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Letterman Digital Arts Center - Case Study

The BIM Process

4D and 5D Simulations.   (Check the new 4D/5D button on the top of the screen)

4D or construction time-based sequencing simulation was used on this project.  Even though the benefits of this technology are not yet fully realized.  The contractors are mainly applying 4D as a marketing tool, yet there is great potential in its future use.  Creating an accurate 4D simulation is not a simple process.  In our example, we have identified 248 activities and created a construction time-based schedule.  LDAC cost estimators prepared the time based schedule.  Once the tasks and the area of simulation were identified, a simplified 3D model was imported into the 4D application.  Links were created between the 3D objects in the model and the schedule.  The end result was a time-based animation.  Time for each task can be changed at any time and the simulation will be automatically updated.  One lesson learned was that a tremendous amount of time can be saved if the naming convention for both objects (within the 3D model) and tasks (within the scheduling software) can be agreed to in advance. This allows for much more rapid linking between the two technologies, and much less chance of omitting the necessary elements of any construction sequence.  5D simulations are being performed on some projects. That procedure involves linking time to estimated costs.

LDAC_P10_4D 01

Figure 20. Illustrates the process of preparing the 3D Model for a 4D simulation sequence.

Facilities management opportunities.  (Check the new FM button on the top of the screen)

Moving forward, we see a number of exciting opportunities on the horizon.  Of immediate interest to the LDAC team will be the leveraging of the building information model by facility managers for long-term operational efficiency of the Letterman Digital Arts Center.

For years facility management has been based primarily on text and line data linked by specialized database software.  What we propose is to link the 3D parametric based objects to the same external data instead of looking at 2D line drawings. The facility managers will explore critical building systems more thoroughly and accurately within the 3D environment. As we have stated at the beginning, our world has changed since 9/11.  Planning and training for emergency response situations within the 3D environment will become the norm.  Equally, the requirement for ‘as is’ (vs. as-built) 3D models will become standard procedure.

Integrating a smart virtual construction model into the construction management process takes intelligence, courage, vision, enthusiasm and most of all, an intimate understanding of the design and building construction processes themselves.  What the LDAC project demonstrates is that far-sighted building owners who invest in the construction of such smart building information models, can realize significant costs savings not only in the design and construction process but also in the maintenance and operation of the life cycle of the building


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