Cutaway view of 3D BIM model of the Nant de Drance powerhouse

VDC|BIM in Hydropower

VDC|BIM: The Collaborative Way

3D models and BIM form the essential basis for VDC (Virtual Design and Construction) – also known as the BIM Method. However, VDC goes very much beyond that. VDC fundamentally changes the way projects are developed, coordinated and optimized.

ICE session taking place in a meeting room
Integrated Concurrent Engineering (ICE) session

Owners, designers, equipment suppliers and civil contractors join forces. They develop, coordinate and optimize a project in a collaborative way. This unleashes a vast potential, not possible with a classical design approach. Projects are deeply optimized and thoroughly coordinated using BIM models.

VDC|BIM simplifies the coordination of interfaces and enhances communication. By applying VDC|BIM, problems are identified and resolved with the help of models, early on, before anything is built.

VDC|BIM increases reliability in design, which reduces problems only detected on site and minimizes last-minute changes during execution. This leads to less change orders and greater reliability in scheduling and cost – and added value to the project.

What is VDC? What is BIM?

AFRY infographic VDC BIM method
Virtual Design and Construction encompasses BIM and 3D models

VDC (BIM Method) Arrow pointing right

The collaborative way

  • Owners, designers, suppliers and contractors jointly develop a project.
  • This unleashes a vast potential not seen before.
  • The project is deeply optimised and thoroughly coordinated using BIM models.
BIM Arrow pointing right

Building Information Modelling – Models enriched with information


  • Automated clash detection
  • Operation and maintenance information
  • Project life cycle information
  • Progress reporting site supervision
  • BIM 4D, 5D etc.
  • Models used for communication
3D models Arrow pointing right



  • Laser scans of existing structures
  • DTM (digital terrain models)
  • Visualisations for stakeholders
  • Drone surveys
  • Reinforcement models
Schils HPP construction site from above
Top view of Schils HPP construction site with plan overlay, Switzerland

Download the brochure for AFRY's approach to VDC|BIM

Gregor Heyer - Section Head Structural Engineering and BIM, Hydro
Gregor Heyer
Section Head Structural Engineering and BIM, Hydro

Interested in our offering? Contact us!

Contact Gregor Heyer

For sales enquiries, please complete this form. For all other enquiries, please visit our office and contacts page here.