BIM is not for Civil Engineers, so what is? VDC!

Autodesk has been making a lot of marketing noise lately, using the term “BIM” to refer to the entire AEC industry. BIM is short for Building Information Model(ing). Sorry, but civil engineers (with the exception of Structural engineers) don’t design buildings.

While I understand the need for a short, easy to say, easy to use term that conveys the essence of 3D Dynamic modeling and all the rest of what BIM implies, forcing an architectural term on civil engineers is not the way to go.

ENR recently ran an article and used the term Virtual Design and Construction or VDC for short. I had never heard this term before, but its perfect. It gets right to the same point as the term BIM, but is general enough to cover all disciplines, from architecture, to civil engineering, to mechanical.

I know in these economic times, squabbling over semantics might seem trivial, but perhaps a light-hearted diversion is what we all need. What are your thoughts in the terms? Do you have an alternate suggestion? Let’s hear it!


  1. John Urbain says:

    How about BIIM – building and infrastructure information modeling? And you could even make it BiiM, kind of like the Nintendo Wii.

  2. Dana Probert says:

    I’ve always liked the name Elmer. Let’s just call it Elmer!

  3. Elmer? As in Engineered Lifelike Modeling Engine and Renderer? I like it too! 😉

  4. Scott Conte says:

    No. Fudd. (hu hu hu hu hu hu )

  5. Tom Snyder says:

    DCD = Dynamic-Civil-Designing? or DCM = Dynamic-Civil-Modeling? It sounds good to the ear; it covers the fundamentals properties of the software, utilizes the industries name within it, and refers to the process of usage in the term.

    Reading your short article, it was the first thing that pooped into my mind when I started thinking about it.

    That’s all I could come up with quickly. I came up with some others that used profanity, but thought that they would be very professional to this topic.

  6. Scott Conte says:

    Don’t mind me. I am still using Land Desktop.

  7. Bill Green says:

    I’ve always riled at the term BIM being used for civil work. I’ve read CIM for civil information modeling, but VDC works for me.

  8. I like it except that it sounds like some sort disease you could catch – hey that could be the tag line – “have you been infected with VDC yet?”….. 😉

  9. Gerardo Diaz says:

    We have to understand that Building also is a verb and in that sense it also applied to Civil, for example we are “building” as corridor model, in other words we actually are “Building” an Information Model(BIM)of the road that we are designing.

  10. Noor Azhar Mohd Nor says:

    Instead of the verb “Building”, the verb “Generating” or “Creating” is much simpler to understand. Therefore, GIM or CIM is the right abbreviation, ie. Generating Information Modeling or Creating Information Modeling. I always use these terms when I conduct my training. I have to feed my trainees with these “Generating” and “Creating” verb instead of “Building”.

    Anyways, I would prefer replacing BIM with the “3D Model” (not 3-dimensional!!!). To me, “3D” stands for “D”ynamic-“D”rafting-“D”esign Model. So in the end, AutoCAD Civil 3D is actually AutoCAD Civil having Dynamic-Drafting-Design engine running at its core.

    p/s : I hate the ribbon concept in C3D2010…! LOL

  11. Jon Rizzo says:

    I’d be happy with a National CAD Standard that didn’t ignore the E in AEC.

  12. Lance White says:

    Everything that claims to be about AEC stops at A if you ask me. I got feed up with every AEC thing at AU only being about Revit.

  13. M F says:

    I agree, we don’t do buildings, we leave it to the “A” guys in AEC. ya! know, those guys that design stuff that can’t be built, whereas the “E” guys, build things that can’t be designed.

    That is why intersections is a new feature in C3D 2010. I had the Archi guys trash talking about C3D not doing intersection.

    BIM is as DUMB…. Dynamic Universal Model for Buildings

  14. Have you ever considered why we care so much about having The Right catch phrase or acronym?

  15. Wesley Ashworth says:

    How about “Dana”? (grin)

  16. David Voith says:

    What is wrong with AEC except the fact that Autodesk only talks about revit?

  17. BORING – Building or Rendering Information – Next Generation.

  18. Tom Snyder says:

    I think some are off topic with this conversation…focus people.

    I didn’t know I was part of a chat for a non-topic CAD complaint session.