4D BIM for Construction

Jon Berkoe

Recent Posts

Use of 4D Modeling in Simulating Plant Construction Operations

Posted by Jon Berkoe on Mar 11, 2016 5:04:53 PM

Achieving a breakthrough in construction planning-improving safety and efficiency?

Every construction project is different and the current planning methods result in many operational challenges not being discovered until the last few days before the relevant work has to be done. The desired breakthrough can only be achieved by adding a new dimension to the current planning methods- one that enables everyone on the project to SEE and to easily understand exactly what will be going on ahead of time.  4D planning does exactly that, and therefore makes this breakthrough a reality.

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4D is a Critical Tool for Reducing the Cost of Construction

Posted by Jon Berkoe on Jul 23, 2015 11:00:00 AM

If Contractors do not effectively implement 4D with BIM, the cost of construction for almost any substantial project – building, infrastructure, industrial – is higher than it needs to be.  Money is being wasted, time is being wasted, and sometimes safety is being compromised.  BIM enables increasingly more advanced, more intelligent designs.  Constructing that design is also increasingly more complex - the congestion of time, material, people, equipment, and space creates unforeseen problems - this is common and continuous.  It would seem obvious that many of these problems could be identified and averted if planning was effective.  And if these problems were averted then money and time would be saved.  But how can planning be effective if a schedule is done “1-dimensionally”, line by line, hundreds of activity connections spanning pages on top of pages?  How can a scope of work with say 20 (or more) activities in the same physical area occurring at the same time be well understood?  Or how can the safety risk of a crane operating overhead be adequately accounted for when it doesn’t even appear on the schedule?  Truth is, no matter how detailed and visually appealing the BIM model, if it doesn’t clearly show the “when” for every activity of construction then how do we know there are not going to be problems, potentially avoidable problems?

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Building a 4D Strategy on Top of VDC Principles

Posted by Jon Berkoe on Nov 13, 2014 3:37:34 PM

I like to think of Virtual Design & Construction (VDC) as a process that ideally flows through a project, digitally (i.e., virtually) creating, collecting, transporting, and delivering project data from design through construction.  The VDC process includes software, hardware, and people – ideally all in the proper configurations and locations to allow for cooperative participation, and enabled to deliver a high performing (i.e., optimized) constructed facility.  In this context you could say that if BIM is the car then VDC is the driver.  While there are a multitude of toolsets and techniques used, in my opinion there are essentially four “foundational” principles that provide a set of basic requirements for a well-designed and well executed VDC-enabled project.  Simply put, these are as follows –

  1.  Flow of information – data must flow continuously and non-selectively between project phases and  users.
  2.  Measurement/Control – data must be traceable and easily controlled, and allow for performance  metrics to be measured.
  3.  Impact on Construction – VDC should drive a construction process that meets schedule, reduces  cost, increases quality and minimizes risk.
  4.  Accessibility – VDC should enable data to be accessed by everyone involved in the project  (designers, planners, buyers, managers, builders, etc.) at the point of use and in the format required.

In this context, 4D planning is arguably the most critical aspect of VDC, in that it purposefully ties the schedule progress to the design/build progress, thus enabling a timely, accurate, and useful construction plan.  In order to align with the above VDC principles and fulfill the requirements for successful implementation, the 4D approach should align with an equally important set of basic principles, which I would suggest are as follows -

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Can BIM Help You Sleep Better?

Posted by Jon Berkoe on Oct 14, 2014 7:30:00 AM

Is BIM a Project Manager's best friend?  Maybe, maybe not.  I think it depends on the project and depends on the manager.

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