I spend a lot of my time in 4D planning meetings. The format is usually the same: a large screen, a detailed 4D construction model, and input from the team who are about to go out on site and build it. It’s a simple way of working and it’s incredibly effective. The 4D construction model is usually very detailed, and includes the construction sequence, access equipment, safety equipment, permanent and temporary works, and the site survey.
These sessions can be years in advance or can be on the morning of an activity that is planned to happen that same day. The type of projects span all sectors, and vary in scale from small projects to huge infrastructure programs covering 100s of kilometres and years of construction.
The result is always the same – better planning, which delivers significant improvements in safety, time, cost, waste, and collaboration. The adoption of this method of working, which can be referred to as model-based planning, visual planning, digital rehearsal, or simply ‘4D’, is growing at an exponential rate.
The tools that we use to support this process are changing rapidly and becoming ever more flexible and useful for site teams. These sessions are becoming increasingly interactive. Soon, anyone will be able to use a mouse, pick up a game controller, move around equipment and create simple sequences of construction.
This will be a big step forward, and it’s fantastic to see solutions like 3D Repo embrace 4D and pair it with features like SafetiBase. At Freeform, we’re using this process on our new projects and the improvement in team planning is significant.
The site teams are the ones who build our projects, and 4D unlocks their expertise.
For more information, please visit www.4d.construction, our industry group focussed on this topic.
Founder, Freeform & Chair of 4D Construction Group