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Paper w78_2007_64:
Measuring the efectiveness of 4D planning as a valuable communication tool

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Nashwan Dawood, Sushant Sikka

Measuring the efectiveness of 4D planning as a valuable communication tool

Abstract: Construction industry is very much information hungry and is often described as a slow adopter of new IT technologies. The importance of sharing and communicating information is becoming increasingly important through out the whole life of a construction project. Communication of information among different stakeholders is becoming critical as each stakeholder possess different set of skills. As a result, extraction, interpretation and communication of complex design information from drawings is a time consuming and difficult process. Advanced visualisation technolo-gies, like 4D planning (3D product model integrated with schedules) have tremendous potential to increase the commu-nication efficiency and interpretation ability of the project team. Visualisation is the process of displaying information which assists in understanding and evaluating information. However, its use as an effective communication tool is still limited and not fully explored. The main objective of this research is to investigate and measure the effectiveness of communicating construction in-formation of product and processes using 4D models over traditional 2D (two-dimensional) CAD drawings. A 4D ex-perimental exercise has been developed and an experiment has been conducted among participants in different age groups (11 to 22 + yrs) and profiles. The purpose of this research is to evaluate how much information participants are able to extract and retain in their mind by analysing two different graphical representation formats (2D CAD or 4D models). The experiments had been carried out with two groups (2D & 4D). One group used 2D CAD drawings de-scribing the plans, elevation and section, and a bar chart showing the construction schedule. Other group used a 4D visualisation model of the house showing the construction sequence. Participants in both the groups are required to construct the physical model of the house using Lego kit (423 bricks) in the allotted duration of two hours. The results of the experiments showed that the 4D group were able to communicate, coordinate and retain more infor-mation as compared to 2D group. The outcomes of the research has provided quantitative evidence of the benefits of 4D planning as an efficient communication tool as compared to two-dimensional paper approach.

Keywords: communication, information retention, 2D CAD, 4D planning, visualisation, lego bricks


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