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Professional VDC Education

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What is VDC?

Virtual Design and Construction (VDC) uses multidisciplinary digital models to create a virtual project prior to construction, facilitating better project planning and management, including improving scheduling, budget, and cost estimations. VDC was first introduced as a concept by Professor Martin Fischer, Director of the Center for Integrated Facility Engineering at Stanford, a part of the Stanford School of Engineering, based on his research which delves into how to improve the productivity of project teams involved in designing, building, and operating facilities and how to enhance the sustainability of the built environment.

In 2008, the Stanford Center for Integrated Facility Engineering (CIFE) collaborated with CIFE member Project Production Institute (PPI) to offer the first VDC Certificate Programs to teach Architecture, Engineering, Construction (AEC) and Facility Management (FM) professionals how to effectively use VDC to obtain a high value for their projects and businesses. 

  • Since 2019, in collaboration with the Stanford Center for Professional Development (SCPD), CIFE has a number of options to make VDC knowledge more widely accessible to a global audience of professionals:
  • Earn a Record of Completion from the Stanford Center for Professional Development for Stanford’s online course in Virtual Design and Construction. This course covers all the materials that were part of the CIFE-PPI VDC course. Complete it at your pace to learn the fundamental concepts of VDC.
  • Earn a Graduate Certificate in Virtual Design and Construction. This program covers all the material in the CIFE-PPI VDC course plus courses on BIM and related topics. You participate in these classes online when they are offered at Stanford and complete all the assignments and projects in the classes. By completing these classes, you earn Stanford course credit.
  • Learn as part of a cohort of professionals with Stanford Center for Professional Development’s custom program, delivered in conjunction with several global collaborators, and earn a Certificate of Achievement in Virtual Design and Construction. This program includes: 
    • Online VDC course
    • 5-day in-person introductory workshop led by Stanford faculty and experienced practitioners
    • Implementation of a VDC project through monthly check-ins supported by certified VDC mentors
    • Final 2-day workshop led by Stanford faculty and experienced practitioners to reflect on your VDC learning


This program is offered to a growing global community of over 2,000 VDC practitioners with one of the following collaborators :


  • Watch this video to hear how some of our past participants have benefited from the program. 
  • Learn more about these programs and explore how to design a VDC Custom Program for your organization or university.


Ronie Shilo, Managing Director, Programs Strategy and Development
Stanford Center for Professional Strategy and Development