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Paper w78_2007_41:
Software development approaches and challenges of 4D product models

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Janne Porkka, Kalle Kähkönen

Software development approaches and challenges of 4D product models

Abstract: Experiences from projects utilizing 4D have been promising. Several companies together with researchers have seen 4D applications as potential products for lucrative business. The promising business prospects have resulted in numerous more and less intuitive attempts to develop such products. This paper draws commonalities from various approaches and reviews 4D applications from the viewpoint of product models. It is considered that now it is an appro-priate time to look at the development strategies and achievements so far, and, based on lessons learned show the way forward. First the principles for reaching 4D product models are covered. Various approaches in current commercial 4D appli-cations are considered. One of the solutions used as ground information is Visual Product Chronology (VPC), devel-oped by VTT. Second the paper addresses the obvious challenges of 4D product models. There are obstacles waiting to be resolved before 4D is comprehensively harnessed for project management purposes. One of these obstacles is standardization, or more specifically the lack of it. One of the most potential formats for open BIM standard is Industry Foundation Classes (IFCs). The use of IFCs for scheduling and 4D purposes is discussed. Finally new approaches from on-going research project 4DLive are addressed; preliminary results recognized are 1) open communication protocol for application integration, and 2) building site scenery linkage to product modelling. Possibilities and benefits exist on advanced designing and marketing solutions.

Keywords: BIM, 4D, scheduling, data exchange

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