What is VDC?
VDC, or virtual design and construction, is a collaborative process that provides a singular platform for all project stakeholders to manage change, uphold collaboration and maintain budget and schedule goals throughout the entire project lifecycle. VDC leverages models and data to help define key project priorities early on, helping guide processes and workflows during construction operations. Using VDC, CDM Smith works closely with clients to create a shared working environment that encourages constant communication from the planning, design and construction phases through the startup, operation and maintenance of an end product.
What is BIM?
Building information modeling (BIM) technology helps teams visualize physical and functional characteristics of a project design in a 3D format. By consolidating dozens of design concepts into one, all-encompassing 3D model, BIM allows users to gain a stronger understanding of design concepts than in 2D drawings. BIM is a key component of the VDC process, helping to visualize data and measure actual progress against the intended results throughout the project lifecycle.
Three ways VDC and BIM can fast-track project delivery
CDM Smith uses VDC to collaborate closely with clients and define key project objectives in the earliest stages of planning that will guide the project throughout its entire lifecycle. Establishing a strong, collaborative environment that includes the client as part of the team throughout the entire process facilitates an open and honest decision making process, minimizing the need to rework design elements and ultimately saving on cost and schedule.
Using VDC, we work with clients to uncover their prioritized goals from the beginning and tailor the delivery process to support these goals.
- Managing Change
It is not always easy to anticipate change, but when project modifications are needed, VDC helps manage change to keep projects on track. CDM Smith uses VDC processes in concert with clients, bringing project stakeholders together to identify key goals, solve problems early on and better understand the impact of design modifications down the line. Early and regular collaboration reduces the need to redesign project elements, mitigates rework and saves on the overall project cost and schedule. To put VDC’s change management capabilities into context, VDC portrays how designs will translate during construction and operations, helping clients understand how elements work together and identify changes early on. Identifying a design change before construction could save thousands of dollars as opposed to reworking the design once construction has begun.
- Cultivating a Collaborative Environment
VDC encourages collaboration by providing common and repeatable workflows for all stakeholders to work in from the moment project planning starts. This shared working environment delivers an ultra-realistic project model with input from various perspectives, making it easy to set collective goals and expectations that all stakeholders can agree on. “Using VDC, we work with clients to uncover their prioritized goals from the beginning and tailor the delivery process to support these goals,” explained senior vice president and automation specialist Humayun Qureshi. “At the end of the day, using the same platform to exchange information supports collaboration across the entire team and helps optimize cost and schedule metrics, delivering a project that meets all of the client’s objectives.”
- Managing Project Documents
CDM Smith uses VDC and BIM to enable clients to understand how design changes affect other project aspects and to leverage data from a multitude of project documents, ranging from design specifications and RFIs, to equipment data sheets. Those pieces are combined into one dynamic model to help clients visualize project designs as lasting structures and advance the project within budget and on schedule. Serving up essential project documents in a shared virtual workspace and making modifications and additions to project specifications is easier than changing conventional design drawings. Every attribute added, altered or updated can be found in one location so that all parties have the most recent information on hand.
Using VDC, CDM Smith is redefining the way projects are approached and raising industry standards, involving clients every step of the way and providing the information needed to effectively coordinate workflow activities and make better-informed decisions. The VDC advantage provides clients with BIM capabilities and the resources needed to stay informed and better manage project planning, design and construction efforts, ultimately aiding startup, operations and maintenance activities.
Humayun Qureshi, senior vice president, has more than 22 years of experience in developing business level strategies, operations management, international business, cost optimization, energy, process control and automation. As the technical delivery manager for CDM Smith's Technical Services Unit, Humayun oversees technical delivery for infrastructure and technology groups.
Gary Grimes is an expert in alternative delivery methods with 40 years of heavy industrial construction management experience. Gary and plays a vital role for CDM Smith's VDC and BIM, providing valuable experience in project management, scheduling, estimating and purchasing for multi-million-dollar projects.
Russ Tamblyn, CM-BIM joined CDM Smith in June 2016 as the Director of Virtual Design and Construction. With more than 25 years implementing building information modeling (BIM) and VDC within the engineering and construction industries, he has mastered best practices that deliver value and drive efficiency throughout the life cycle of a project.