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5 Ways 4D BIM Maximizes Construction Project ROI

Published on April 16, 2015
5 Ways 4D BIM Maximizes Construction Project ROI

4D BIM enhances collaboration, reduces risks and clashes while keeping projects within the scheduled time and budget. Optimization of resource and material and the reduced delivery cycles drives high ROIs.

4D BIM technology improves on-site project execution through a collaborative approach. It adds an extra element of scheduling data to a 3D building information model. The time-related information added to project components as part of construction process development shows the gradual progress of the construction sequences.

A study by J.C. Cannistraro of 408 projects valued at $559 million shows how in the big picture, BIM saves money as the team gets more collaborative.
BIM Collaborative Approach

While project planners normally link construction activities to duration and timescales when designing schedules, the following challenges create coordination bottlenecks.

  • Paper-based construction sequences
  • On-site clashes and rework
  • Poor communication between various disciplines
  • Manual construction process tracking

This ultimately results in lack of operational efficiencies and stakeholders fail to gain returns on investment (ROI) for their construction project.

Foreseeing hazards during the pre-construction stages leads to a smooth and seamless construction process while improving operational efficiencies and increasing ROI.

So how does 4D BIM maximize your ROI?

4D BIM ensures greater precision in project planning. The visualization offered by 4D BIM helps project stakeholders assess the sequence and logic of the proposed plan, keeping them ahead of the processes. 4D BIM also helps in evaluating safety risks on construction sites and exploring preventive measures. The host of benefits offered by 4D BIM result in savings of cost and time, eventually increasing the ROI.

Read here: What does 4D BIM Mean for Your Construction Business?

Here we look at 5 ways 4D BIM can enhance your project ROIs through better project-planning and scheduling:

1Better planning/sequencing during the construction process

4D BIM also known as scheduling and planning, adds time-related information to the different components of a building information model. This information includes:

  • Construction sequences
  • Material lead time
  • Installation duration
  • Project inter-dependencies

If you are a project planner or designer, you can quickly develop accurate programs for the project with the availability of this data and the federated 3D model.

2Better coordination between disciplines

4D BIM facilitates prototyping of assets in a virtual environment. These prototypes are easier to understand, and it becomes easier to reach consensus on any project-related information for multiple stakeholders and team members. Thus, 4D BIM reduces the number and duration of meetings and saves hours of coordination in finding out issues and clashes.

It also assists in avoiding last-minute on-site design coordination and rework as each discipline has proper planning during the initial stages prior to actual construction. This results in time and cost savings.

The team at TrueCADD has been great at creating high-quality deliverables and they have accommodated all our project requirements with quick turnaround times.

– Architectural Firm, USA.

Talk to our 4D BIM specialists to discuss your project requirements.

Contact our bim experts  →

3Better site monitoring

Monitoring site activities along with construction sequences is crucial for any type of project. In the case of large-scale projects, it is difficult to track each activity on the site, especially when a team decides to rely on the paper-based method to track progress.

A comparison between the structures captured by 3D scanning and the existing 4D BIM model detects any deviation quickly during the construction process. Having better control over the project activities reduces risks at the construction site and it becomes easier to manage the workforce on a day-to-day basis.

4D BIM, guided by AI platform, Point Cloud, and 360 degree photographs, tracks the activities on the construction site and provides visual comparison of what is planned against what is done on the site in real time.

For one of the many BIM projects successfully delivered by TrueCADD, the team of BIM experts delivered a multi-disciplinary BIM coordinated Revit model for a student dorm in the Middle East.

4D simulation of the entire project using Navisworks enabled the client to gain better control over their changes made on the worksite and enable all the stakeholders to have a real time view of the project. All this while saving construction cost and time by managing work force based on the various construction phases.

4The transparency achieved through clash reduction and resolution ensures greater ROI

The detailed 4D graphical presentation prevents errors and clashes increasing transparency and accountability of the entire project. Any required design changes that can affect the overall schedule of the project can be easily viewed and tracked by all stakeholders across locations.

Workflow or 4D clashes also includes clashes related to contractor scheduling, clashes in equipment and material delivery, as well as conflicts in the workflow timeline. An early insight into such clashes avoids wasteful and costly construction rework and on-site design coordination issues. This saves a lot of time and money.

Here is the 4D workflow used by the expert BIM team at TrueCADD.

YouTube video

5Increased site and data safety

4D BIM for construction progress monitoring provides safety against breach of data and gives insight into potential situations that are prone to site accident hazards. Cloud computing tools and sensors-embedded data with 4D BIM can track site activities in real time.

Having detailed information about the location of the construction material, workers, and equipment enables the management team to ensure better safety planning and take more informed decisions regarding safety. This results in savings of cost that could occur due to unforeseen or unexpected on-site hazards due to lack of proper planning.

Read here: Benefits of 4D & 5D BIM to Construction Projects

The 4D BIM Modeling Tools

Navisworks and Synchro PRO are popularly used to incorporate 4D scheduling and sequencing of data into the 3D model.


Navisworks can combine the multidisciplinary models of a building into a single 3D model. This model can be used for visualization, clash detection, and virtual inspection. The 4D construction sequencing timeline shows the start date and the end date of each activity. Navisworks creates animation for an entire construction schedule or for specific tasks within a schedule.

Navisworks can also animate arrival and departure of material, vehicle access, and their movement on site. It provides clash detection of fully animated TimeLiner schedules by linking Clash Detective, TimeLiner and object animation. It can detect, report, and resolve clashes and interface issues in advance.

4D BIM Modeling of a Multistorey Mixed-use Building, UK

4D BIM Modeling for Mixed-use Building

For one specific project, TrueCADD developed a TimeLiner video of construction sequences by using Navisworks to carry out hassle-free construction for a UK based architectural firm. They developed a federated multidisciplinary model along with a 4D building information model for a mixed-use building by using Revit and Navisworks that helped the client save on time and money.

Synchro PRO

Synchro PRO, makes changes in schedules and comparing alternatives to the baseline, quick and easy as it links 3D resources like material, equipment, and space to the associated schedule tasks. The stand-alone CPM scheduling tool creates schedules from scratch while integrating with other scheduling tools like Oracle Primavera.

Synchro PRO creates construction sequence animation. It exports animated videos along with the Gantt chart, EVA graph, Timeline, and list of active tasks.

The program creates reports showing daily/weekly/monthly details of planned progress along with a list of tasks for the period. It can also run 4D spatial coordination tests to find 4D clashes between components, equipment, and workflow.


4D BIM brings benefits like clash-free construction scheduling and better coordination and collaboration by displaying accurate graphical representation of actual construction with respective construction date and month.

Efficient logistics management, reduced financial risk results in an efficient construction process assure an increase in ROI. In a digital workflow, project planners can influence and shape planning proposals from the early stage of a project with greater potential to contribute their significant input to the project.

The ability to provide a detailed interpretation of the progress of the project makes 4D BIM a game changer for the AEC sector that can save valuable resources in terms of time and money.

Author Harika Singh

About Author: is an academician and published writer. Her passion for engineering and technology reflects in the in-depth coverage she provides on technology trends. 20 years of work association with institutes of repute across India and the US positions her to provide valuable insights to business stakeholders on achieving scalability and operational efficiencies through digitalization.

Keyuri Patel

About Author: is an American Institute of Architecture associate, a LEED Green Associate and a Masters in Architecture from San Francisco, Keyuri Patel carries wide ranging experience in urban design, architecture and BIM projects. Her insightful industry coverage on building design and construction processes builds on her passion for technology and digitalization.

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