Virtual Construction for Roads (V-Con)
Virtual Constructions for Roads (V-Con) was a European project co-funded by the 7th framework program of the European Commission with 2.163.000 euro, which has been started in October 2012 and ended at April 1st 2017.
The aim of V-Con was to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the participating National Road Authorities by improving data exchange in civil infrastructure with the implementation of Building Information Management.
The project consisted of two parts: a development/ standardization part regarding so-called open BIM standards and a so-called Pre-Commercial Procurement part, where market parties has been challenged by the National Road Authorities to develop software tooling to serve the digital data exchange.
The project was lead by the Dutch Agency of the Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment (Rijkswaterstaat). Other partners are the National Swedish Road and Rail Authority (Trafikverket) and 2 leading national research institutes in the field of virtual construction from The Netherlands (TNO) and France (CSTB). They have formally joint forces to break out of a circle of IT standstill regarding the use of open standards.
Aims & Objectives
V-Con aims at enabling national road authorities to introduce software tools for exchanging/sharing comprehensive road (highway) information with commercial parties in the sector and applying them in their life-cycle and supply-chain processes.
The right IT based integration for infrastructure is seen as a key opportunity here: better information management will lead to shorter lead times, less failure costs, better handover to commercial parties for realization and maintenance of infrastructure and vice versa, improved asset management and better traffic management.
V-Con’s Pre-Commercial Procurement
PCP is an approach for procuring development of innovation which enables public procurers to:
- Share risks and benefits of designing, prototyping and testing new products and services with suppliers, without the risk of state aid.
- Create the optimum conditions for wide commercialization and take-up of innovation through standardization and/or publication
- Pool the efforts of several procurers and a number of market parties.
By acting as technologically demanding first buyers of innovation, public procurers can drive innovation from the demand side. This enables public authorities to innovate the provision of public services faster and creates opportunities for companies to take international leadership in new markets. For more information check the website of the European Commission.
V-Con’s PCP consisted of a funnel of 3 phases: solution design, development prototype, development and testing of pre-production product.
V-Con’s PCP was published at Tenderned (march 2015). The original tenderdocuments can be found there. The elaborated Business and Technical Specifications can be found in the Download section of this webpage. For future purposes a Final version of the Technical Specifications has been made available, where in Annex F links can be found to the actual test package derived from real project data.
In phase 0 V-Con has received 14 proposals from consortia. For phase 1 6 bids have been selected to start with V-Con, in alphabetical order:
- Arcadis/Semmtech [1,2,3]
- Demo Consultants 
- Jotne EPM [1,2]
- Sweco [1,2]
- TopQuadrant [1,2,3]
- Vianova Systems A/S (now Trimble) 
Between brackets the actual number of the phases are given the tenderer has participated in.
An extensive description of the results can be found in the download section of this webpage. The key documents of V-Con’s final results are:
- Tenderdocuments of the PCP, see website Tenderned.
- D2.5 coordination report phase 3: This report gives the lessons learnt during PCP inclusive those from phase 1 and 2 with a reference to V-Con’s original aims and objectives as indicated in the original proposal.
- D4.3 draws some overall conclusions based on the reporting of the tenderers active in phase 3.
- 2 powerpoint presentations from the tenderers about their V-Con solutions.