4D programme management – the future for temporary works
With BIM now well established in the industry, the future development of 4D programme solutions, is set to challenge the way that projects are delivered in the future. Here Ian Fryer, RMD Kwikform Engineering Director talks about how the sector is developing and how a future 4D approach can play a part in meeting some of the key deliverables in the Government’s 2025 construction strategy.
“Looking at 4D, the fourth dimension we refer to is time, which when it comes to temporary works, really has an impact on both cost and programme delivery. With a large proportion of the market being the hire of equipment, it is clear that if you can reduce hire time, you can make significant savings. So if 4D programme solutions can be developed from BIM data, outlining not just the 3D models of the formwork and shoring, but the timings of delivery and collection, numerous benefits can be delivered to a wide variety of projects.
“For the temporary works market, 2013 saw the development of 3D solutions really taking off. The benefits of 3D have already been recognised throughout the industry, but for temporary works delivery there are a number of key additional areas that are being taken advantage of.
“We often talk about how 3D can be used to avoid clash detection, but by introducing time into the equation, we take this whole concept to a fourth dimension, creating a 4D solution around the avoidance of clashes within the programme itself.
“From a practical point of view, if you have a potential programme clash, by knowing when equipment is being erected or dismantled, you can make changes to the phasing of the project. This then allows the contractor to plan timely delivery to site of such things as large precast stair units. It also focuses the mind on design solutions that can assist with further programme time reduction, especially if engineers have practical experience of the job at hand.
“For example, changes can be made to temporary works to incorporate equipment platforms for safe delivery of goods when working at height and even second fixing. So you could have a situation where a high-rise building solution receives wet concrete at the top and reveals a fully clad and glazed building from the bottom, this is certainly possible.
“Having the 3D model also ensures all of the equipment needed on a particular project is delivered and when you work this up to a 4D model, you can even determine when components need to be delivered to site. This in-turn moves much closer to creating a just in time approach, minimising the need for site storage and additional hire costs.
By taking this one step further, you can also see the reason for sharp increases in the use of prefabricated temporary works solutions. At RMD Kwikform, in 2013 we saw a 50% increase in the delivery of prefabricated equipment, a trend that we see continuing into 2014.
With a 4D vision we can see just how prefabrication and 3D modeling can play an important part in driving down cost, but there is also a more serious topic to consider, that of site and worker safety.
Here it will be the development of new equipment or componentry and the use of innovative engineering techniques that will help to deliver a safer working environment. With 3D design we are able to deliver an enhanced safety solution identify and eliminate possible risk within a model, before equipment even gets to site.
So by driving the 4D agenda through strategic industry partnerships, we can deliver safer solutions, increase cycle times and drive efficiency across the board, all of which will help to fulfill the ambitious goals of the 2025 construction strategy.