4D BIM for Construction

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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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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Construction Project Owners- Are You Leading High Performance Construction?

Posted by Sue Dengenis on Feb 9, 2016 11:39:46 PM

Owners- you have the power to improve your construction project performance and to support your contractors’ success by requiring new performance standards.   Improvement and innovation is win- win.  Yes, projects are increasingly complex; yes, supply chains are global; yes, the design world has advanced technologically. This is reality; the only certainty is that change will continue and the pace will increase.    Recognize that owners’ specifications drive innovation and progress.   Technology for design has improved significantly, primarily due to Owner’s specifying new BIM standards of practice from their design teams.  It is time to expect contractors’ project management tools to also significantly improve in order to keep pace with industry needs. Construction teams need tools that provide insight and digital integration from design through construction and into facility operations.

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How 4D scheduling creates synergies between BIM & Lean

Posted by Roar Fosse on Dec 2, 2015 4:03:14 PM

With new tools come new methods. There are numerous examples of this when it comes to Lean Construction and BIM, where new BIM tools require new processes that very often encompass several lean principles. I tend to say that Lean is the right leg and BIM is the left leg, and although you could stand on either one, in a fiercely competitive market that constantly shifts, it is easier for a construction company to maintain balance by standing on both. 

4D scheduling is one example of synergy where BIM can be used to achieve lean effects, either to support traditional planning methodology or to complement the Last Planner™ System. This blog post is meant to give an introduction to 4D scheduling and how some projects at Skanska achieves lean effects from using 4D in projects.

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VDC/BIM: Disruptive Innovation, Creative Destruction

Posted by Leonardo Rischmoller on Mar 13, 2015 3:17:00 PM


While there is not yet a more or less agreed definition about what BIM and VDC are, BIM/VDC is still seen by many careful risk-takers concerned with maintaining the status quo as only an incremental innovation oriented to improve on an existing way of doing something.  BIM/VDC, however, is not only an incremental innovation but a new way to deal with the whole life cycle project development processes that will transform completely the AEC/EPC industries. Thinking about BIM/VDC as a form of “disruptive innovation” (Clay Christensen) or “creative destruction” (Joseph Schumpeter) could help us to understand the path of huge transformation that the AEC/EPC industries have just started to walk due to the impact of BIM/VDC adoption. 

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Building A Scheduling Dashboard At Beck

Posted by James Norris and Brian Monwai- Beck Group on Mar 3, 2015 4:00:00 PM

The Virtual Building Group has been developing a Scheduling Dashboard to help us achieve operational excellence in our construction scheduling. With the Dashboard we are able to monitor and track the health of every project’s schedule, ensure that our people know and use proper scheduling techniques, and hold people accountable to company standards. 

The Dashboard is a web application where schedules created in P6, Synchro, or even Microsoft Project can be uploaded for project managers to self-audit their schedules and for VBG schedulers and operational leadership to review project status. The application shows the schedule health of all Beck projects from a very high level all the way down to individual tasks. The scheduling data is tracked over time, so we can: view changes in contract completion dates, days gained/lost, number of scheduled activities, and maintain baselines, duration changes and proper logic. This helps us be proactive in keeping any individual job on schedule and helps us manage our projects across the company.

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Construction Science Fiction?

Posted by Kate Hester on Dec 10, 2013 3:30:00 PM

“Science fiction…earns its special place by opening a gap between what we can do today and what we might do tomorrow. It bridges that gap with a magical span that requires no buttressing and no load calculations, only conceivability.”[1]

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The Benefits of Using BIM to Improve Building Performance

Posted by Liam Clarke on Nov 26, 2013 3:50:00 PM

Utilising BIM technologies to improve the energy efficiency and performance of buildings is easier than you would think. You would require a very small amount of basic building information; usually comprising of some dimensions and a context or use for the development. Using this fairly low-level information, you are able to develop a very basic 3D model even just as conceptual blocks, to enable you to get a feel for the architecture and assess very high level issues.

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4D Planning: What it can do for you

Posted by Aneesa Mulla on Nov 19, 2013 3:00:00 PM

Traditionally construction projects relied on a single point of contact with very limited requirements for visualisation. Without a doubt this has led to an increase in very specialised professionals, however as a result there is little to no collaboration between these specialists at many stages of the project life cycle leading to a high level of fragmentation.

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