What is 4D planning & BIM?

Before we can begin to look at 4D planning, we need to specify exactly what BIM is.

Many believe that BIM is merely a technology or a simple evolution of 3D design. However, BIM is actually a process; it is the entire process, across a project lifecycle, from conception to information management and 3D modelling (that is to say, not simple 2D lines but a virtual representation of each building element with specifications and unique characteristics). In recent years it has become an essential process for facilitating the integration between design, construction and use.

The increasing availability of BIM has facilitated the development of 4D planning, which combines 3D models with the dimension of time (planning).

Benefits of using 4D planning on a project

There are many benefits of using 4D planning on a project, with organisations using this tool on a regular basis seeing 3x the level of success according to the 2019 Global Project Controls Survey Report. 

4D planning enhances the way we visualise project information in comparison to Gantt charts which for certain type of projects, cannot provide a complete view of all interactions and sequences of activities. It enables companies to visualise the project and all the events within, all along the schedule timeline.

For schedulers, planner and project managers alike, the use of 4D planning provides an exceptional tool to solves the problems which often occur during the construction phase, such as trade flows, work conflicts, material laydown areas, schedule validation and clash detection, and all before the actual start of construction.  

The tool also enables better communication between various parties involved in construction and therefore reduces any misunderstanding from the start. With the programme objectives clear to all parties, project milestones can be more easily achieved, with a higher chance of the project being delivered on time and on budget. Therefore, this highly efficient onsite communication can also provide cost savings.

Can I use 4D planning on my project?

For a project to use 4D planning, it is required that 3D BIM is used in the design phase. 

Each 3D model element must be then grouped according to construction phases and then linked with planned activity in the programme. For example, a structural beam which will be executed in different phases must be divided into two sections to represent this. This granular level of detail is vital when integrating with the time dimensions to provide accurate planning capabilities.

How can LogiKal help?

Logikal experts consultants have knowledge of Planning, BIM and, most important, the experience of how to integrate schedules with the BIM models to implement 4d planning in your project. Our expertise in working for a wide range of projects in all different phases gave us the confidence to know what is the best 4D solution to your project, from the entire programme sequence, or only for critical and complex parts of your project, we can advise you and implement the best solution, guaranteeing an improvement to your project outcomes by moving your project to another dimension.