Building Information Modeling (BIM) Solutions
Across engineering disciplines, we utilize industry-leading building information modeling (BIM) to link architectural designs with engineering plans. At VBFA, we develop and deliver a fully functional, interactive, and comprehensive 3D model of your facility’s MEP systems before you ever break ground.
A Better Build Starts With the Right Plans
Beyond its 3D graphics and software solutions, BIM is a detailed process that allows for proactive problem-solving. BIM allows our engineers to fine-tune a virtual build of your next project – and deliver a detailed set of drawings based on that model – to locate and correct potential issues ahead of time. Thanks to collaborative tools, we maintain complete transparency with your architecture and design team; this not only reduces miscommunication or surprises during the construction process, but helps us develop faster and more effective solutions to any issues that may arise. While BIM is well-used in the engineering industry, VBFA offers a more thorough BIM solution for those projects with exacting guidelines and specifications.
Read on to learn more about the tools our engineers turn to in order to develop smarter, more adaptable plans in the pre-construction phase.
Why Our BIM Solutions are Second to None
With a forward-thinking focus on adaptive technologies, VBFA offers greater flexibility and opportunities than other engineering firms.
Deep Understanding of BIM Technology
Our engineers learn supportive skills so they can develop custom code to make our BIM tools work for them – not the other way around. In addition, all new VBFA engineers are trained in the latest software to make critical plan adjustments faster and easier than ever.
We know what it looks like to take BIM one step further. Our teams have provided highly in-depth modeling that goes above and beyond standard engineering practices for certain projects requiring even greater attention to every detail.
Highly Specialized Experts
We have engineers that specialize exclusively in critical points of operation, such as complex mechanical rooms. By devoting dedicated resources to powerhouse areas of your project, we ensure their success from the earliest stages of planning.
We have experience coordinating BIM with contractors both during the design phase as well as after the bid documents have been sent. We believe that being humble enough to work with and consider the perspectives of all parties avoids errors, solves problems, and provides the best design by the end of the project.
Our Building Information Modeling Applications
While BIM is a process that encompasses many of our engineers’ unique skills, the following are the tools we use to support our decision-making:
Autodesk Revit is the preeminent BIM software in the engineering industry. With its superior 3D modeling capabilities, streamlined documentation, and instant revisions, Revit improves teamwork and communication across disciplines to expedite project completion without ever sacrificing quality.
VBFA’s Proprietary Revit Customizations
Our engineers program specific tools for Revit’s platform to simplify workflows, avoid errors, and save time. These time-saving custom code additions include:
- Revisions Narrative Generator
- HVAC Loads Envelope Analyzer and Exporter
- Automated Project Setup
- Automated Lighting Switch Placement
- Company Keynote Manager
Our mechanical engineers use HVAC Solution’s digital environment to design and optimize air handling, airflow, hydronic, and steam systems. Developed by VBFA principal Ben Davis, this smart schematic tool auto-calculates equipment needs and provides suggestions based on the industry’s most used and recommended suppliers. HVAC Solution’s plans easily integrate with Revit, so our engineers can view them in relation to the other critical components of the virtual build.
LIDAR Scanning and Autodesk Recap
LIDAR technology, short for Light Detection and Ranging, is often used in remodeling projects to scan a building and produce a 3D point cloud of the structure. Using Autodesk Recap, we view the point cloud and 3D images of the space to verify the actual route and sizes of existing pipes and ducts. We can also import the point cloud into our Revit models and even convert it into Revit elements. This saves a significant amount of time when it comes to site visits throughout design, coordination, and construction.
Exceeding Your Expectations is What We Love to Do
Lewis (Wong) can easily communicate to clients and is very knowledgeable about electrical engineering. He is always willing to brainstorm creative ways to meet budgets and schedules on projects. He is considerate of the client’s budget and works hard to make the project successful.
– Stacy Hamm, UVU
The creation of a healing environment excels when there is an integrated team to push boundaries and challenge everyone to strive to do better. Since 2000 I have had the pleasure of collaborating with Jeff on nearly a dozen such healing environments in Utah. Jeff has proven to be an instrumental leader and collaborator in the creation of environments that reflect the community in which they serve and stand the test of time.
– Todd Tierney, HDR
For many years VBFA has been a vital part of Intermountain Healthcare’s design team. Their rich experience combined with an expert’s eye for engineering detail have helped deliver state-of-the-art healthcare facilities in the communities we serve throughout Utah. When challenges arise, as they inevitably do in large and complex projects, VBFA has been instrumental in helping us find and resolve the causes.
