The field of construction has seen many paradigm shifts over the years and one of the pivotal moments occurred in 2001 with the introduction of virtual design and construction (VDC).
Conceptualised by researchers at Stanford University, VDC is the process of combining traditional building management and project planning techniques with digital models. It allows stakeholders to analyse designs and plans during preliminary project stages via the use of virtual reality portals or software. VDC also promotes collaboration by making the sharing of information between team members significantly simpler, achieving more cohesive and feasible project concepts.
Despite its prevalence and benefits, several misconceptions still surround VDC. Let’s now look at common myths and debunk them one by one.
Myth #1: VDC Is Only Suitable for Large Construction Projects
Some argue that VDC should only be used for large construction projects and this usually stems from the belief that it only shines where the coordination of multiple systems and disciplines is required. According to these same critics, VDC may not be relevant or beneficial for simpler projects where such intricate coordination is deemed unnecessary.
Contrary to this belief, smaller projects present their own set of challenges which may include limited budget, restrictive pre-existing conditions, tighter schedules, and thinly-spread teams. Strategic implementation of VDC, however, can help with overcoming these challenges. Key advantages of utilising VDC in such scenarios include financial savings, expedited project completion, and enhanced precision in task management. Thus, VDC proves to be a valuable tool in navigating the challenges posed by smaller projects.
Myth #2: It Is Overly Expensive to Implement VDC
Others have pointed to the cost associated with VDC implementation, claiming that its benefits may not justify the investment required for its optimal utilisation. Some specifically highlight the expenses involved in hiring a VDC expert, emphasising factors such as project complexity and duration, engagement model, and any additional services that can drive up the overall cost.
However, the reality is that VDC holds the potential to significantly reduce project costs. This can be achieved by minimising waste, reducing or even eliminating the need for rework, and optimising construction schedules. In addition, certain steps can be taken to lower the overall cost of a VDC-aided project. These steps include vigilant project monitoring, thorough assessment of the project scope, and the establishment of a highly specific project objective.
Myth #3: VDC Technology Is Difficult to Adopt
Some critics often express reservations about the perceived challenges of VDC adoption. These include sustained engagement complexity, early integration in the project lifecycle, setting up resources and systems, and the need for workers to acquire new skills through retraining.
While these challenges are indeed inherent to VDC, their difficulty should not be overblown. The availability of several VDC tools makes the adoption process much easier. These tools are designed to cater to different aspects of the construction workflow, offering solutions for tasks such as 3D modelling, project coordination, clash detection, and information management. As such, they support the planning, execution, and delivery of any project while promoting efficiency and sustainability. Additionally, achieving a certain level of collaboration and coordination among project stakeholders increases the likelihood of successfully adopting and implementing VDC in construction projects.
Now that you’re aware of the facts about VDC, get started by contacting us at BIMAGE Consulting for any of your virtual design and construction needs in Singapore. We’re a technology consulting firm serving businesses in the fields of infrastructure, construction, and smart cities via the use of streamlined processes and the latest technologies.
In addition to VDC implementation, we also provide building information modelling (BIM) consulting services that simplify the coordination, management, implementation, and collaboration phases of any project for all parties involved.
Get in touch by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org or calling us at +6562717875. Trust us to handle your VDC matters with expertise.