4D BIM for Construction


Posted by Tom Dengenis on Aug 2, 2016 11:46:01 PM


spacetime3.png In physics, spacetime is any mathematical model that combines space and time into a single interwoven continuum.  The spacetime of our universe regards space as consisting of three dimensions, and time as consisting of one dimension, the "fourth dimension". In construction, 4D is any model that combines space and time into a single interwoven project visualisation. Historically, space and time information of the construction industry has been disconnected.  Design, defining spaces; and the project schedule, defining time, have always been created or as some would like to say "authored" separately, held in separate data silos, and only ever combined by the imagination of the people involved. In more recent history, there have been attempts by many of the engineering computer aided design (CAD) software systems to combine the spatial data from 3D design models with a time “attribute” from the project  

schedule to trigger computer graphics rendering to create a 4D visualisation.  The CAD oriented segmented method significantly limits project delivery effectiveness because the two components are not integrated, thereby maintaining industry silos.  To consider time a fixed attribute in 4D may be convenient for computer graphics rendering, and may look interesting; however time is, and always will be, dynamic in construction operations. CAD oriented visualisation that is completely separated from construction management misleads the audience by appearing to be the output of 4D digital project delivery methods when it is only ever a 4D visualisation.  The 4D visualisation does little or nothing to improve construction project delivery results and overall construction industry performance.  Some critics will go as far as saying that 4D visualisation techniques damage the project delivery processes because it completely lacks substance, integrity and respect for the complex demands of project management that get masked.

Synchro Software’s 4D Scheduling Time Machine combines space and time into a single digital construction management platform.  It uniquely enables the construction team to significantly simplify and improve a large number of project management practices. Synchro PRO's 4D scheduling engine combines closed and open standard data interoperability, an advanced critical path calculator, an engineering software CAD kernel, 4D computer graphics rendering, and document management  capabilities in a 

SYNCHRO PLATFORM 2016.2 HD crossrail_progression.png

common digital spacetime environment.  The results are an authoring environment that improves team participation and creates a common understanding and insight among all stakeholders.  A true 4D Scheduling Time Machine creates a more robust project delivery approach, if for no other reason than it eliminates planned, but unforeseen, errors that go unrecognized in traditional planning and scheduling systems. In 4D, planned errors that are normally pushed out to the project are easily detected and removed.  Hidden defects in the plan waiting for the site management to walk the site to discover them and react is no longer stardard operating procedure.  Today's 4D teams are creating the new standard in project management, instantly identifying opportunities for safe, productive site operations that drive improvement.  Our experience and our user's experience, whether a first time user or seasoned specialist, focuses on creating trusted, innovative, optimised project delivery approaches along with scheduling for contract compliance.

Imagine your project in a Time Machine, purpose built for construction project demands in the 21st century. 

ENR: 4D Scheduling's TIME MACHINE


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