work can be completed and when.


LBS = Location Breakdown Structure

Location Breakdown Structure is a logical subdivision of the project using horizontal and vertical splits that define the scheduling and cost planning units of a project.


Lean Coordination/Coordination Resolution: The Vico Coordination Resolution process is a Lean Construction approach to clash and includes five phases: modeling; resolving clashes with our System Priority Structure; working with the design team and engineers on key issues; working with the subs to increase the level of detail; and finally a 6D model which includes submittals and materials preferences. Two other benefits from this process include the 2D installation drawings and composite drawings.


MPS = Model Progression Specification

The MPS is a language that owners, designers, and builders can use to define every element and task in the building construction process. It serves as a coordination point for information about the building, what is being modeled, and to what level of detail it is being modeled, estimated, and scheduled. It provides the efficient framework for the project stakeholders – a written checklist that matures from a very schematic level of detail to a high level of detail in terms of 3D geometry, cost, and time.


Structured Evaluation Program: Vico offers a 4-week Structured Evaluation Program for GCs, CMs, and Subs who are interested in learning about the enterprise-capabilities of Vico Office. The Program gives construction professionals the chance to learn Vico Office and test its functionality in 30-days with training, support, videos, and other resources.


alphabet soup of bim 

Don’t drown in the alphabet soup of BIM.  Trust Vico to provide  clear answers and resources for your team.



Tags: 3d bim, bim acronyms, bim alphabet soup, 2d bim, bim glossary, 5D BIM, 6d bim, virtual construction terms, 4D BIM