Digital Construction Awards: Visual 5D secures SME award

Visual 5D receive their trophy from host Russell Kane (far right) and sponsor David Philp (second left) of the Chartered Institute of Building. (Photo: ASV Photography Ltd.)
Visual 5D, which has brought gaming technology to builders’ bids, was named winner of the Digital Excellence in a Construction SME category at the Digital Construction Awards last night (12 July). The category was sponsored by the Chartered Institute of Building.

Visual 5D was established with the aim of supporting building contractors with an effective communication platform during the tendering stages of a project. Tender meetings are often marked by underwhelming presentations that lack dynamic content and can be difficult to understand for a non-technical audience. In contrast, Visual 5D brings projects to life with detailed 3D animations of the construction schedule and site logistics for presentation.

The company uses gaming technology, combined with its own software, that links the start and completion dates from the programme schedule to an animated 3D model. This combination results in a “movie-style” animation that combines the best of both worlds: high-quality visual graphics with technical data that accurately reflects the construction schedule.

Visual 5D’s platform allows the contractor to demonstrate that all construction stages have been rigorously planned and considered, with its 3D models providing granular detail and identifying unforeseen inefficiencies at the planning stages.

As well as creating a ‘wow factor’ at tender stage, the technology effectively showcases the benefits of digitalisation.

To develop the system, Visual 5D had to undertake a training process to bridge the two worlds from which modellers typically come:

“A huge part of selling the benefits of digitalisation sits in how we can best communicate those to people who aren’t technically minded. This solution is powerful in that respect. It will also act as a catalyst for skills development in the future. It is a very innovative and elegant solution to a perennial problem.”

What the judges said
  • Construction – those experienced with BIM software such as Revit, Naviswork and Synchro, but with no experience of creative or gaming software; and
  • The gaming industry – those with experience of Cinema 4D or Lumion, but no experience in construction or of construction software.

The judges were impressed by the company’s focus on people and skills, in particular the development of a bespoke training process, which brought together experience and expertise from two different industries.

In 2021/22, Visual 5D contributed to 13 winning construction bids with a total value of £3.8bn, among them work on the Houses of Parliament.

John Ferry, MD of Visual 5D, said: "We’ve had quite a large presence in the past 10 years so this is a great result for us. Lots of hard work. It’s great to have this recognition.“

Digital Excellence in a Construction SME shortlist:
  • BIMBox
  • Cooper Moss Rutland LLP
  • MachineMax with HS2 and Align JV
  • Nuspan Flooring
  • Royal Free London Property Services (Capital Projects PMO reporting tool)

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