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34 Volume 64: Issue 1 I January/ February 2010 www.engineersireland.ieMatthew Edwards writes about the benefits of building information modelling 5d techniques in construction and civil engineering projects over traditional project management methodsModel Behaviour Building in five dimensionsConstruction and civil engineering planning and programming • efficient task sequencing and planning of work spaces;software technology first started to appear on the construction and • encouragement of engineering innovation and value civil engineering market back in the late eighties. Planning and engineering;programming software companies have since evolved and adapted • consistent quality and better planned performance; and,these software products to suit the customer, while developing • shorter overall project delivery.software products that would help construction and civil engineering companies deliver their projects on time and within budget. Such Project delivery concernssoftware today has a great part to play in the success and timely By most measures, the construction industry is unpredictable, above completion of construction and civil engineering projects. all in delivery time, cost and quality. In today’s competitive, global In the same period, CAD software companies have also developed construction and civil engineering markets, where profit margins are 2D drawing software packages into 3D Building Information Model-narrowing, large and small engineering projects are becoming ever ling (BIM) design software packages so that architects, structural more complex. It is now evident that effective risk management is the engineers and mechanical and electrical (M&E) engineers can key objective for every member of a construction team. All construc-share their project design information and collaborative flow in a tion projects will succeed or fail largely on the basis of how well a 3D model environment, whilst the client can visualise their project, team works collectively to explore options and manage solutions in whether it’s an office building, motorway project or an underground light of potential risks. With complex designs, site constraints, health railway station. It is now possible to combine 3D drawings for a and safety issues, design revisions and unplanned events, these risks project and the project programme time schedule (4D), and project can disrupt momentum, add time and cost, and create more risk. If costs incorporated within the programme (5D). the project delivery team can’t share a clear view of a continually evolving project, then they will have to communicate and resolve Shared visionissues efficiently. This gives rise to other potential concerns:With this BIM 5D technology, construction and civil engineering • how do they track and report progress clearly and measure companies now have the ability to simulate and manage a project earned value accurately for each stage of the project in line with ‘model’ in ‘real time’, so that the entire delivery team can share contract requirements (i.e. new government form of contract, one virtual vision to enable project success. The main benefit of the FIDIC, NEC)?BIM 5D process and techniques is that the entire turnkey construc-• how can they connect the architects, structural engineers tion delivery team – clients, engineers, architects, operators, main and M&E engineers’ design within a fixed programme and contractors, subcontractors, manufacturers and materials suppliers coordinate the essential details to still deliver work on time and can share and understand a single ‘real-time’ view of the entire on budget?project. This BIM 5D approach is also dedicated to enabling the • how can they allocate and coordinate work space, phases and construction delivery team to explore options and manage solutions safety zones and achieve project milestones and logistics effec-like never before due to the accurate interface of design, programme tively?and engineering costs. BIM 5D construction techniques have the • is the project strategy to analyse and manage risk perform-following advantages over current traditional construction project ing well enough in respect to achieving the objective and management approaches:goals of the project and forecasting an accurate project comple-• clearly defined processes to manage corporate responsibilities, tion date?protect workers’ health and safety, care for the environment and deliver shareholder value;The delivery team’s greatest challenges often demand that they • control over planning and programming, logistics and site condi-identify the most promising options to solve construction problems, tions to minimise uncertainty, lost production and rework;and then select the best competing solutions to implement.www.engineersireland.ie Volume 64: Issue 1 I January/ February 2010 35A management solution With the advent of BIM 5D techniques, a shared vision of the project to help clarify and resolve competing solutions in the project is insti-gated. By reviewing and analysing several scenarios in a graphical computer model simulation, as well as understanding the effects on project-earned value and time prior to project commencement, contractors can compare various options so that the best solutions consistently emerge to add real value and target uncertainty right from the beginning. By utilising the BIM 5D approach, the entire team, as needed, can participate in the process of eliminating uncer-tainty. BIM 5D also brings pre-construction project visualisation to new heights to help develop strategies that will deliver projects on time and within budget. BIM 5D techniques enable contractors to better manage the essential activities of construction delivery to ensure project success by : • enabling dynamic team participation within the BIM process; • enhanced synchronisation of project planning and delivery workflow; dynamically share one vision of the entire project in ‘real -time’; • manage effectively continuous and iterative design revisions BIM 5D office construction image.during the contract; • coordinate multiple planning and programming scenarios while Through communication and dialogue, this enables an interactive base-lining, tracking and reporting the project programme programming and virtual construction simulation within the BIM status on a regular basis; and,5D environment. Project teams can also simulate and review two • integrate the supply chain at a detailed level within the model project scenarios with BIM 5D technology and generate AVI (audio to enable design, procurement and just-in-time delivery to site, and video) progress reports for wide distribution, while undertaking in line with the design team’s requirements.detailed, task management schedules, which interface accurately with the complete inventory of 3D design, machinery and equip-5D techniquesment, and permanent and consumable resources on-site. The benefit BIM 5D project techniques incorporate the ability to define and of the BIM 5D techniques over more traditional project management represent re-usable 3D materials, equipment, human and loca-techniques is that by creating a 3D project model and interfacing tion resources; and communicate these in a full project visual a cost and resource loaded contract programme to produce a 5D simulation model. With construction and civil engineering plan-effect, projects will be more efficiently managed and tracked, at the ning and programming techniques now being surpassed with BIM same time engaging all project stakeholders to communicate clearly 5D technology, contractors will be able to plan and monitor their in delivering the project on time and within budget.projects directly against the design, which will provide a cross-check and clash detection by linking current and revised design to the construction schedule. This will allow ‘real-time collaboration’, in turn allowing each project delivery participant to contribute and manage simultaneously in a BIM 5D model. BIM 5D modelling also has the following advantages over more traditional project management systems and methods: • the ability to allocate workspace for work area planning, programming and coordination;• the facility to arrange multiple planning scenarios to support divergent decision-making techniques;• provision of real-time, programme manipulation and updating with remote access;• identification, segmentation, management and delivery-risk track-ing at the task level coordinated with programme logic, and,• accurate analysis and project cash flow forecasting over the duration of the The single, shared view projected in real time Matthew Edwards B.Sc (Hons), MCIOB, CEnv, MIEI, ACIArb is through BIM 5D techniques also has the clear advantage that a graduate of Napier University, Edinburgh. He has over twenty all members of a project team are enabled to have a clear years experience in major construction and civil engineering understanding of their roles and responsibilities in a dynamic projects within the UK and Ireland. He is managing director work site. Clients can also attain a visual perspective of the of Project Programme Management Ltd which is a specialist entire construction project and key areas of greatest uncertainty building information modelling and planning and scheduling or risk. consultancy/training and software provider based in Kilkenny.