In the past year, commercial contractors have seen quite a bit of consolidation among some of the top technology players in the construction industry. Today, the market continues to shrink, as Trimble, www.trimble.com, Sunnyvale, Calif., announces another acquisition in the construction-software space.

Trimble has acquired assets of Vico Software, www.vicosoftware.com, Boulder, Colo., which provides 5D virtual construction software and consulting services. This adds to Trimble’s portfolio, which also includes WinEst’s Modelogix for conceptual cost estimating.

With the addition of Vico, Trimble can advance BIM (building information modeling). Beyond clash detections, contractors can use technology to do 4D scheduling and 5D estimating, linking 3D model components to time and cost-related information. This will allow owners and contractors to see progression of construction activities and relate costs in the models. While 5D BIM isn’t widely adopted in the construction industry, technology providers are coming to market with solutions to allow contractors to push BIM farther.

Beyond extending its portfolio of solutions for 5D virtual construction, Trimble says the acquisition of Vico will also provide a platform to connect the flow of information across the design, build, and operate lifecycle, improving cost management and scheduling on complex projects.

With many of Trimble’s past acquisitions—Tekla, SketchUp, Accubid, and QuickPen, to name a few—one of the big trends Trimble was aiming to push forward was BIM to field, extending information from the office to the jobsite. Certainly, the acquisition of Vico can help enable BIM to Field. However, now, an even bigger trend is emerging—connecting the entire lifecycle of a building from concept through ongoing operations.

Bryn Fosburgh, vice president, Trimble, says, Vico connects data from virtual aspects to the physical components of a building construction project and can help unite Trimble’s hardware and software together across the lifecycle of a building.

As the use of BIM become more prevalent on construction projects, owners and contractors are considering how the modeling data used during construction can be extended to owners for ongoing maintenance and management of a facility. Acquisitions such as this could position tech providers to provide the construction industry with more options to connect construction—in the field and throughout the entire lifecycle of a building.