4D BIM for Construction

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

Posted by Tom Dengenis on Feb 17, 2017 10:03:29 PM

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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The Concept of VDC Stages

Posted by Tom Dengenis on May 31, 2016 3:00:00 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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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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When to develop a 4D Schedule?

Posted by Ken Meding on Jul 7, 2015 9:30:00 AM

This question has been asked multiple times within companies that are new to the VDC / BIM methods. The solution may be simple to understand but challenging to implement.  It’s understood that the construction industry is not the fastest to accept new methods and strategies.  Why should we? We have been constructing major projects for years without using these methods. 

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Are We At A Fork In the Road?

Posted by Tom Dengenis on May 19, 2015 8:13:00 AM

Complexity in engineering, design and construction is now a constant. If we can point to one factor  driving complexity it is the new CAD capabilities that 3D modeling enables; the fantastic, the amazing and in some sectors like oil and gas, the monster projects.
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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 11:00:00 AM

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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Who Should Lead 4D?

Posted by Ken McBroom on Feb 10, 2015 11:00:00 AM

 With the ever increasing advancement of technology, there come new opportunities, along with creation of new roles and responsibilities to use this new technology. When I started in construction, MEP coordination (how the systems would physically need to be installed in the overhead space of a building) was done using light tables and overlays. 

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Synchro Unveils Mobile 4D Construction App at Conference

Posted by Sue Dengenis on Jan 22, 2015 1:35:00 PM

Synchro Software Ltd. (synchroltd.com) held its fourth annual 4D Construction conference last week at the San Diego Marriott Marquis Marina.   Over 120 people were present to see the unveiling of the new mobile app the company is developing to bring their 4D technology to construction sites.  “At Synchro, it is our tradition to provide continuous software improvements to keep pace with the user communities’ demand for increased capabilities within 4D Construction Project Management.” Said Tom Dengenis, CEO.

In addition to the mobile app, the company released an update to its' award winning Synchro PRO software.  The new release, PRO 5, has a long list of new features such as a direct integration with Navisworks and Bentley iModel, improved workflow enhancements and a new Risk Analysis tool.  A complete description of the new features is available at https://synchroltd.com/synchro-pro-5-release-notes/.

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4D Construction Software: Some Metrics

Posted by Sue Dengenis on Aug 20, 2014 10:00:00 AM

Let’s face it, 4D construction animations have become the norm among leaders in the construction industry- pretty much everyone uses them to some degree- high-rise towers, industrial plants, oil & gas refineries, roads, bridges, global companies and small consultants.  Not so long ago animations differentiated companies from the competition, not so much anymore.  Today, competitive advantage is being gained by embracing 4D as a strategy for process improvement and as a means to lean construction.  Why?  Because it works.  In fact, it works incredibly well.  People who dig in and invest the time to understand 4D and, who are open to a transparent process, immediately recognize that animations are quick and easy but they are not the end goal.  When 4D is used day in and day out to manage projects, the real value emerges.   

Making an animation is fairly simple, link your schedule to the 3D model and produce an avi.  4D can then be put to work for the entire delivery team.  The computer becomes a practice field where entire teams review, discuss and edit the plan, in real time.  True 4D scheduling technology allows the impacts to be seen immediately as they ripple through the plan, there is no need to re-enter data for each scenario.  Scenarios can be run over and over until the schedule is synchronized and optimized. The process is quick, effective and engaging. It begins before you ever reach the site and continues until the project is complete.  Imagine watching a short 2 minute simulation of a project phase where logistics, space and resources can all be identified for each moment in time, in as much detail as required.  Try that with a Gantt chart and a stack of plans-very inefficient and ineffective.  (Itis also innfective using 4D that doesn’t provide scheduling capabilities.) 

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Does Your Construction Schedule Work, or is it Merely Artwork?..

Posted by Eric Olsen on Nov 7, 2013 8:45:17 AM

Your new construction schedule just spit out of the large format printer.  The work breakdown structure is smartly segmented by bold company colors, the name of the project proudly stated at the top.  The thousand plus activities gently flow top to bottom, left to right, until that final activity, Project Turnover.  You piece the multiple sheets together and pin them to the office trailer wall, take a step back, and admire your work.  It looks awesome. 

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