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4D CAD Building Modeling and Construction Planning – Pursuit of Strategic, Cost Effective And Clash Free Construction Process

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Construction planning is a very important activity that supports smooth execution of a construction project. However, the process of construction is full of uncertainties. Conventional methods are not robust enough to measure these uncertainties and design construction schedules and logistics. As a result, 4D construction and planning has become highly popular across the AEC industry. Technological advancements and availability of BIM software tools for simulation and management have made it easy to execute construction projects.

4D CAD Building Modeling and Construction Planning

Applications 4D CAD building modeling and simulation and understanding how it helps manage the construction activities and plan schedules

Problem Detection

4D modeling provides powerful visualization of the construction process and of the involved disciplines like architecture, structure and MEP. Better visualization enables teams to detect problems easily and mitigate them before the construction starts. 4D simulations also support analysis of multiple what if scenarios and evaluation of clashes or discrepancies that might occur, by providing clear insight into the various construction activities, phases and schedules.

Site Utilization and Planning

4D modeling also known as BIM for construction scheduling is used to evaluate both temporary and permanent facility locations on site across the various phases of the construction process. Information regarding the equipment location and material staging areas can be integrated into the intelligent building information model to facilitate improved management by taking informed decisions. With BIM 4D at your disposal, it becomes exceedingly easy to avail detailed layouts for assembly areas, temporary facilities and material loading, and storage areas for a construction project. This plays a major role in planning for construction safety (safety of life and property) during the construction process.

3D Coordination and Clash Detection

In a contrast to the conventional methods, where comparing drafts and data sheets to detect clashes is extremely complex, Clash detection via evaluation of 4D CAD modeling and effective visualization of every discipline, and interaction between disciplines at every phase can be done with great clarity and ease. This enables accurate detection of clashes and discrepancies if any. Clash detection and mitigation the construction work starts reduces field conflicts, as a result request for information also reduce – in-turn process delays and construction costs are reduces and productivity shoots up.

Determining Time-based Clashes

Time based clash analysis can be done using 4D CAD modeling and simulation of a construction process. Using 4D CAD experts can evaluate and verify the sequence of operations during the construction process and ensure that permanent construction, temporary construction and demolition activities do not conflict with each other. It also becomes very easy to manage and coordinate trades, materials and equipments that must co-exist at a construction site.

Material Management

A 4D CAD building model contains detailed information about the construction plans. As a result, the amount of material needed during each phase can be easily predicted; as a result the accrued costs can also be determined. As a result it becomes easy to keep track of order and delivery status of the required materials that are needed on site. The impact of design changes on the construction project and the cascading effects of this on the material takeoffs and costs can also be gauged.

Bhushan Avsatthi
About the Author: Bhushan Avsatthi is a BIM expert, a certified Sustainable Building advisor, and an associate director with more than 15 years of industry experience. He leads a team of architects, Structural & MEP engineers, LEED consultants and energy modelers. Bhushan strives to make his organization a cohesive resource for sustainable building design. He regularly participates in green initiatives like tree plantations, and promotes using bicycles for everyday commute.