To put it simply, Virtual Design and Construction (VDC) is the virtual building process of a project before you start the actual construction in real-life. It helps reduce reworks, saves cost and time while improving productivity.

BIM vs. VDC

BIM and VDC overlap each other but there are a few key differences.

The “I” in BIM stands for information which is the winning factor for using BIM. With BIM, you are creating more than 3D models. You are inputting valuable data for validation into your models. It’s specific and accurate. VDC, however, emphasizes collaboration and integrated working on a digital and thus “virtual” model, which makes sense that BIM is frequently a valuable part of VDC.

For a smooth construction project, you’ll need both BIM and VDC.

How VDC Can Help Your Business

With VDC, you are building the project twice, enabling teams to fully simulate design and construction in a virtual environment before executing it on-site. Hence, you’ll encounter issues during virtual construction rather than the actual construction, potentially saving you money and time.

Accurate Costing Estimates

Having a proper, accurate costing estimates ensures your company doesn’t lose money building the project.

Companies using VDC pull out data needed to build the project from the BIM models and use it to create more accurate costing estimates. The collaborative process in VDC between architects and engineers also improves the accuracy of the costing estimates. Two minds are better than one in preventing critical parts from being overlooked.

Increase Productivity

Considering the build sequence early in the design phase can ensure that the project runs smoothly. The build sequence can also be used to plan complex structures, reducing time and money used in reworks.

credit: mortenson.com

In fact, according to a report by Mortenson, there’s more than a 25% productivity increase in companies who use VDC processes daily.

Improve Construction Safety

Safety is a crucial (and important) part of the construction but it is often overlooked due to miscommunication and poor coordination within the team.

VDC can be used to plan and communicate important safety measures to raise safety awareness on site. When you build the project virtually, you get to clearly understand how the building will look like. Using virtual reality (VR) can further enhance this experience. You get to virtually walk in a one-to-one scaled, immersive building environment.

And as you coordinate and collaborate with various project stakeholders, you have more eyes to identify potential high-risk areas. Hence, you will be able to implement better safety measures to relieve the dangers.

Software For VDC

  • BIM software
  • Coordination software
  • Collaboration software
  • Virtual reality/augmented reality (VR/AR)

As mentioned, VDC and BIM work hand in hand. So, the main software you need is a BIM software (e.g Autodesk® Revit® or Autodesk® Navisworks®) to create the BIM models. However, BIM software alone isn’t enough. You will need different software to coordinate on the various project aspects, collaborate with other project stakeholders and VR/AR for better visualisation & design review.


VRcollab is a next-generation VDC software solution for the construction industry which provides BIM interrogation, Stakeholder collaboration, Virtual Reality in a concise and effective tool. Export your coordination models directly from Autodesk® Revit®, Graphisoft Archicad®️, Autodesk® Navisworks®, Sketchup, other commonly used 3D formats and begin your collaborative meetings in an instant.

Want to see how VRcollab can help your VDC process? We have a free 14-day trial for VRcollab LITE. Download here and try it today!