What’s New in Vico Office R3?
Release Three of the Vico Office Suite
The third Vico Office release connects the 3D model geometry to 4D planning and scheduling to 5D cost planning and budgeting. Creating a live, integrated model means that a change in the building design immediately results in a change in the schedule and budget. 5D BIM is now a complete answer machine for integrated building teams.
Users will recognize the same GUI and features ribbon, as well as the step-by-step navigation on the left-hand side of the screen, but now with expanded capabilities for LBS Manager, Schedule Planner, 4D Manager, and Production Controller.
Just as before, users can select which operating system corresponds to their BIM authoring tools: 32-bit or 64-bit.
Vico Office Client
BIM Managers and model authors publish their models to Vico Office using the Vico Office Client. This is the hub for publishing, importing, and reporting for the entire suite. We offer free Publishers for ArchiCAD, Revit, and Tekla. There are special Importers for IFC files, CAD-Duct, and new in this release, SketchUp and 3D DWG files. These importers carry an additional cost, but they open up your BIM practice to all types of models and partners.
Importers allow project stakeholders from every discipline to contribute models and encourage true collaboration in Constructability Manager. It is important to remember that coordinated models are not discarded, they are used for construction-caliber quantity takeoff and location breakdown structures, thus giving us quantities by location. These quantities by location are used by both estimators and planners for the cost plans and schedules.
To read more about Publishers and Importers, please see Vico Office Client Features and Benefits.
This module represents an important portion of the Vico 5D BIM workflow: location breakdown structure. Planners and schedulers use LBS Manager to determine the best location systems for each trade. It’s important to note that these defined location systems have no relation to the locations that were defined in the CAD system. This means that Vico Office makes it possible to define and maintain a uniform location structure for all project models published to Vico Office.
This is just as important as our construction-caliber quantity takeoff algorithms: Vico is the first solution to provide both geometry splitting and location-based quantities. And it is non-destructive – we keep the original elements so you don’t need to keep returning to the original BIM model to make tedious changes. All the locations are persistent in Vico LBS Manager and can be applied to new versions of the model.
Here is where the workflows of quantity surveyors, estimators, and planner mesh and highlight the leveraged integration of Vico Office. Planners use the model-based quantities from Takeoff Manager and match them to the resource quantities in Cost Planner and the project locations just defined in LBS Manager. This means that the schedules created with Vico Schedule Planner are quantity- and location-based and optimized for minimized risk using Flowline theory.
4D Manager allows your team to communicate the scientific schedule to the Owner and to the Subs. It’s important for us to point out that this is not a marketing movie – it is scheduling simulation which is tied to the quantities from the model geometry, the locations assigned in LBS Manager, and the optimal mix of crews based on locations and productivity rates. Think of 4D Manager as a visual schedule – so much easier to read than a Gantt chart, and nothing like a marketing schedule put together to satisfy the Owner that the job can be done on time.
It’s important to note here, too, that 4D Manager (and all the modules in the Vico Office Suite) are integrated, not linked. This means the information (the schedule, the cost plan, the reports) are derived, not contrived. By leveraging this integration, GCs have a distinct advantage with Vico Office: not only can they win new business with 5D BIM, but they can execute the project with much more precision, deliver a better Owner experience, and turn over a profitable project.
Planning the project is only half of the schedule. Managing to that schedule on-site is perhaps even more difficult. But Vico Office introduces the solutions necessary for the Project Managers and Superintendents. The original plan included quantities per location, materials, resources, and productivity rates from the Subs. Now it's necessary to track the planned productivity to the actual productivity.
Look-ahead forecasts are used to compare the planned progress and the actual conditions. Now, every day, every week, every two weeks, any problems can be identify and fixed. Now instead of building a schedule anticipating claims, we can manage a schedule to avoid claims.
Just as before, the estimators calculate labor, materials, and equipment for each task. But with Release 3, these resources are mapped to the schedule tasks. Cost- and resource-loaded schedules anyone?
Vico Project Server Administrator (VPSA)
Many users might not realize that Vico Office is a database application, not a traditional file-based application. As with any database, a back-up protocol is a best practice for ensuring that no data is ever lost.
