Virtual Design + Construction (VDC)
Trained in both architectural design and various construction technologies, Tocci’s VDC Group is versatile.
Many building owners opt to 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. When requested, our group can also cost-effectively build a virtual model of the project. This is 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 can run early clash detection of major systems and work 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:
- Identifying potentially more efficient or less costly system and material alternates with the A/E team early enough to avoid impacting their design schedule
- Enabling more competitive trade contractor pricing while simultaneously reducing future change orders during construction
- 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:
- Critical Path Schedule Improvements such as improving installation efficiency of the mechanical systems
- Quality Assurance and control of installed elements resulting in cleaner interiors and alignment with the original design intent (no awkwardly low ceilings, etc.)
- A Safer working environment sending people home the same way they arrived at the that jobsite
By using an innovative, prefabricated structural light-gauge steel wall system (in lieu of standard wood frame over podium), our Providence, RI hotel O-A-C team decreased floor-to-floor heights, maintained desired number of floors, stayed below high-rise classification, and satisfied their desire for light gauge-steel framing. However, modifying these load bearing walls to accommodate the design and engineering changes was costly. The Tocci VDC group entered the process to assist the HVAC trade contractor with MEP/FP coordination. The cost benefit was preserved and resulted in zero conflicts with light-gauge structural studs, which is rarely seen in podium and stud frame construction.