What is 4D construction
3D BIM has helped to design buildings and manage the construction industry for the past few years. Yet, today there’s a stronger competitive advantage in using 4D construction tools because they offer much better control over sequencing and scheduling.
In 4D models, time is the fourth dimension. 4D BIM uses time-related information to improve building processes and construction schedules while reducing project costs.
Time-related information helps optimize project schedules, material installation and drying times, workflow rescheduling, and many other tasks. It lets your team visualize timelines, and see hidden obstacles before they arise. Contractors, engineers, and building owners optimize the scheduling in order to streamline processes, increase productivity, and reduce project costs.
4D scheduling and construction sequencing
The most successful projects are built on a schedule that optimizes the timing and coordinates the workflow. For example, in order to comply with permits and avoid lengthy delays, a land-development project might require site preparation work in specific phases, to be accompanied by timely erosion-control measures. Minor sequencing errors and delays can quickly stall the entire job.
A business information model that includes time scheduling is the best way to keep any complex project on time and on budget. There are several steps in the 4D modelling process.
- Gather information
- Create the business model
- Analyze and improve the model
Once the stakeholders have come aboard, the first step is to make sure members of the construction team understand the goals and roles for the process.
Create the business model
All the business information from 3D models is combined together with scheduling parameters and timelines across the entire project to create the 4D business model.
Analyze and improve the model
To achieve better outcomes, the project team can simulate and analyze project activities with time parameters, and update the schedule accordingly.
Benefits of 4D construction implementation
Better construction scheduling
Successful projects require complex coordination among people, building materials, and management systems. Time-related information is crucial for success. It lets them clearly see when to reserve equipment, deliver materials, and hire contractors.
In addition to better schedules, 4D BIM also helps the team plan implement projects faster with a better visualization. By monitoring planned timelines with clash detection software, teams can reduce costs and speed up delivery times.
Optimal materials use
The key to cutting costs on any building project is to reduce waste and save materials. 4D construction and business information modeling also reduces labor as well as material costs, especially from contractor rescheduling and redone work.
Better coordination for the project team
With 4D BIM visualization and sequencing tools, project managers can coordinate tasks much more easily. Each construction professional can see how their own input helps to design the model and detect clashes.
Enhanced tracking capability
Unlike earlier 3D business information modeling, the current generation of 4D BIM gives your entire team clear visualization with enhanced tracking of all activities. This tracking software is the best way to help your team stay on track during complex projects, especially in heavy industries.
Better clash detection
Experienced teams use these tools to speed up clash detection during all phases of building design and project management. The right construction sequencing and simulations can reduce project costs by detecting clashes and saving materials. Clear visualization also saves time by reducing the need for endless team meetings.
For building owners and project managers, mistakes are both costly and dangerous. Worse, correcting one error sometimes creates other problems on the job site.
Issues with construction scheduling can cause even more time pressure against the project team. Fortunately, 4-dimension business models can help make job sites safer by easing the time pressure, while also reducing material and labor costs.
Barriers to using 4D in the construction industry
Like every other powerful new technology, 4D BIM has strengths as well as limitations. A recent survey of construction professionals by Leeds University shows that although approximately 75% of them are aware of these tools, only about 30% are already using them.
Why is the adoption of 4-dimension modeling so slow? Project managers certainly recognize the value of using time-related information to achieve clearer visualization and better communication.
However, the same research also suggests that the barriers to adoption of 4D BIM seem to arise more often from executives in senior management roles than from the project team itself. Perceived barriers include the cost of implementation and training, and underlying generational issues – Younger building owners and construction professionals are quicker to adopt highly competitive new technologies.
If you’re working on any project where the cost of materials, equipment, and labor are subject to time pressure, then 4D construction sequencing and scheduling can be far more effective than the earlier generation of 3D BIM software.
Ready to learn more about 4D construction?
Ready to implement BIM services in your existing or future construction project? Contact the experts at HSE Contractors today for more information.