4D BIM for Construction

From his Heart and with Passion

Posted by Pawel Krecz on Aug 8, 2016 10:28:04 PM


Pawel.jpgI simply HAVE to mention this. I cannot be silent anymore.

It is now the eighteenth year of my professional career. Through all of those years, I was surrounded by people from whom I learned almost everything that I know today; both in life and in my profession. I also gathered some knowledge from books and papers, but people will always be better teachers for me – they have the experience. Experience is good; it defines you professionally – it cannot be ‘unlearnt’ - and helps a lot in problem-solving situations.

As a project planner, I spend many hours behind the desk doing things that today I am not really proud of, but which seemed like a good idea at the time. The list of questions I should have asked and engagements I should have challenged is long; I will only mention some of these here and they might look familiar to you:

  • How many times did the project team lose the ability to plan and control the project?
  • How many times did planners skip resources, risks and alternatives?
  • How many times did someone ‘wallpaper’ site offices with printouts that no one else understood?
  • How many times were you named ‘hero of the month’ for making sure problems got forgotten / swept under the carpet?
  • How many times you were named ‘idiot of the month’ for sharing a good idea that got trashed?
  • What is the average time of real interest in a project programme (schedule)?
  • How many times did you re-baseline - and why?
  • How reliable is your baseline? If you went to the ‘bookies’, would you bet a ‘tenner’ of your own money to back it up?
  • Why do the number of red Gantt chart bars increase over time, until everything is red and you are on a mission to beg the Client for an extension of time?
  • Have traditional methods failed you? Or fooled you?
  • Have you felt there is ‘more’ and ‘better’, but you couldn’t be bother to reach out for it?
  • Why do you think this list can go forever?
  • … (from here you can put your favourite items, I don’t mind, my list can continue much longer too).

So, why read this blog?

Why read this blog entry (and the following chapters)?

I would like to talk nothing but Synchro PRO and its capabilities from a planner’s perspective. It might interest you. It might change you.

There is something attractive in Synchro PRO that feels like a promise. I felt it years ago when I became fascinated in digital technologies, information modelling and the construction industry. I still feel it today, working at Synchro.

The attractiveness is a process backed by technology; the promise is simply the ability to plan more efficiently, validate plans more accurately and control projects without costly surprises.

IMG_0206.jpgI simply cannot be silent about 4D planning any longer.

4D is, in essence, space and time. In construction, 4D is the ability to plan and schedule in a visual / digital environment. This ability is simultaneously the ‘heart and brain’ of Synchro.

The fourth dimension of BIM allows us to assign resources to extract and visualise the progress of activities through the lifetime of the project. 4D also enables effective resource and expenditure management (e.g. cash flow, Earned Value analysis).

The use of 4D can result in improved control over conflict detection (spatial coordination in space and time) and analyses of the complexity of changes occurring during the course of a construction project.

Linking 3D geometry (model objects) to a digital representation of material resources creates a virtual scope of work.

Digital representation of material resources (linked) to schedule tasks (activities) creates a basis for all construction simulations and visualisations.

There are widely-known and used tools, techniques and benefits of 4D planning / modelling like:

  • project phasing simulations,
  • lean scheduling,
  • visual validation,
  • resource, risks and quality management,
  • information / data modelling,
  • logistics planning,
  • spatial coordination,
  • multi-disciplinary analyses,
  • supply chain coordination,
  • safety studies and analyses,
  • hazardous or confined areas identification,
  • workspace management

However, Synchro also provides and enables some other aspects of 4D planning / modelling that are often omitted or forgotten:

  • creation of resources from 3D model components/objects
  • creation of tasks from resources made from 3D model components/objects,
  • creation of tasks from using the 3D Subdivision tool,
  • resource status monitoring (e.g. Procurement Management and Materials Management),
  • rendering resource appearance controlled by profiling the task requirement,
  • robust risk management mechanism,
  • support commissioning and handover process,
  • support efficient prefabrication and off-site construction logistics,
  • (many tools and functionality not available in the ‘analogue’ platforms).

Other mainstream planning tools (the ‘analogue’ platforms) simply cannot deliver these capabilities.

Thanks for reading,



Every Monday for the next six weeks, I will be blogging a series focusing on the state of the construction planning industry today and will look at the inability of the traditional planning element to effectively handle the complexities of the construction industry in the 21st Century. I am writing this series from my heart and with passion as an experienced user from the planning community.

The blog will focus on:

Week 1: An introduction to 4D BIM planning and modelling

Week 2: Synchro as a planning solution

Week 3: Synchro and 4D information modelling

Week 4: Synchro and Project Management

Week 5: Synchro and Contract Management

Week 6: Summary and analysis of lessons learned

Along with Week 6, I will also be publishing the blog series into a whitepaper on the state of the planning industry today with more detail to support each chapter from the series. It will be freely available for download from the Synchro Software website.

I invite your comments, likes and if you have any questions regarding the blog I can be contacted directly at pawel.krecz@synchroltd.com

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