It can take months or years to develop the 3D virtual-design models that Parsons Brinckerhoff uses for its building information modeling, allowing all stakeholders to be active parts of the design process, says Jay Mezher, the engineering company's director of virtual design and construction. One advantage that makes the time commitment worthwhile is the ability to instantly display and evaluate a wide variety of engineering options. "With all these tools evolving so fast you're going to be able to look at not only one option but look at 15 options, 20 options," Mezher said, thus reducing the chance of project overruns.

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