The VPSA provides a comprehensive toolset for project database backup. VPSA incremental backup offers three backup levels to minimize backup size and time. Roll-forward (RF) archiving makes it possible to recover a database to its state just prior to a power outtage or unexpected error, thereby ensuring that no data will be lost.
The VPSA is installed as part of the Vico Project Server option of the installer and can be accessed from the Start Menu/All Programs/Vico Sofitware. Settings can be monitored and executed by your firm's IT Manager.
Vico Customer Portal
Understanding that colleagues roll on and off different project teams, Vico developed the Vico Customer Portal to easily assign and transfer access rights across organizations. This dashboard view also shows which licenses are available and when new upgrades are available. Now when new releases of Vico Office are available, the system administrator can deliver them to the correct users in one click of the mouse.
To read more about the Vico Customer Portal, as well as watch a video demonstration, please follow the link.
Of course, with the latest release of Vico Office, we are also offering new hands-on training courses which can be organized at your offices or ours.
Vico Office Training
We offer several classes to suit your needs:
Estimating in Vico Office
This two-day course covers Vico Office Client, Constructability Manager, Takeoff Manager, Cost Planner and Cost Explorer. The price is $1,500 per person.
Scheduling in Vico Office
This three-day course covers Vico Office Client, Takeoff Manager, LBS Manager, Schedule Planner, Production Controller, and 4D Manager. This course price is $2,250 per person.
The 5D Virtual Construction Workflow in Vico Office
This five-day course is essential for BIM Managers and the technical support leads at each Customer site. This course combines Estimating and Scheduling, plus tips for change management. The course is $3,500 per person.
More dates and course outlines are available at Vico Office Training.
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 Schedulers, Estimators, Supers, and anyone creating CM reports.
And finally, as users upgrade to their new licenses, they'll find the New User Kit, chock full of resources to help get them started; the Release Notes; and the Help File, a comprehensive user manual for the Vico Office Suite.
Here is a chart which illustrates how the modules are grouped together for functionality per department:
Vico Office works out-of-the-box with popular BIM authoring tools such as Graphisoft ArchiCAD, Autodesk Revit, and Tekla Structures. Release 3 includes additional importers for Google SketchUp, CAD Duct, 3D DWG, and IFC files.
Vico Constructability Manager provides an integrated solution for clash detection and coordination resolution so that your team can identify constructability issues in the planning stage before they occur in the field.
Vico Takeoff Manager derives construction-caliber quantities by location from BIM models; these quantities by location power more accurate schedules and estimates.
Vico LBS Manager is an organized approach to dividing the project into work locations. Location-based planning and management ensures that trade crews flow smoothly from prerequisite to successor tasks without interference. Locations defined in LBS Manager also yield quantities by location for use in scheduling and procurement.
Vico Schedule Planner creates construction schedules by using BIM model elements and associating them with tasks and the corresponding materials, resources, and labor; all of which are optimized by location.
Vico Production Controller is used in the build phase. Planning the schedule is only half the battle - the other half is managing on-site production. Near real-time production updates from the site using Vico Production Controller enable forward-looking schedule forecasts so problems are flagged with ample time for remedial action.
Vico 4D Manager is a 4D simulation presentation tool that provides rich 3D visualization of the project timeline to the extended construction team.
Vico Cost Planner is a powerful model-based cost estimating solution. Based on the concept of Target Cost Planning, Vico Cost Planner provides an environment for an evolving cost estimate that readily compares one version to another and any version to the original Target Cost Plan.
Vico Cost Explorer is the first model-based budgeting application that allows the extended project team to visually understand which aspects of the project are contributing to changes in cost. Pouring over rows and rows of spreadsheet data is a thing of the past.
Vico Office Client is the cornerstone of the Vico Office Suite. Here model versions are managed, information is shared across the team, and an inline reporting engine pulls information from all departments to deliver constructability reports, cost- and resource-loaded schedules, proposed design changes, cost estimates, cash flow reports, and other customizable reports.
To learn more about this major upgrade to Vico Office, please review the following resources and forward them to your team:
Webinar: An Introduction to LBS Manager
Training: Vico Office Video Training Series
Press Release: Vico Software Introduces Vico Office R3
And then be sure to read more about the R3.x point releases: