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What is 4D construction?

January 14, 2021 | 6 min read

With 3D BIM leading the entire construction industry in establishing better project workflows, engineers are pursuing new dimensions to streamline the process and improve project outcomes.

In a 4D model, the fourth dimension is time. It helps the construction team visualize the timeline of the project to ensure its success and timely completion.

All construction team members, including engineers, contractors, and construction managers are taking full advantage of 4D models to ensure a fast, secure, and successful completion of large and small scale projects.

What is 4D Building Information Modeling (aka 4D Construction aka Construction Sequencing)

In short, 4-D BIM involves using time-related information in tandem with different elements of the digital information model. It could include such details as lead-time, installation periods, drying allowances, workflow rescheduling, and much more.  

The goal of 4-D BIM is connecting project optimization efforts and client satisfaction to proper time planning.  

Top Benefits of 4D Construction Implementation

While 3D BIM is already an integral part of construction projects all over the world, 4D construction is gaining momentum along with its 5D colleague. Here are the main benefits of taking advantage of 4D BIM for your upcoming projects.

With 4D BIM scheduling techniques, you can keep all your construction projects on schedule regardless of their scale. All planning, design, and construction phases depend on the project’s scheduling tactics. Besides scheduling, 4D BIM helps with the accurate collection of data for further use.

1. Improved Construction Scheduling

4D building information modeling techniques help create information about the scheduling of building products to design a visual step-by-step method. 4D scheduling models can help integrate the time-related data like construction time, drying periods, etc., thus setting a realistic time frame for a construction project.

Large-scope construction projects can demand complex scheduling of a large amount of materials, systems, and people.  Creating a 4D model helps monitor the construction project progress and plan future steps. Such modeling can help project managers figure out when to book equipment, buy materials, hire specialists, and much more.

However, small-scale construction projects can benefit from 4D construction planning as well. Having a clear scheduling picture can help cut the cost and improve client satisfaction.

2. Better 4D Construction Visualization

4D Building Information Modelling can be very helpful when creating visuals for project planning. By comparing a scheduled plan with the actual plan, managers can improve the timeline and ensure consistency across all aspects of the upcoming construction phases.

This type of visualization is especially helpful when additional construction needs to be done on an existing building. It can help coordinate the actions of the contractors and the rest of the team with the work on the existing site. Seamless results of such complex projects heavily depending on proper visualization, modeling, and smart planning offered by 4D BIM tools.

3. Optimized Material Use

The key to cutting the cost of any construction project is top-notch resource utilization. Contractors are constantly searching for new ways to use the material in the most optimized manner possible.

Whether you are planning to build a series of complex buildings or work on a small-scale project, material use is always on the agenda. By taking advantage of 4D BIM tools, you can save resources and win extra funding for your project.

In addition to optimizing material use, 4D building information modeling along-side Revit software allows you to optimize the workforce to cut the project cost.

4. Improved Project Coordination

With 4D BIM scheduling and visualization, managers have an easier time coordinating the team. It helps build a strategy based on a high-quality model and lets each team member know how their actions fit into the big picture.

By using construction sequencing, project engineers can have an easier time creating a plan for the construction team, thus improving the overall design, eliminating conflicts, and streamlining contractor services.

By using the right tools like Revit software to create the 4D model, project engineers and contractors can have an easier time distributing work, thus tweaking the project schedule and meeting deadlines on and off site.

5. Enhanced Tracking Opportunities

When you need to track every activity on the building site, it’s easy to get overwhelmed, thus losing time and making mistakes. It’s especially noticeable for large-scale projects like heavy industry projects.

By taking advantage of tracking software that integrates with 4D BIM construction models, it’s possible to improve the process, thus cutting costs and saving time.

6. Minimized Workflow Clashes

Construction sequencing simplifies scheduling and resource optimization, thus preventing workflow clashes. With contractors, project engineers, and other team members being on the same page, it’s much easier to keep disputes down and minimize unfortunate errors.

4D BIM construction tools help keep the entire team coordinate its actions. As a result, you can minimize the number and duration of countless meetings that tend to accompany construction projects.

By using 4D construction opportunities, you can visualize the project’s progress and create a simulation, thus helping each team member get on with their responsibilities and speed up the process. Additionally, construction sequencing creates a strong contact between the site and the back office, helping engineers, designers, and contractors exchange ideas and track progress.

7. Better Project Safety

When it comes to personnel safety on and off the construction site, 4-dimension BIM models come in handy as well. You can use construction animation sequencing to monitor the progress of the project and boost overall safety across the job site.

With 4D building construction models, you have full visibility over the project and the team working on it, thus increasing its safety for both the team and the client.

The Takeaway

4D construction models allow you to streamline your services, enhance the output, optimize resources, and much more. Today, 4D BIM is an integral part of solutions offered by industry leading construction firms. Implementing it today can help you gain a competitive edge and position your company as a leader in this space. 

Learn what construction technology leaders say about 4D BIM

Learn How to Manage Volatility Through 4D

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