• Kiran Nair

4 Ways in which 4D and 5D BIM Services will help Your clients.

BIM being the revolutionizing concept in the AEC industry is majorly used as an information-sharing model across different disciplines of the project in the form of 3D digital representations. But integrating this information-rich model with additional dimensions of scheduling and cost estimations i.e. 4D and 5D BIM services, these manage the effect of change in orders on overall project costing and scheduling in a much better manner. So, gauging the reason behind the schedule and cost overrun, we can then highlight the comfort these BIM dimensions bring to the client or the company.

Some of the common mistakes which bring about time and money lapse in a construction project are:

  • Missing planning and the adaptability to follow change orders.

  • System Flaws or Human errors bringing about Administration issues.

  • Poor operational workflow and no proper pipelined processes.

  • Due to the absence of appropriate data, there is inaccurate project estimating at the initial stages.

  • The biggest and most common of them all is at the initial construction stage inaccurate project planning.

Having understood the flaws that affect the costing and scheduling of the project we dive into each dimension in detail with its beneficial aspects.

4D BIM Scheduling:

4-dimensional BIM will add additional information in the form of scheduling data, which is added to different components that will build in detail as the project progresses. This information is then used to identify accurate information and visualization which will show how the project will develop and flow sequentially.

The time-related information we added for a particular component could have data like the time it takes to install or construct a part/component, information on the lead time, the sequence of component installations (one after another sequence), the time required to become functional (operational, harden, cure, etc) and different dependencies on other parts of the project.

Key points where four-dimensional BIM will enhance the client:

Visualization of 4D Graphical Set: This time-related scheduling data is converted into a graphical representation which helps compare the scheduled plan with the actual plan.

Construction Schedules without Clashes: 4D BIM simulation develops information on schedules of varied building products along with creating the visuals in a proper flow. It incorporates different time-related data like construction and installation time, interdependence on other products, lead-time, and allowances for mixing and drying period. Time-related detailing helps avoid clashes of time for carrying out different work.

Greater Coordination among different disciplines: Since the clashes and re-work things are minimal and each person present on-site construction is appropriately aware of the work they would be performing at a particular stage of construction or given time, the overall coordination among every discipline is increased. Based on this scheduling feature the contractors can easily link this schedule with the work of different disciplines and plan the overall project more logically and profitably thereby optimizing the work efficiency of each of their workers on the construction site.

Efficient Resource Utilisation: Since the data is well-planned in the form of data-sheets and graphical representations there is higher visibility. This directly impacts the mobility and planning of resources in a more effective manner. Also, the coordinated approach makes way for optimal utilization of each resource which brings about more operational efficiency and meets the deadline or stays at the timeline.


5-dimensional BIM works on the concept of extracting accurate cost information after identifying the appropriate scheduling of the project. Such cost information would include costs related to renewal or replacement, capital costs like costs of purchasing and installation of components, running costs associated with capital cost, etc.

Cost findings are done based on the data and its related information which is linked to that particular component represented in the graphical model. With such cost information, the cost managers can easily extrapolate or match the quantities of a given component on a project then applying the rates to those quantities thus reaching an overall cost for the development.

To conclude 5D BIM is a step ahead of 4D BIM modeling services that integrate design with estimates like cost and includes the generation of Bill of Material (BOM) and Bill of Quantity (BOM), development of rates, and overall costing of the project.

Key Highlights while using 5D BIM:

Higher accuracy and speedy QTO: For analyzing a quantity take-off (QTO) for estimating the cost, the estimators spend nearly 50% - 80% of their time on it but when this process is automated with BIM simulation the human error is reduced which saves a lot of cost and time. So with more time available the estimators can now focus much of their time and energy on other important project specifics like generating pricing, finding construction assemblies, analyzing financial risk factors, etc. It is a known fact that around 60% of the construction failures occur due to economic factors like lack of liquidity in daily activities. But this problem is resolved by attaching cost information to the 3D and 4D BIM, known as 5D BIM.

Improvised Cost Estimation and Forecast: When the exact quantity of different building components developed by a higher level of detailing (LOD) with manufacturer details from the 3D BIM models is compared with the available purchasing rates, there is an estimation of the cost for the entire structure.

Selection of available options: By having faster and accurate estimation while analyzing different design options within a stipulated time makes it easier for the architect to choose from the different design options as per the client’s requirements. This then helps the contractor, sub-contractors, owners during the bidding phase.

Design Modifications have Automated Quantity Takeoffs: Having a 5D model at hand whenever a single component is modified its direct impact on the cost is computed automatically. Instead of traditional 2D drawings, using a BIM model one can generate counts, take-offs, and measurements directly from this BIM model and this information is always compatible with the design. So, when any change is made in the design the change will automatically be reflected on the related take-offs, counts, measurements, construction documentation, and schedules that are being used by the estimator.

This concludes that a client or a company integrating 5D and 4D Sequencing services for their construction project is at a win-win situation from not just designing angle but the overall resource planning and utilization along with overcoming scheduling and cost overruns.

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