The Value of VDC on Tocci Projects

Framing block of Hilton Homewood Suites - a VDC scan

Tocci’s Virtual Design + Construction (VDC) team is trained in architectural design and construction technology.

The group is known for its versatility. Many building owners engage Tocci’s VDC group early in pre-construction to assist the A/E team with MEP and structural coordination, and to ensure that the bid documents are as detailed as possible. Our group Builds virtual project models cost-effectively, especially important when the A/E team is not fully integrated in BIM and three-dimensional modeling.

However, when VDC is engaged during construction, our focus is to assist the construction team, especially the trade contractors, to seek alternate, typically less costly, solutions to field problems. Often our job is to find solutions that might eliminate a change order.

Preconstruction Phase VDC Involvement

By utilizing the same software used by most A/E teams, Tocci runs early clash detection of major systems and works with the A/E team to identify potential fit issues before design is complete. Resolving an issue during design might take a few days— and costs can be managed —whereas resolving an issue during construction might take weeks and construction costs can be far more difficult to manage.

When Tocci’s VDC group is engaged, we work with the A/E team to help them deliver clearer and more coordinated Bid Documents. Project benefits include:

  1. Identifying potentially more efficient or less costly system and material alternates with the A/E team early enough to avoid impacting their design schedule
  2. Enabling more competitive trade contractor pricing while simultaneously reducing future change orders during construction
  3. Optimizing construction scheduling + sequencing for early project delivery

In one of our podium and wood frame projects, Tocci’s VDC group identified a clash between structural steel and plumbing piping that was undetected during AE design coordination. Fortunately, the unresolved design coordination oversight was caught prior to steel fabrication and the project avoided 60 reinforced structural steel modifications in the field (saving the Owner approximately $49,000 in CO’s) and avoided a three-week construction delay.

Construction Phase VDC Involvement

When engaged during pre-construction, VDC can participate in MEP scope development and bidding, and can be more proactive with trade contractors as they are brought onto the team. During construction, our VDC group primarily works with trade contractors to develop a high fidelity, fabrication-ready model. So, while design-phase goals focus on coordinating building systems with the interior spatial constraints, construction-phase goals focus on generating:

  1. Critical Path Schedule Improvements such as improving installation efficiency of the mechanical systems
  2. Quality Assurance and control of installed elements resulting in cleaner interiors and alignment with the original design intent (no awkwardly low ceilings, etc.)
    1. Safer working environment sending people home the same way they arrived at the that jobsite