Virtual design and construction is gaining ground in the utilities markets because of its ability to speed large-scale planning and development of energy projects. Though current applications on projects have just begun to touch the full potential of the approach, experienced users are enthusiastic about the financial benefits of debugging a project by building it first on the computer. Photo: Mortenson Mortenson uses VDC to layer environmental data, old-stump locations and grading plans for wind farm-site optimization. Photo: Bentley Bentley’s Substation V8i aids distribution planners with data modeling. Related Links: Digital-Modeling Veterans Want Data for Life Cycles Building Information Modeling
The market is generally healthy and steadily growing, and margins are up for large specialty contractors. Further, advances in design tools and owner demand for collaboration are giving subcontractors a seat at the table early on in projects.