Jason Lucas, Walid Thabet, Dean Bowman
USING VIRTUAL PROTOTYPING TECHNIQUES FOR IMPLEMENTATION OF A VIRTUAL CONSTRUCTION ENVIRONMENT (VCE)
Abstract: The current-state-of-the-art of Virtual Prototyping (VP) for communicating project data and information is currently limited to the development of interference checking and schedule simulation (4D) tools that rely heavily on BIM models with monolithic CAD objects. While helpful, these interference checking and macro schedule simulation tools only scratch the surface and do not approach the possibilities of generating much needed estimates and schedules expressed in the currency of the individual work tasks that contractors and subcontractors use to bid, construct, measure and track.Virtual Prototyping technologies provide features and capabilities that can be utilized to develop richer and more sophisticated tools to assist project participants to think, plan and conceive construction strategies at the micro level. At the same time, monolithic CAD objects from BIM models, produced during design phase, must be somehow transformed into a more granular and robust form amendable to representing the individual work tasks that comprise estimates and detailed schedules.This paper discusses ongoing research work at Virginia Tech for the development of a 2nd generation Virtual Construction Environment (VCE) framework for micro project planning. The paper addresses the issue of transforming monolithic CAD objects into more granular form to correspond with work tasks. The proposed VCE framework is comprised of graphical and analytical functions for visualizing and manipulating graphical and non-graphical project information necessary to perform different work execution planning scenarios. A prototype implementation is presented to demonstrate concepts proposed.
Keywords: virtual prototyping, macro and micro planning, BIM, CAD, 4D schedule simulation
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