The Virtual Build Process

The latest term for the function of using 3D digital modeling in the design and construction process is now called Building Information Modeling or BIM. Once BIM was established as the latest term, many in the industry have wrestled with attempting to craft a definition that would best fit the acronym. While most were espousing theories on the subject, we were the first to apply the concept of using three dimensional models on large scale, complicated architectural projects, although we called it Master Modeling in the early years. With all our experience and knowledge in proving the technology on numerous projects we have defined the BIM concept as:

BIM is the methodology of using a single master source of digital data that integrates all CAD descriptions and related information, into processes necessary for all aspects of a project’s design.

Because an architectural design and construction project requires more than just Building Models with Information, we introduced the concept that includes and encompasses BIM. It’s called the Virtual Build Process:

The Virtual Build Process is the methodology of using BIM data,
 integrated with all procedures necessary for a thorough process,
from design through construction.

We promote the concept of Virtual Build Process (VBP) because it goes beyond what the industry is focusing on now as BIM. There is much more to managing a project than integrating information within a digital model. It’s about process.


The first key word in the definition of VBP is integration. Taking the tools and integrating them into the process is vital and necessary for a quality project. Without fully integrating the BIM tools you will experience waste, reach dead ends with the data, undertake unnecessary procedures or compromise information in the process.


The second key word is thorough. Integrating the BIM tools into steps and procedures of the process needs to be thorough. Any procedure left out of the process will compromise the overall quality of the project. This thorough process needs to be managed from design through construction.


The key word in the VBP definition is process. The effort of building a project is about procedures and processes along the project’s time line, from first conception to its completion. The aerospace and automobile industries recognized that tools are just steps and procedures in an overall process and that focusing on optimizing the overall process is paramount to quality control. Something the AEC industry will begin to recognize as the next phase to concentrate on beyond BIM. BIM is just a tool and to achieve quality control you must manage the overall process.


The Virtual Build Process time line encompasses all the processes necessary to complete a project.

Download the Virtual Build Process pdf

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