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4D Construction Sequencing: An Introduction

This process helps in understanding the time line and schedule of construction phase wise

Published: 09/11/2018

Country: India
4D Construction sequencing is a great tool for on-site construction. This process helps in understanding the time line and schedule of construction phase wise. With the help of BIM Modelling, we can actually link the construction elements across Architectural, Structural and MEP discipline to create a complete sequence of building construction. We can create a 4D simulation that represents the time line and schedule of completion. Based on this we can determine the entire process of on-site construction, check the areas causing delays etc. 

4D construction sequencing is also known as “4D BIM Modeling” in BIM lingo. It is an extremely creative way of presenting the building design and details in a simulation form which helps in design presentation, collaboration meetings, on-site contractors etc. It connects diverse construction phases seamlessly which makes the visualization of building construction processes extremely simple. The next level of construction is planned and scheduled well before it actually starts. 4D BIM plays an instrumental role in linking the construction data with the visual geometry which gives an excellent format presentation along with the data part. 

The main functionality of 4D construction sequencing is to synchronize 3D geometry, Building data and the scheduling of materials together to create a project’s phase wise construction simulation. This feature has the capacity to cut costs by 20 to 30% overall. Parties involved in the construction process can suggest on site changes based on the simulation and helps on site construction through a data rich virtual model.  Visuals of the work progress makes it convenient to monitor the overall progress. 

Depending on the time line schedule and the virtual components, it becomes easy to monitor the live construction. With an accurate sequencing, we can identify potential construction issues, clashes or interferences, shortage of materials or any kind of break that can hamper the execution or installation of components.  Based on this we can change the processes, designs and manage the schedule in a way that the contractor does not suffer due to lack of drawings, materials etc.  All the critical stages are evaluated and issues are resolved prior to construction with the help of 4D BIM Modeling. . 
There have been instances where the site work is completed and building is handed over to the owners before schedule. The productivity is maximized with on-time completion of the project and reduced cost.  4D BIM modeling can also be presented in .avi or video format that can be retained for as built modeling too.  4D construction Sequencing is a great tool for large scale projects provided we make complete use of the model. If we fail to evaluate the model thoroughly and do not base the on-site construction or installation based on the sequence, there is no point using BIM. 

Virtual simulations successfully display the complexities or issues in the 3D geometry, interferences, material take offs, schedules or any issues in the overall construction work flow. The contractor, builders, Architects etc. can easily understand the issues and focus on the project timeline and processes by countering the construction risks effectively without redundant construction, delayed construction schedules etc. 


4D BIM Modelling is the tool that bridges the gap between Design stage and the installation process. Architects, Engineers, Contractors and all other stakeholders can view the model simulation during a collaborative meeting for finalization of the design to make the best use of this. 4D simulation can be developed using Navisworks or any time liner tool compatible with a BIM software.  
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