Image of ICON Lab
BIM Uses

Design Reviews

For Current Information about BIM Project Execution Planning is currently at


A process in which a 3D model is used to showcase the design to the stakeholders and evaluate meeting the program and set criteria like layout, sightlines, lighting, security, ergonomics, acoustics, textures and colors, etc. Virtual mock-up can be done in high detail even on a part of the building like façade to quickly analyze design alternatives and solve design and constructability issues. If properly executed, these reviews can resolve design issues by offering different options, and cutting down the cost and time invested considering basic construction, making modifications after reviews and final demolition and removal expense.

Evaluation of the designed space can be facilitated by high degree of interactivity in order to get positive feedback from end users and owner. Some of the top criteria in evaluation if the courtrooms are: sightlines, lighting, ADA compliance, safety, security, acoustics, HVAC, ergonomics, aesthetics and millwork tolerances. Real-time modifications of design are enabled based on the end users feedback. Therefore, decision making time is cut in half since the attention focus is on one issue at a time until the consensus is reached.

Potential Value:

  • Eliminate costly and timely traditional construction mock-ups
  • Different design options and various scenarios and alternatives are easy to model and change real-time during design review by end users or owner
  • Create shorter and more efficient design reviews
  • Resolve the conflicts that would arise in a mock-up and model the potential fixes in real-time along with tolerances revised and RFI’s answered
  • Preview space aesthetics and layout during design review in a virtual environment
  • Evaluate effectiveness of design in meeting building program criteria and owner's needs
  • Creates efficiencies in design process
  • Easily communicate the design to the owner, construction team and end users. Get instant feedback on meeting program requirements, owner’s needs and building or space aesthetics
  • Eliminate expensive onsite mock-ups or reduce time needed to construct them

Resources Required:

  • 3D Model manipulation
  • Design Review Software
  • Interactive review space

Team Competencies Required:

  • Ability to manipulate, navigate, and review 3D model
  • Ability to model photo realistically including textures, colors and finishes and easily navigable by using different software or plug-ins.

Selected Resources:

  • Dunston, Phillip S., Arns, Laura L., and McGlothin, James D. (2007). "An Immersive Virtual Reality Mock-up for Design Review of Hospital Patient Rooms," 7th International Conference on Construction Applications of Virtual Reality, University Park, Pennsylvania, October 22-23, 9 pages
  • Majumdar, Tulika, Fischer, Martin A., and Schwegler, Benedict R. (2006). "Conceptual Design Review with a Virtual Reality Mock-Up Model," Building on IT: Joint International Conference on Computing and Decision Making in Civil and Building Engineering, Hugues Rivard, Edmond Miresco, and Hani Melham, editors, Montreal, Canada, June 14-16, 2902-2911.
  • Maldovan, Kurt D., Messner, John I., and Faddoul, Mera (2006). "Framework for Reviewing Mockups in an Immersive Environment," CONVR 2006: 6th International Conference on Construction Applications of Virtual Reality, R. Raymond Issa, editor, Orlando, Florida, August 3-4, on CD, 6 pages
Penn State