DOWCO Group of Companies

Virtual Design and Construction

While the term “VDC” and “BIM” are often used synonymously, there are distinct differences between them. Typically, BIM refers to the actual digital representation of the physical characteristics of a building, while VDC usually refers to the process or management of the digital models themselves.


At Dowco, we pride ourselves in being early adopters of VDC tools and technology that improve the process of construction. Check out “Our future” page to learn more about where we believe the industry is headed.

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VDC Model

Dowco’s first major BIM project in BC was the Vancouver Convention Centre Expansion project in 2008/2009. Dowco deployed a model-based communication and drawing approval process, and provided accurate fabrication shop and erection drawings.

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VDC MODEL Based Communication

The workflow for this early BIM project, included the steel fabricator entering connection design information into a copy of Dowco’s Structural BIM model for each steel member. Other stakeholders (Construction Management Team, General Contractor and Architect) also input comments/instructions and added sketches/details into the model (UDA attributes) as necessary. Customized reports were sent back to Dowco to import into the Master model. There were multiple benefits to this early BIM process. All parties could “view” the 3D model accurately and quickly resolve problems before they appeared on site. There was much better design of connections for “messy” locations which resulted in significantly less RFI’s generated. Model pieces were “approved” before 2D drawings were produced. This meant there was no time wasted creating or editing drawings only to find out connections were not correct. Ultimately, project stakeholders saved time and money.

Fast forward 13 years to today, we now provide value to projects in an even greater capacity using BIM and VDC. Dowco’s services include, but are not limited to:

  • Shop Drawings (Steel and Mass Timber)
  • BIM Coordination
  • Clash Detection and Reports
  • On-Site Coordination
  • As-Built Drawings
  • 4D BIM – Construction Planning & Sequencing
  • 5D BIM - Quantity Take-Off/ Material Take-Off
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Dowco’s Commitment to Sustainability