Can construction project management marry precision and flexibility?

In today’s digitalized world 4D and 5D BIM are leading the BIM technology wave and are set to revolutionize the construction industry. By integrating information rich 3D BIM models with additional dimensions of scheduling and cost and material estimations, 4D and 5D BIM modules manage better the effect of change in orders on project costs and scheduling. This promises to reverse the construction industry’s annual losses due to poor communication, rework, and bad data management.

Can construction project management marry precision and flexibility?

So, the answer is YES and it’s already happening.

Why should 4D BIM be one of the main things in planning and scheduling?

Even in smaller projects, there are omissions and oversights due to the amount of information that should be taken into account. Juggling between time, quantity, and money within a construction project is even harder if you don’t have a clear and realistic picture of a project. And what is the better way for this then adding extra dimensions to your 3D BIM model that could give you indisputable information regarding time and cost?

4D BIM brings one more dimension to a BIM model in the form of scheduling data. The sequence in which components should be installed, time-related information for a particular element (lead time, time to install, etc) is significantly helpful when it comes to planning work to ensure it is safely, logically, and efficiently sequenced.

Some of the things that matter in 4D modeling:
Clash-free Construction Scheduling – Workflow or 4D Clashes involve clashes of contractor scheduling,
equipment, and material delivery, and general workflow timeline conflicts. 4D clashes result from scheduling clashes of inter disciplinary activities that eventually lower the efficiency of the entire construction firm. Since one clash has a cascading effect on several disciplines and can bring work to a standstill.
4D Graphical Visualization – The scheduling data is easily convertible into the graphical design, which helps in comparing the scheduled plan and actual situation.
Optimal Resource Utilization – The coordinated approach also helps in optimal resource utilization,
achieving higher operational efficiencies, and meeting timelines.

What does 4D/5D BIM bring to the table?

5D BIM is the next step up from 4D (time scheduling), but furthermore integrates design with estimates such as for and cost, and includes the generation of quantities (BOMs/BOQs), development of rates, and overall cost.
The benefits of 5D BIM are numerous:
Providing Data in real-time – As the model is being developed or changed, all data is provided in real-time.
What if analysis – Alternative concepts and solutions can be easily explored, while the owner and project team can see the cost and all other data instantaneously.
Direct impact on funding decisions – Because five-dimensional technology provides a better understanding of the proposed design, assumptions, and cost drivers the entire project team can have a concise and accurate description of the scope, cost, and schedule.
Creating databases – Good leverage not only for historical data but also for industry experience. In certain sectors, it can be a significant advantage to owners who place a high value on proven success.
Work in a cloud-based environment – All major project stakeholders can visualize the end product and
understand the scope of work and budget. Whenever a single component is modified, the direct impact on cost is calculated automatically. Also, it provides a crucial benefit to the owner and that is transparency.
More Accurate and Faster (Automated) Quantity Takeoffs – On average, estimators spend 60% of their time in creating a quantity takeoff for cost estimating. When the process is automated, it reduces human errors and, saves cost and time. This can give leverage to estimators with other important factors like assessing financial risk factors, generating pricing …

Why go for any of these options over your previously established, traditional system?

The most common causes of failure in the project regarding the overrun of cost and schedules are:

  •  Inaccurate project planning during the initial construction stages
  •  Inaccurate project estimates during initial stages due to the absence of sufficient data
  •  No planning or readiness for change orders
  •  Administration errors caused due to system flaws or human errors
  •  Poor operational workflow and un-streamlined processes

Of course, It is always easier to stick to what you already know and what you are good at, but sometimes a little bit of the risk could give you much more than you could expect.
The sooner you find a cure for these causes in 4D / 5D BIM modeling, the sooner you will facilitate the course of your construction project.