By definition, a What-If scenario is a time-consuming process of creating a variation of the original project design and analyzing the effects those changes have on total project cost & construction time. In the real world, the method of trial-and-error is always too expensive to be applicable and hence, if a potential issue gets misplaced during early design phases, the cost to fix the issue grows almost exponentially over time. Also, the time needed to carry out design changes and propagate those changes to quantity takeoffs, cost estimates and construction schedules was too long to be affordable for most construction companies, pressed with actual deadlines. Through the use of virtual design and construction technology, envisioning a number of entirely different project concepts within a time frame traditionally reserved for developing a single project concept is made possible.
Effectively, we have more time to choose between project design options, materials and other resources, scheduling methodologies and construction technology in order to coordinate between various stakeholders’ priorities and effectively choose an option which fits best into estimated budget and construction time frame.