Published on
June 1, 2020

Empowering Architects, Engineers, and Contractors to Virtually Explore Buildings



From the staff

Empowering the AEC Industries  

VIM software empowers architects, engineers and contractors to virtually explore building of almost any size before they are built. The software allows users to collaborate with one another by translating a BIM to a Virtual Information Model (VIM) that is easy to use and accessible for all members of the construction team. The VIM model and software allows the Construction team to balance the Function, Aesthetic, Cost, Environment and Safety (FACES) of the building as it is being virtually designed and throughout the building process.

The normal process of translating a BIM file to a 3D model uses the old FBX (Film Box Experience) technology. The process is cumbersome and does not effectively handle large BIM projects. Furthermore, Revit is too costly, complicated and slow to allow universal access to the model and its precious information.

VIM chose to create a new technology paradigm that translates extremely large and complex BIM files (over 30 Gigabytes) quickly, with all the BIM data so that the whole Design and Construction team - Architects, Engineers , Contractors, Owners and Manufacturers - may easily collaborate as they virtually explore the building together.  I believe this seamless virtual exploration is the ultimate goal and will lead to a holistic improvement of the built environment.

The Importance of F.A.C.E.S.

Being able to virtually test the design and construction qualities of a building during the virtual stage will allow to balance and adjust a series of important factors.  I refer to these multiple facets of the end Building using the acronym F.A.C.E.S., which represents:

  • Function
  • Aesthetic
  • Cost
  • Environmental Impact and
  • Safety

The Function must be addressed because the design and its resulting building are falling far short of what it should be. For instance, in hospitals in the United States, more than 15% of the people get sick during their stay, compared to less than 5% in Norway and Sweden. Additionally, Carnegie Mellon Architectural School studies have shown that elementary schools with generous natural lighting raise test scores for their students. Function in design and the quality of the construction of the building is critical to provide a better and healthier living environment.

Aesthetic is also critical to the quality of the design. This is an aspect of design that the many architects I know are very passionate about and extremely capable of delivering. If they used the same energy and genius on the Function, Cost, Environment and Safety aspects of FACES, we would have a revolutionary breakthrough in the quality of our design and actual construction of our buildings. Still, the ability to move through the building with ease now allows the dimension of movement and circulation to be taken into consideration. Instead of a series of static images, the ease of movement afforded by VIM allows architects to focus on the movements and relations between spaces.

The real costs of a building should be measured by the long-term productivity, wellness, and happiness of the people in the building.

Unfortunately, architects and engineers in the United States continuously underestimate the Cost of their buildings when the constructors come in with their bid. What I learned from my RS Means association was that over the 25 years of a building's life, the first 5 years accounted for just 25% of the building cost through design/construction. The final 75% of the cost was incurred during the next 20 years in facility management, which includes continuous operation, rehabilitation and maintenance.

We can set higher standards for the quality of life of the people in the building if we can solve the Environmental and Safety issues of the building during the design process. This can be achieved if the stakeholders can easily explore and interpret the building context and its analytical data before construction begins.

Modernism in buildings does not mandate sterility or boring design, but to the contrary, it can bring more complexity, sophistication, and beauty at lower costs if it is empowered with an advanced form of BIM that is used to achieve the high standards and beauty of modern technology.

These new challenges have emerged, and VIM allows us to go beyond BIM, to properly address the aspects of FACES and create the next generation of the holistically designed, built and operated environment for our society.

Unlock the power of BIM

VIM empowers your team with instant, unlimited access to your BIM data anywhere you go, on the devices you already own. Start putting VIM to work for your built environment.

Free forever. No credit card required.