What is location-based 4D BIM and why is it important for construction
A construction project holds manifold of activities occurring at the same time in one physical area. These activities involve people, materials, and equipment along with variables of time and space. The scheduling of these activities, more often than not, is accessible independently in a one-dimensional timeline sheet. So how can this 1D timeline sheet provide a real-time status update, or identify unforeseen material shortage, workspace clashes, equipment failure or onsite accident? It can’t. At least not on its own.
4D BIM refers to 3D visualization model of a construction project that includes the construction scheduling and sequencing. 4D BIM adds scheduling data of the project even before the construction started. This enables teams to analyze events sequentially using project information and visualization. Going through the sequencing at the initial stage, even before the real site is dug, allows assessment of various possibilities and thus improve project planning and risk management. And the ability to visualize the structure at each stage as it gets built will lead to a reduction of waste in money, and obviously in time.
However, the excitement doesn’t end there. What if the time of an activity can be visualized with the exact location of where the activity is expected to take place? Construction industry suffers from delays all the time. One of the main reasons why such delays occur is due to multiple activities being planned within the same location, resulting in queuing of activities. Location-based scheduling ensures activities are planned in relation to the locations. Although the method has been around for a long time, it is being picked up by construction industry of late, thanks to the digitization agenda.