Home » BIM and training » 4D BIM, the time dimension of BIM

4D BIM, the time dimension of BIM

4D BIM and how to deal with architectural project planning for optimizing and managing the time variable in construction processes

As we know, BIM isn't a tool, but a process based on a digital model containing all the information concerning the entire life cycle of a building from the design to construction phase leading through to demolition and disposal.

A series of processes that facilitate collaboration between the various roles involved in the different phases of a structure's life cycle.

One of the many advantages of using BIM is that we can continuously update the information model with new data, offering a greater degree of detail (read our previous articles: "The dimensions of BIM").

4D BIM - simulation and planning construction software

The 4th dimension of BIM

Click here and find out about the 4D environment in Edificius, the 3D architectural design software

4D BIM adds even more information to the model: it can provide additional project management tools too optimize planning and timing during execution of works.

The fourth dimension of BIM (4D BIM) brings project management to a whole new level allowing the design team to analyze and monitor construction timing and execution in order to coordinate the various construction resources and tasks.

Benefits of 4D BIM

The BIM model, integrated with the Gantt diagram, provides data relating to parts of the project object families, allowing to therefore:

  • verify which activities will be involved and the relating durations;
  • develop analysis scenarios for specific activities and relating times;
  • obtain a constantly updated overview of the progress status of works and the relating timing;

Cleverly connected to the three-dimensional model it allows the technician to create timelines, visually analyze projects, move back and forth specific tasks and activities over time and quickly make changes.

4D modeling in an Architectural BIM software

4D modeling refers to the definition of activity timing; it can be used for new construction projects and is particularly useful in the architectural design of home renovations and re-modellings.

The 4D BIM model allows the technician to identify the activities performed on a specific object over time with a simple click or, on the contrary, to immediately identify all the objects on which a specific activity has been planned.

The new TimeLine function allows you to see the evolution of the BIM model over time and in relation to the activities included in the construction plan.

The new 4D BIM environment, implemented in Edificius allows the user to analyze construction site phasing by linking up the individual BIM objects or groups of objects to a "time property". A temporal correlation between each task to simulate the entire construction process by means of a timeline and consequently optimize their timing; an efficient tool for avoiding interferences between each discipline present on-site.

This extraordinary feature, which makes architectural BIM design even more complete, has been integrated into the new Edificius X BIM software.

It's now finally possible to associate the "time" property to each object of the BIM model and see the project TimeLine even in the in the program's Real Time Rendering environment.

How to optimize planning and project management with Edificius

The specific GANTT environment in Edificius is now accessed by means of a new tab in the integrations menu. It includes various 4D management tools to easily configure a timing task bar for each BIM object used during the modelling process.

Simple to use tools in just a few steps.

The Edificius GANTT environment is organised into two main areas where at the top you have the entire 3D model and at the bottom the GANTT diagram with its timeline and animation functions.

The panel on the right hand side contains the "GANTT tools" section where other object related functions can be activated for simulation purposes.

sequence and duration of activity - 4D BIM software

building the WBS - generated with Edificius

Here we can create the GANTT structure by adding a given activity and assigning an appropriate name (then define a start date and a duration). If we repeat this process for each object or group of objects, we then obtain a project WBS (Work Breakdown Structure). Each elementary period is connected to the realing objects by means of Drag & Drop operations; an intuitive user-friendly working method widely used in Edificius and many other ACCA software solutions.

This simplified workflow speeds up object to time-period linking, especially when connecting groups of objects even in 3D view too. In fact, from the "GANTT toolbox" we can quickly identify objects and drag & drop them to their relating time-period.

4d BIM software - BIM objects association to activities for Gantt chart creation - Edificius

BIM objects association to activities for Gantt chart creation - made with Edificius

Once each BIM model object is completed with its fourth dimension info, we can move on to a construction phase simulation with integrated animation tools with impressive visual impact when launched with the“Real Time Rendering”engine.

Simulation of project evolution over time - GANTT timeline in Real-Time Rendering - 4D BIM software - Edificius

Project time progression - GANTT timeline in Real-Time Rendering - created with Edificius

Watch the video below to see the new 4D BIM GANTT features now available in Edificius X