4D BIM for Construction

Limiting liability and improving performance

Posted by Sue Dengenis on Nov 14, 2013 6:17:00 AM

 “All parties involved in the construction process (i.e., owners, contractors, subcontractors and suppliers) have a vested interest in on-time performance and on-time payment… Delays in performance are, not surprisingly, among the most commonly litigated issues arising from construction projects. Construction projects involve expensive equipment, tremendous overhead, significant manpower and large payrolls for owners and contractors alike. The longer a job takes, the higher the costs and the greater the potential for litigation. Due to the high costs of untimely performance, contractors and owners usually require well planned and often complex schedules.

Whether viewed from the perspective of the owner or the contractor, construction schedules serve several important purposes. First, the schedule is the vehicle for planning and sequencing the work. Second, the schedule may protect a party from liability for delay costs. Third, the schedule may allow a party to establish that it was delayed by another party or that another party was, in fact, the cause of a claimed delay. To serve these purposes, schedules should be constantly monitored and updated. Failure to perform work in accordance with the project schedule can result in significant liability.”1

The use of 4D BIM provides the clear communications and detailed visibility the project schedule has always been missing to minimize this liability.  For this simple reason, the ability to see the schedule through the Building Information Model, construction companies are looking to their planning and scheduling software as the first place and highest priority for process improvement.  When the consequences of inadequate planning are so large, it’s important to have confidence in the ability to deliver according to plans and schedules.  4D BIM software for planning and scheduling can be implemented with little to no disruption and often creates the spark that ignites an innovative new approach to project delivery within a company.

The difference between the status quo planning and scheduling of the last century and the new 4D capabilities is that 4D literally brings visibility into the process.  4D combines the CPM scheduling we all know and respect and links it to a 3D design or BIM.  This linking process is technically resource allocation and it enables detailed visual simulation of the project prior to actual construction using virtual reality techniques.  As the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words.  In this case a virtual reality and visual simulation provides a crystal clear picture of your project at any given time.  The level of detail is determined by the user.  This visibility improves communication, collaboration, reduces waste, and saves time and money.  Why continue to work in the dark ages, blind, where inefficiencies and waste are rampant when 4D BIM is here? 


Mark Brew & Mervyn Richards, see www.spatilaiq.co.nz       


1 http://www.lorman.com/newsletter/article.php?article_id=1140&newsletter_id=246;

Author: Nathan D. Chapman, Lee C. Davis and W. Henry Parkman Organization: Sutherland

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