4D BIM for Construction

Visual Storytelling

Posted by Tom Dengenis on Mar 6, 2017 10:01:22 PM

This past week as we are preparing for the next Synchro Software User’s Conference it has been very hard to avoid the news and broadcast interviews about the Oscars award ceremony and the event played out for the Best Picture winner Moonlight.  Among the chatter I heard an interview that described the power of storytelling and it caught my attention.  In the conversation Cheo Hodari Coker said among many things that:

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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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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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Are We At A Fork In the Road?

Posted by Tom Dengenis on May 19, 2015 2:13:00 PM

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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VDC/BIM: Top-Down or Bottom-up Implementation?

Posted by Leonardo Rischmoller on Feb 6, 2015 3:22:00 AM


Based on my experience, I have seen that when an explicit or tacit decision to choose between a top-down or a bottom-up approach to BIM/VDC implementation is made, companies and projects are biased through the top-down approach. 

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4D BIM- Setting New Standards

Posted by Sue Dengenis on Mar 4, 2014 10:03:31 PM

4D BIM is the next generation project management, including project planning and scheduling, data analytics and management.  4D is here to stay and growing quickly.  Henry Gantt put the “To Do” list on the calendar and added duration to his chart. CPM added dependencies, creating the power of the network diagram.  4D literally adds vision, for those who want or need to understand project planning and scheduling data.  The ability to visualize your project and analyze the dynamic spatial data on your computer, before you break ground, creates a practice field for the delivery team that is highly engaging and efficient, where team members share the same vision.  In an industry where processes haven’t changed for decades, this is revolutionary and, long overdue! 

Gantt charts date back to 1911 or earlier, CPM dates back to WWII when the Manhattan Project perfected Henry Gantt’s work by adding logical dependencies.  By the mid 1950’s, we started seeing  broader use of CPM by industry and we saw its’ introduction to construction by the early 1960s.  Since then, no major innovations have occurred and construction productivity has continued to steadily decline, until NOW.  Today, there is agreement that 4D BIM is the new standard and it is bringing measurable improvement to the industry.  According to a McGraw-Hill Construction SmartMarket Report released in 2012, 74 percent of North American construction firms in the $4 trillion global building industry have adopted BIM in some capacity, supporting the premise that BIM is here to stay.   Consider the difference between reviewing stacks of 2D drawings and design plans and separately stacks of 2D Gantt charts or even the more detailed network diagram and discussing between the two with the delivery team; with 4D BIM, teams are sitting together to review a real time simulation of the project- everyone shares the same vision quickly and efficiently, ideas are discussed and knowledge and experience is shared.  Changes can be made instantly, different approaches can be tested for impacts and clashes can be discovered early in the process.  4D visualization is transforming the entire delivery process.  But software alone doesn’t transform an organization, people and processes must be at the center of this effort.  Commercial construction is complex and rarely a repeatable process, there is no black box technology tool that can simplify and manage the improvement process.  Smart people with innovative tools improve the construction process.  In construction, Planners and Schedulers are at the center of the process, they are a key success factor of the delivery team and should play a key role in technology decision making.

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