– John Ellis, Intermountain Health
VBFA was chosen for the job because of their reputation for excellent service and quality work. Throughout the project, from concept through construction documents and final punch, I was quite satisfied with our decision to work with VBFA.
– Florence Hawkinson
I appreciate the engineering skills of Jeff Watkins and David Baranowski and their VBFA teams and their ability to provide constant and timely input to the design and construction team. Precision engineering expertise and systems were both critical to the success of our project and the team delivered.
– Russ L. Bachmeier, AIA
One of the most remarkable features in the building (Syracuse High School) is the geothermal heating and cooling systems. This is one of the largest projects that has used the thermal mass of the earth to heat and cool the building. This is a very efficient system that results in significant energy savings.
– Dennis Forbush, Hogan and Associates
VBFA was a very important team member, of a very successful design of one of the most uniquely designed theatres in the world…They helped to provide a constant “actor” in every play, which is the building and its systems that in so many ways participate in every production.
– Lyle Beecher, AIA
VBFA provided insightful, practical, creative, and responsible design to each of their disciplines from concept phases through construction documents, always in support of our architectural design objectives.
– Stephen Dayton
I personally appreciate VBFA’s expertise and teamwork. For twenty-five years this team has been my first choice mechanical consultant, and they have continued to push the envelope of what is possible in mechanical systems design.
– Jeanne Jackson, VCBO Architecture
Jeff (Watkins) has always been a very technically sound and trained engineer and has been an amazing partner in helping us solve some very complicated projects and situations. His attention to detail and knowledge of our buildings and their systems is crucial to the success of treating thousands of patients safely and effectively.
– Jerry North, U Health
Jake (Beck) demonstrates skill levels in engineering, problem solving, and interpersonal relationships generally evident in engineers with many more years’ experience. We recently worked together on two Net Zero Energy fire stations for Salt Lake City. These award-winning fire stations are the first two Net Zero Energy fire stations in the United States, and we are proud of that accomplishment and thankful for Jake’s role in our success.
– Brian Backe, AIA
Jared (Smith) is an integral and invaluable component of the design/construction team. His ability to visualize and address complex mechanical issues/assessments/solutions in an expeditious manner has proven his capabilities beyond his years.
– Gary Lukaszewski, HDR
Scot (Muir) is knowledgeable, efficient, and trustworthy in his design and management of his mechanical engineering team. He has always met timeline schedules, been respectful of budget constraints while providing innovative mechanical designs and is an eager participant during value engineering or problem solving if needed.
– Mike Vela, AIA
Energy costs are monitored very closely by the Davis School District. Money saved in energy costs goes directly back into the classroom. At the same time, school buildings must be comfortable for student learning to be at its peak. Wade Bennion has been very successful balancing between comfort and energy efficiency. He is an integral team member with the District. Due to Wade’s leadership, the District regularly uses, with great success, several innovative HVAC systems such as, ground source heat pumps, thermal air displacement, and indirect evaporative cooling in many buildings.
– Bryan Turner, FAIA
VBFCx took their responsibility as Owner’s Representative to heart. We were kept in the loop through the whole process and their persistent communication with the entire team is key to the success of the project today.
– Weston Weeks, Davis School District
You can and should choose a commissioning team based on evidence of performance, and I whole-heartedly recommend VBFCx. I’ve had the good fortune to work with them on projects with significant size, scope, and complexity, projects like Adobe Phase II and the Rehabilitation Hospital at the University of Utah, and their constant and proactive presence contributes to our success.
– Ron Keller, Okland Construction
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Frequently Asked Questions
BIM stands for Building Information Modeling. BIM is a process that uses various digital tools to and technology to create and manage virtual models of physical and functional characteristics of structures. These digital representations can be exchanged and shared to aid in improved decision-making throughout the design, pre-construction, and construction phases of a project. BIM is a valuable tool for developing physical infrastructures, such as water, electricity, HVAC, telecommunications, and more.
Revit is a digital building information modeling (BIM) software developed by Autodesk, a global leader in design and make technology.
Revit is widely used by those in the AEC (Architecture, Engineering, and Construction) industries to model structures and systems in 3D with life-like precision and accuracy. Revit’s software also establishes a unified project environment to support improved collaboration, efficiency, and accuracy during the planning and construction phases of a project.
HVAC Solution® is the HVAC design software of choice for VBFA. Our mechanical engineers use HVAC Solution to design air handling, airflow, hydronic, and steam systems in an easily editable virtual environment. Thanks to integrations with Revit, HVAC system designs can be easily transferred to a project’s global BIM software to be viewed by each stakeholder and reviewed for accuracy and efficiency in relation to the greater facility’s design.