4D BIM for Construction

Level of Development for 4D Project Management

Posted by Mazen Faloughi on Jul 24, 2017 6:40:57 PM

When it comes to implementing 4D project management, the topic of LOD (level of detail or level of development) comes up a lot. Because 4D Project management integrates the construction schedule with the BIM models, implementation strategists need to think about the best ways to link these two traditionally separated construction tools. The main concerns regarding these issues are usually represented by the following questions:

  • Are the project BIM models developed enough to match the level of detail of the schedule?
  • Are the project BIM models way more detailed than is required for 4D PM purposes?
  • What is the level detail for which the 4D model will yield the highest ROI?

Why do these questions cause a lot of confusion? One reason is that they implicitly assume that 4D modelling is a one-off effort that is carried out at some stage of the project lifecycle to validate the schedule or solve a problem. Therefore figuring out the right stage or LOD to carry it out will (presumably) ensure its success.

In reality, after having supported multiple implementation efforts of 4D using Synchro on complex projects over the past two years, I can promise you that this is not the case.

In my opinion, 4D Project management should be considered as an improved version of project management. This means that it can be carried out in parallel, by different teams, and in different ways to serve different purposes that contribute to a more effective project delivery to the customer. Each 4D PM effort should be carried out at the LOD that reflects the type of PM decisions resulting from that effort. This is really important.

Here are some of the most common applications of the tool along with the suggested model/schedule LOD for each application.

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In conclusion, I believe that regardless of the LOD of your models/schedule, implementing 4D will improve the performance of your project. However, this isn’t the most widely held belief in the construction industry as construction teams are not always exposed to the newest tools and workflows that enable them to succeed.

What are your thoughts? Feel free to share your opinions and comments regarding this issue.

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2017 University Challenge Winners Announced

Posted by Sue Dengenis on May 23, 2017 3:40:46 PM

The next generation of constructors is doing some amazing work.  Check out their submissions from this years University Challenge.

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Where does CPM and 2D fit in the Digital Construction Age?

Posted by Tom Dengenis on Feb 18, 2017 3:03:29 AM

Within a few years of its’ introduction, Critical Path Method (CPM)- a project modelling technique developed in the late 1950s- succeeded in making positive performance impacts in both manufacturing and the defence industries.  “The critical path method was developed at the DuPont Company in 1957 by a pair of mathematicians who were looking at ways to avoid the costs of plant shutdowns and restarts caused by inefficient scheduling. Their research showed that money could be saved by focusing efforts on performing the right tasks at the right times, rather than flooding the problem with labor to stay on schedule. This saved DuPont 25 percent on shutdowns...” (http://yourbusiness.azcentral.com/history-critical-path-method-24351.html) This created big hopes and excitement for CPM to also improve construction project delivery performance.  Construction companies began adopting CPM in the late 1950s and early 1960s. By the late 1970’s and early 1980’s, the personal computer made CPM affordable and accessible to the masses; so how has construction performance fared since  CPM became the standard for construction planning and scheduling?

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Let the University Challenge Begin!

Posted by Tom Dengenis on Jan 20, 2017 11:57:28 PM

The 4th Annual Synchro Software University Challenge was announced to construction educators and students round the globe this week. 

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Is Gaming Visualization the Key to Construction Planning, Scheduling and Project Controls?

Posted by Tom Dengenis on Jan 1, 2017 8:28:00 PM

A stunning visualisation of a project will always have an impact, whether at the pitch phase or communicating during project delivery, and choosing a tool which can deliver is a high priority. We are often asked about the difference between Synchro Software and other 4D animation tools in the market, for example those driven by gaming engines, especially since some of them claim to facilitate “new and improved” more efficient project management. Typically, their approach is to input or import task names along with their start date and finish date and apply those four data elements to their visualisation to create something “4D”. 

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Synchro Platform 2016.2 Release

Posted by Tom Dengenis on Sep 30, 2016 10:53:24 PM


Version 5.3.2   30 September 2016

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Week 5 - Synchro PRO and Contract Management

Posted by Pawel Krecz on Sep 8, 2016 11:14:25 AM

The medium is the message.

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


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The Concept of VDC Stages

Posted by Tom Dengenis on May 31, 2016 9:00:00 AM

The concept of Virtual Design and Construction (VDC) Stages is an important tool when gauging progress towards claiming a company or project to be deemed a modern, 21st century digital construction operation.  Viewing the maturity process as stages in a journey, will help the industry move from  the 2D CAD files, plan racks, and Gantt chart’s that clutter and wallpaper jobsite offices, to computer graphics, structured project data, information transparency and, ultimately, into the integrated systems of the digital age that is driving enormous production gains in industries that construction serves every day.

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Clarifying Details and Scope Using the Power of a 4D Schedule

Posted by James Norris- Beck Group on Feb 18, 2015 4:00:00 PM

Often times when we create our initial construction schedules, we don’t know some of the specific details that will determine how the building can actually go together. We all have ideas on what we “want” to happen in order to meet our promised end date to the owner. But, do we ask all the right questions needed to build our buildings in the way we logistically formed our schedule for the project?


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