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The six benefits of 5D modelling

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Digital planning had made all aspects of manufacturing easier.

A major part of this is the savings that the industry was able to make along the life cycle of projects.

With the greater focus on developing their processes, several years ago, CAD vendors coined the term Building Information Modelling (BIM).

The application of BIM is communicated as cost-efficient and profitable for the entire process. However, CAD-based BIM models are conceived for the design and only support the handling of sub-processes.

According to RIB Australia and NZ CEO Paul Butterworth "the industry needs to consider a broader approach for the projects’ lifecycle that embraces the entire process chain of the business.”

The 5D approach includes:

* the resources needed for construction projects such as construction
materials, machinery and manpower

* time and process components

* three-dimensional geometric data.

So what are the benefits in using 5D modelling, and how will it help your business?

1. Avoiding planning collisions: 5D model-based planning takes into account geometry models and combines them to form a model. This can then be analysed with a clash detection function, which eliminates planning conflicts at the earliest project stages. Unrecognised clashes regularly lead to considerable extra costs and delays.

2. Exact quantities and costs: Inaccurate quantity calculations are one of the greatest project risks. Despite this, quantity take-off is still done manually by many consultants and developers. With a 5D model-based approach, organisations can significantly improve the speed, ease and transparency of the compilation of tendering documents and the handling of contract award processes. The model gives the user a clear picture
of the work that has to be executed. For cost planning and estimation, price databases or estimated work items from already completed projects can be linked with the geometry model and used for new projects.

3. From 3D to 5D: In the job scheduling and procurement phase, companies derive particular benefit from the direct linking of the 3D model with time and process components and resources to form a 5D construction model. It provides a basis for calculating cost and work forecasts, liquidity overviews and resource schedules directly from the construction model during the operative project work. It also allows for simulation and optimisation of processes. The organisation has a constant view of material requirements, personnel actively working on the site and deployed machines and tools.

4. Target/actual comparisons: The linking of geometry, time and resources means detailed target/actual comparisons can be made in each project phase. This means better project control and greater transparency for all parties including engineers, investors, general contractors and subcontractors.

5. Practice-oriented design: 5D model-based planning and construction gives the industry a multitude of new options in various disciplines. This will lead to new job roles and opportunities for people working in this sector.

6. Total savings: There is tremendous savings potential from 5D software. Contractors can save about 15 per cent provided that they apply stringent materials purchasing and process management. Engineering companies can save even more as more planning accuracy means less deviation from actual construction. 20 to 25 per cent of planning and engineering costs can be saved using the model-based method.

Butterworth concluded that “5D-integrated software offers advantages to all parties involved in a project. The linking of project processes to general control at the corporate level is becoming essential for many organisations.”

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