About Virtual Builders Roundtable

The Virtual Builders Roundtable is a group of designers, engineers, fabricators, and builders active in the
development of virtual building processes and technologies to reduce the risks, costs, and time associated
with today’s construction environment. The mission of the group is to share knowledge among the members
to improve the processes and technology to build virtually by creating 3 and 4D object models to simulate
construction of all types of facilities. We also seek to educate the larger community of owners, designers,
builders, suppliers, fabricators and specialty contractors about the benefits and implementation of virtual

The vision of the Virtual Builders Roundtable is to accomplish the following:

  • Gather together firms currently practicing or committed to implementing 3D and 4D modeling.
  • Foster a forum to share success stories and challenges related to the implementation of these
    technologies, thus shortening the learning curve for all parties.
  • Serve as an industry think tank working with technology partners and universities to drive and define
    future capabilities in software applications.
  • Push forward 3D/4D modeling as one of the first significant break-throughs in design and construction
    since power tools.
  • Use virtual building to enable and require a richer and closer collaboration of designers, builders,
    fabricators, and installers.

Properly utilized, virtual building has the potential to achieve large-scale productivity gains that should
significantly affect the cost, schedule and quality of the project in very positive ways.

  • Establishing the preconstruction and planning phase as a value added (intellectual property) side of
  • Moving the work to more of a manufacturing problem, possibly utilizing large-scale customization
    techniques, but manufacturing none the less.
  • Raising quality levels, reducing mistakes and generating fewer rework items.
  • Identifying better project sequencing, faster delivery time, saving money and raising profits.
  • Speeding up market delivery. Conversely, giving the owner and decision makers the option of “just in
    time” decision making (presumably allowing the decision(s) to be made with more and better
    information, and as the market forces have moved farther along.
  • Increasing the potential to commoditize construction fieldwork (maybe pseudo assembly line style)
    into assembly operations which should increase productivity, reduce costs and open wider market
    participation by vendors.
  • Integrating the submittal process into the virtual model.

The Virtual Builders Roundtable has set the following goals of its membership:

  • Ensure that each firm is on the leading edge of 3D/4D technology, thus creating a competitive
    advantage in the market place, but not to the extent of withholding information.
  • Create a portfolio/library of completed 3D/4D projects by Roundtable firms, complete with
    testimonials of value added to the projects.
  • Establish a reliable set of metrics to gauge the benefits of 3D/4D virtual modeling.
  • Define the technical and contract specifications of object-based 3D/4D virtual modeling.
  • Determine just compensation for their services to the owners.
  • The Virtual Building Roundtable seeks to define the 3D and 4D object-based model deliverables,
    and establish their value to the design/construction process.

Reason for Building Virtually
Our traditional approach of sharing project information (2D drawings, Gantt charts, tables, and text
documents) fails to engage the critical mass of stakeholders needed to identify and analyze opportunities to
improve the project design and execution from multiple perspectives in a timely manner.

As a result, the project development process is often not efficient or effective. Opportunities to improve the
constructability and usability of the design are missed, and the seeds for process inefficiencies like late
change orders, rework, and poor allocation of resources are sown.

By developing virtual 3D and 4D models, project stakeholders can understand project design and schedule
information more rapidly. As a result, they can then engage in the objective, productive, and multi-
disciplinary identification of opportunities necessary to improve the design and schedule.

Therefore, the main value of virtual building through 4D modeling comes from the perspectives, views, and
needs of the many professional and lay stakeholders in a project can be identified, considered and
incorporated in the project design and schedule in a comprehensive, efficient, and effective manner at a
time when relatively little has been invested in the project and when changing the design and schedule is
still relatively cheap. This leads to a better-coordinated design and schedule that can be executed more
reliably. 3D and 4D models support the concurrent design of the project scope and schedule, speed up
design and review cycles, and include more stakeholders in a design and review cycle.

The design process is not only more comprehensive with a more reliable result, but it can be completed
more rapidly, or more design review cycles can be carried out in the same time.

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