Virtual design and construction (VDC) is the management of design-build construction projects through the use of integrated digital models throughout the project’s lifecycle.
These models can encompass the facilities and infrastructure, work processes, and organization of the design, construction, and operation phases of a project. By managing all phases and associated data of project as part of an integrated and digitized process, project stakeholders can better maintain common knowledge and collaborate over the project’s lifecycle.
Virtual design and construction is often the role of a designated team or team member within the general contractor organization, often known as the VDC Manager.
One component of Virtual Design and Construction is Building Information Modelling, or BIM, which is defined as “the digital representation of physical and functional characteristics of a facility”.
BIM includes models for quantity takeoff, scoping, and scheduling, among other aspects of a project. Drone scanning tools like 3D Zephyr are heavily used in Building Information Modeling, where reality capture data can be used in the pre-construction and design phases, as well as during active engineering and construction work to track and compare project progress with designs. In a building’s operational phase, drone scanning can be used to capture a building’s envelope for inspection and maintenance purposes.