Modernizing Construction: The Transformative Power of Virtual Design and Construction

In the evolving world of construction, innovation is the key to staying ahead of the curve. In recent years, Virtual Design and Construction (VDC) has been one of the most transformative technologies in the industry, helping to usher in a new era of efficiency, collaboration, and precision. Combined with a strategic approach known as Design-Assist, VDC is helping reshape the way projects are imagined, planned, and delivered.

Virtual Design and Construction (VDC): Transforming Ideas into Virtual Designs

VDC is a groundbreaking approach that uses 3D modeling and simulation technologies to generate a digital design of a construction project before its physical creation.

Shaemun Franks, Fabrication Division Manager at Black & McDonald, describes VDC as a digital twin of your project.”

The process incorporates various components, including architectural, structural, and MEP (Mechanical, Electrical, Plumbing) systems, and integrates them into a cohesive virtual model.

The benefits of VDC include:

1. Enhanced Visualization

  • Stakeholders can visualize the entire project in a three-dimensional space, allowing a complete understanding of the design well before the start of fabrication.
  • Increased Stakeholder confidence through transparency and collaboration as they foster a clear understanding of the project’s successful outcome.
  • Aids in the identification of potential conflicts or inefficiencies in the preliminary stages of planning and design, preventing costly future revisions that would take place during construction.

2. Broad-based Collaboration

  • Construction teams can work together simultaneously regardless of where they are located to foster stronger communication and coordination throughout the project.
  • Stakeholders, engineers, contractors, and clients can all contribute to the design process, and share their insights.
  • Data-driven decision-making can be utilized throughout the project lifecycle including real-time data on construction costs, schedules, and risks to keep the entire project team informed and empowered to make important decisions.

3. Risk Mitigation

  • Clash detection in VDC helps identify clashes between contrasting building systems in the design phase, well before any fabrication or installation is started.
  • Early resolution of clashes mitigates the risk during construction and helps reduce project delays and budget overruns.

VDC, combined with Design Assist, ensures a collaborative approach during the construction process that integrates insight from contractors during the crucial design phase, resulting in fewer clashes, and greater cost and construction efficiencies.

Design Assist enables value engineering as the design process seeks to maximize functionality and aesthetics while also minimizing costs. With the contractors’ involvement, they can propose alternative materials and methods that can offer potential cost savings while still maintaining or enhancing the project quality.

Virtual Design and Construction (VDC) paired with Design Assist, signifies the advancing construction landscape as it harnesses the power of innovative technology to ensure successful project outcomes. Through collaboration between designers and contractors, the construction industry is ready for a new era of efficiency and cost-effectiveness.

Learn more about Black & McDonald’s focus on VDC by reaching out to our team at