VDC Use in 2007: Significant Value, Dramatic Growth, and Apparent Business Opportunity

TitleVDC Use in 2007: Significant Value, Dramatic Growth, and Apparent Business Opportunity
Publication TypeWorking Paper
AuthorsGilligan, B., and J. Kunz
Year of Publication2007
Date Published12/2007

This study analyzes and compares data from surveys conducted in 2006 and 2007 on the use of Virtual Design and Construction (VDC) and Building Information Modeling (BIM) technologies in the AEC industry. The 171 respondents thus far to the 2007 survey represent a broad mix of geographic locations, business sizes, technical disciplines, and project types. The data suggest that VDC use is significant, expanding quickly and has entered mainstream use. Survey respondents report more and increasingly sophisticated use of the methods in their operations and many are reporting specific benefits in the areas of improved participant engagement, reduced risk and project contingency, improved latency, and cost and schedule conformance. While value of their work in practice is rarely measured quantitatively, the majority of users report qualitative value across all phases of the design and construction process as well as for all parties to it, which is growing in comparison with survey results of a year ago. A growing proportion of early adopters report plans to transform their organizational strategy, and, in addition, more early adopters are now shifting from individual pilot projects to broad scale use of the methods than in the previous year of the survey. The majority of veteran users now plan such organizational transformations, and, indeed, are attempting integration and automation phase implementation of VDC in a sign of ever-increasing sophistication of use.
An ironic finding of our study is that those organizations that respondents themselves and others consider most likely to find value from using VDC, namely architects and facility owners, are the least likely to use or require it on their projects. This result may now be changing for Architects, however, as the biggest annual reported increases in VDC use, implementation efforts, and perceived value occurred in the design phases of the construction process. As VDC use increases, reported impediments to its further adoption by new and existing users are shifting from technical issues such as contractual language and hardware and software to people issues such as training and availability of qualified staff. The survey data and information gathered during one-on-one phone interviews suggest that VDC programs are growing in extent and that once they start organizations grow their use of VDC. Since VDC staff training and availability have become bottlenecks in 2007, we infer that early adopting organizations obtain value at a lower cost than competitors that need to recruit, invest and compete in an established VDC marketplace. Later adopters may find themselves operating at a strategic disadvantage for significant periods of time while they need to offer low prices to overcome lack of perceived marketplace competence and simultaneously pay for their attempts to develop scarce people resources and institutionalize new processes.

Keywords3-D, BIM, Building Information Modeling, Construction, Design, Product Model, Product Models, Survey, VDC, Virtual Design and Construction
TR171.pdf5.08 MB

Last modified Mon, 14 Nov, 2011 at 14:35