Virtual design and construction


The digitalisation of the construction industry is bringing about a fundamental change in tools, forms of organisation and processes. Virtual design and construction (VDC) is therefore the focus of developments at IttenBrechbühl. This involves the interdisciplinary application of BIM software in combination with suitable organisational forms and processes for design, planning, project management and construction management.

It is exactly this interdisciplinary application that has been common practice for IttenBrechbühl for years and is now being made more efficient and transparent through a model-based way of working.


VDC public

Source: VDC Certification Program, FHNW, CIFE Stanford


Transparency in procurement

We accompany you in defining your objectives for your construction project and help you to put the requirements of the process and the models into a reasonable framework. In particular, it is important to set the right focus with regard to the Project Information Model (PIM) and the Asset Information Model (AIM).

On request, we can also support you in the development of Exchange Information Requirements (EIR) or Asset Information Requirements (AIR).

Kundenziele public

According to: SIA D0270


The project at the centre

The project execution plan regulates the cooperation of the project participants with regard to the creation, use and application of digital building models. It defines the objectives, organisational structures and responsibilities, provides the framework for the BIM services and defines the processes and exchange requirements of the individual participants.

In the SIA's «Documentation D 0270» working group, IttenBrechbühl was allowed to contribute to the template of the BIM execution plan and is involved in the further development of this tool within the framework of the SIA's BK442.

Projektziele public


Increasing efficiency step by step

In addition to efficient project handling tailored to the needs of the client, IttenBrechbühl also sets its own organizational goals with regard to digital project handling for the near and distant future, which are to be implemented in as many projects as possible.

Firmenziele kurzfristig

Short-term goals

  • Coherent set of plans incl. schematic plans & spatial studies
  • Model-based coordination of sub-models (IFC/BCF workflow)
  • Implementation of Common Data Environment (CDE)
  • Database-based management of information
  • Model-based quantity take-off for costs & tendering
  • Interactive visualisation options (Virtual Reality, Mixed Reality)
Firmenziele mittelfristig

Medium-term goals

  • Model-based tendering by means of Product Data Sheets (PDS)
  • Model-based quality assurance for fire protection
  • Model-based quality assurance for barrier-free construction
  • Model-based quality assurance for age-appropriate construction
  • Model-based visualisation scheduling
  • Material concept workshops in virtual reality
  • BIM2Field from IFC models
Firmenziele langfristig

Long-term goals

  • Model-based construction input
  • Plug'n'Play project documentation as SmartBuilding
  • Gesture-driven design on the model «Virtual Sculpting»


    Clear objectives lead to consistent processes

    Effective process design and consistent process control are prerequisites for the success of digital planning methods. The direct involvement of clients and partners in the process design leads to regulated roles and responsibilities, early clarification of interfaces and, above all, to clear and open communication.

    Process design is a demanding, interpersonal process. It is therefore carried out as teamwork with largely analogous methods, e.g. on so-called process walls. Moderation by the overall management is crucial. Digital tools such as process maps, process modules and documentation aids support the work.

    The result is a pull process oriented towards objectives and decisions, which is guided by the overall management in the planning and implementation phase and further developed in the team.




    Integrated cooperation as a success factor

    Integrated cooperation begins as early as the project definition stage and encompasses all participants’ rights through to the utilisation phase of the building. Through shared responsibility and joint incentives, we create project teams in which each individual is committed to the client's interests.

    In addition to collectively designed processes and suitable information platforms, the application of the «ICE Session» method determines the success of the cooperation. ICE, Integrated Concurrent Engineering, is a method by which interdisciplinary teams solve a planning task as a collective. Central elements of ICE are the comprehensive visualisation of information and equal participation in the development of solutions. We aim to use ICE in all project phases, from the definition of objectives with the client, to the planning and coordination of the design, until the management on the construction site.



    BIM, digital building models as information containers

    We use digital building models (BIM in the closer sense) as the core of information management. We orient ourselves by documented, open standards such as IFC (SN EN ISO 16739) as the standard for defining information models. Depending on the type of project and the client's needs, we configure the information management on the basis of internal standards.

    We place great value in efficient and high-quality digital building models with the effectively necessary information- as much as necessary instead of as much as possible. Accordingly, we also derive the information requirements from the activities that are to be supported with the models. This essentially corresponds to a pull process from the appointed party to the appointing party and is described in the SN EN ISO 19650 series.

    For the documentation of the information profiles, we rely on the BIM profile server of CRB in cooperation with the Institut for Virtual Design and Construction. For the BIM profile server, the expertise from our VDC competence centre on the data catalogue with IFC mapping could be brought in.



    Commitment beyond our own discipline

    IttenBrechbühl is committed to the standardisation of digital methods and processes in Switzerland as well as internationally. Our experts are active in the following working groups or commissions.



    The terminology used in virtual design, construction and management is interpreted in different ways. IttenBrechbühl relies on the VDC glossary of the FHNW to promote understanding of the terminology.


    For questions about Virtual Design and Construction at IttenBrechbühl, please contact our VDC Competence Centre at

    Text and content by VDC Competence Center, Itten+Brechbühl AG

    Graphics designed by Evelyne Jost