Design Reviews


A process in which stakeholders view a 3D model and provide their feedbacks to validate multiple design aspects. These aspects include evaluating meeting the program, previewing space aesthetics and layout in a virtual environment, and setting criteria such as layout, sightlines, lighting, security, ergonomics, acoustics, textures and colors, etc. This BIM use can be done by using computer software only or with special virtual mock-up facilities, such as CAVE (Computer Assisted Virtual Environment) and immersive lab. Virtual mock-ups can be performed at various levels of detail depending on project needs. An example of this is to create a highly detailed model of a small portion of the building, such as a facade to quickly analyze design alternatives and solve design and constructability issues.

Potential Value:

  • Eliminate costly and timely traditional construction mock-ups
  • Different design options and alternatives may be easily modeled and changed in real-time during design review base on end users and/or owner feedbacks
  • Create shorter and more efficient design and design review process
  • Evaluate effectiveness of design in meeting building program criteria and owner's needs
  • Enhance the health, safety and welfare performance of their projects (For instance, BIM can be used to analyze and compare fire-rated egress enclosures, automatic sprinkler system designs, and alternate stair layouts)
  • Easily communicate the design to the owner, construction team and end users
  • Get instant feedbacks on meeting program requirements, owner's needs and building or space aesthetics
  • Greatly increase coordination and communication between different parties. More likely to generate better decisions for design

Resources Required:

  • Design Review Software
  • Interactive review space
  • Hardware which is capable of processing potential large model files

Team Competencies Required:

  • Ability to manipulate, navigate, and review a 3D model
  • Ability to model photo realistically including textures, colors and finishes and easily navigable by using different software or plug-ins
  • Strong sense of coordination. Understanding roles and responsibilities of team members
  • Strong understanding of how building/facility systems integrate with one another

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.
  • 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.
  • Bassanino, May Wu, Kuo-Cheng Yao, Jialiang Khosrowshahi, Farzad Fernando, Terrence Skjaerbaek, Jens. (2010). “The Impact of Immersive Virtual Reality on Visualisation for a Design Review in Construction,” 14th International Conference Information Visualisation.
  • Xiangyu Wang and Phillip S. Dunston. (2005). “System Evaluation of a Mixed Reality-Based Collaborative Prototype for Mechanical Design Review Collaboration,” Computing in Civil Engineering, Volume 21, issue 6, page: 393-401.
  • Shiratuddin, M.F and Thabet, WalidA. (2003). “Framework for a Collaborative Design Review System Utilizing the Unreal Tournament (UT) Game Development Tool,” CIB REPORT.
  • NavisWorks (2007), “Integrated BIM and Design Review for Safer, Better Buildings,” (