The VDC BIM Coordinator is specialized in the management of the VDC (Virtual Design and Construction) process. Let’s find out more about the main tasks and duties of this role.
One of the main figures of the BIM/VDC process is undoubtedly the BIM VDC Coordinator. Let’s find out together who they are, what they do does and what tools they use for their every-day work.
What is a VDC BIM Coordinator?
The VDC BIM Coordinator is the person in charge of coordinating the BIM and VDC design group (which also includes BIM Manager and BIM Specialist), organizing the activities of all professionals involved in the entire information-project process, and supervising the work of all BIM Specialists.
Before proceeding, let’s take a little step back and deepen the difference between BIM and VDC.
The BIM and the VDC methods have many points in common and are therefore usually confused.
Both are based on collaboration and intelligent communication but VDC is a broader concept that includes and adopts BIM as a way of working. The difference between BIM and VDC lies in the purpose. BIM creates the virtual 3D model of a building, complete with all the information necessary for its life cycle. The VDC uses BIM models to plan the construction process from start to finish including elements such as budget, cost estimate and planning (4D, 5D, etc.).
In conclusion, VDC organizes the processes, whereas BIM organizes the models and project documents used in these processes. BIM refers to the field of architecture and engineering. VDC, on the other hand, is much more common among general contractors.
The term “VDC” is much more common in the United States than in Europe.
To learn more about VDC methodology, I recommend the article “What is Virtual Design and Construction (VDC) “.
Considering the above, it follows that the VDC BIM Coordinator has a global vision of the entire construction process and not only of the activities that come into play during the creation of the 3D BIM model.
As regards professional skills, a VDC Coordinator is almost identical to a BIM Coordinator. Training comes from a professional degree, a specialization and the experience learned in the field. A peculiarity of the VDC coordinators, however, is that they are often figures who have worked for years in the construction sector and have built their personal experience directly in the field.
What does a VDC Coordinator do?
The VDC Coordinator (like the BIM Coordinator) operates on the order side and collaborates closely with BIM VDC Managers, who check their work and, hierarchically speaking, are just above them.
Furthermore, they ensure the efficiency and compliance with standards and procedures defined by the BIM Manager, acting as a control figure of the content produced by the project teams.
This role has transversal skills, requiring the ability to both mediate between operators and managerial figures, and coordinate several disciplines across different companies.
The tools of a BIM VDC Coordinator
BIM VDC Coordinators must have adequate preparation and the necessary tools that allow them to cover the main VDC BIM Manager activities. In this specific case, knowing all the tricks of trade and usage of BIM Authoring in a practical way is not a requirement, as opposed to a BIM Specialist.
On the contrary, highly operational knowledge of management and coordination software to organize and control the work in real time: from the assignment of roles and responsibilities, to the authorization, registration and verification of the activities of all the members of the group.
The main tools of the work of a VDC BIM Coordinator are:
- the BIM collaboration platform to make data organization and business processes activities efficient and to create a Data Sharing Environment (CDE) in the cloud that allows professionals, companies, suppliers, maintainers and clients to collaborate;
- BIM Management systems to manage the digitalization of buildings and infrastructures in a collaborative way, view and manage IFC files, etc.
The BIM Coordinator, in addition to being familiar with the software supporting the BIM Manager’s activities, must have an in-depth knowledge of the BIM tools for verification, collaboration and coordination of activities.
In this regard, it is fundamental the use of data sharing environments (such as cloud platforms), BIM document management software, tools for the clash detection, code checking and finally for the workflow management.
In particular, the VDC Coordinator needs tools to:
- check and validate all the data of a BIM model in the IFC format – see usBIM.checker;
- check the interference and conflict management between different IFC models (architectural, structural, MEP installation) – see usBIM.clash;
- view and manage BIM models, documents and data online, with any device – see usBIM.browser;
- edit, print, render and take virtual tours in the BIM model directly from IFC format – see usBIM.editor;
- view, federate, manage and share point clouds online and in real-time – see usBIM.pointcloud;
- manage federations of BIM models (construction and infrastructure) and large point clouds directly online – see usBIM.federation;
- create thematic GIS maps integrated with BIM models – see usBIM.gis;
- manage online files in BCF format – see usBIM.bcf;
- plan the timing of each activity, manage and optimize the time variable in construction processes – see usBIM.gantt;
- integrate the BIM model with IoT sensors, read the data on the model in real-time and get a summary of the information and a sensor command – see usBIM.IoT;
- organize the CDE, schedule and control timings and costs of activities and integrate processes, documents and data – see usBIM.project;
- merge into a new IFC file the elements of multiple BIM models exported in IFC format for both the geometric part and the informational data – see usBIM.refactor;
- compare different versions of a BIM model in IFC format and capture in detail the differences in both geometric and informative terms – see usBIM.compare;
- manage construction maintenance and the advanced integration of all facility management functions with the BIM model and process or with the digital-twin document system – see usBIM.facility.