Construction Today - December 2009 - (Page 12)
SPECIAL FOCUS Multidimensional design can provide an understanding of the finished project before breaking ground. BY W. MICHAEL BIRMINGHAM A MODEL APPROACH M uch of the discussion surrounding 3-D and 4-D modeling is related to building information modeling (BIM) and other related engineering functions. These functions are primarily intended to serve those within the construction community. However, these technologies can also serve a valuable function when your goal is to inform, educate or otherwise involve stakeholders or finders of fact that may not be familiar with the design and construction process. Design drawings are traditionally 2-D representations of the structure being built, which require the skill and experience of design and construction professionals to interpret in order to visualize and construct the intended 3-D structure. Advances in technology over the last 20 years have allowed these drawings to be represented virtually in 3-D computer models. More recently, technology has expanded beyond simple representations to include the capability to detect design conflicts, dimensional errors and add layers of relational data. Additionally, improvements in technology are making it increasingly popular to add the dimension of time to 3-D models, creating 4-D models that show changes to the 3-D model over time. While all of these functions provided by 3-D and 4-D models are becoming integral to the design and construction process, they can also be useful in aspects that are peripheral to design and construction, including educating stakeholders during project planning and finders of fact during the dispute resolution process. 3-D models can demonstrate the location and magnitude of design errors on a project. look like or describing the complexity of equipment inside an industrial facility can be a difficult task when relying on standard 2-D drawings. Arranging site tours can present safety hazards if the facilities are operating or be impossible if the facility does not exist. 3-D animations, or virtual tours, can make the difference between uncertainty and understanding, which can result in uninformed support or opposition for a project. Processes – Understanding the importance of a project occasionally requires some knowledge of how the finished project is intended to operate. Understanding these processes, particularly in complex industrial construction, can be difficult even for the contractors building the project, much less for project stakeholders or finders of fact that may have no first hand technical experience. A 3-D animation can simplify such a process, bridging the gap between the technically savvy and the layperson. Sequencing/Phasing – The selection of an erection sequence can be governed by numerous factors including existing facility operation requirements, structural requirements, equipment limitations and site or contractor access. Erection sequences are typically documented through the construction schedule, which can easily be misinterpreted and result in misun- W. Michael Birmingham is a project executive with Pittsburgh-based The Duggan Rhodes Group and specializes in construction claims consulting, construction risk management consulting and CPM scheduling. He uses 3-D/4-D modeling and animation in his analysis of construction impacts and delays on a variety of projects, including healthcare facilities, power facilities, industrial facilities, universities and transit projects. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Plan It Out When trying to describe the human anatomy, Leonardo Da Vinci once said, “Don’t bother with words. The more thoroughly you describe the more thoroughly you confuse. It is necessary to draw.” In many ways the anatomy of a construction project can be equally as complicated as that of the human body and the interaction of its components even less predictable. Although construction drawings may suffice to detail the anatomy of construction projects, stakeholders, such as community members and high-level executives, and finders of fact, are most often interested in the interactions of the parts instead of the parts themselves. In many instances words and even drawings can fall short when representing the complicated interactions of the parts. In such instances, and given the benefit of hundreds of years of technological advancements, perhaps Da Vinci himself would have spoken of the shortcomings of simple illustrations and recognized the necessity to animate. Some common uses of 3-D and 4-D modeling and/or animation for project planning and construction dispute resolution include: Building/Facility Tours – Visualizing what a proposed building will CONSTRUCTION-TODAY.COM DECEMBER 2009
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Construction Today - December 2009
Construction Today - December 2009
2010 Construction Forecast
Product Showcase: Hand Tools
F&R Construction Group Inc.
Suffolk Construction: Met 2
Weitz Co.: Solaris at Crossroads
Chance Construction Co.
Allied Building Products Corp.
Bird Construction Co. Inc.: Condado Vanderbilt Hotel
Broccolini Construction Inc.: EDC Headquarters
CJ Pink Ltd.
Cobra Corporate Management Inc.
DDRM: The St. Regis Deer Crest Resort
T.N. Ward Co.
EllisDon: North Park Quad Pad Arena
Blumenfeld Development Group & Forrest City Ratner – East River Plaza
Clark Construction: Michigan International Speedway
Morton Buildings Inc.
Triangle Associates Inc.: The Gallery on Fulton
Vogel Bros. Building Co.
Walsh Construction: Mercy Corps.
Wasatch Advantage Group: San Tropez
John W. Danforth Co.
Shore Environmental LLC
American Civil Constructors Inc.
Archer Western: I-75/I-475 Reconstruction
Cleland Site Prep Inc.
Delaware DOT: Indian River Inlet Bridge
Goodfellow Bros. Inc.
International Construction Equipment Inc.
Kiewit Pacific Co.: SR 519 – Seattle Intermodal Access Project
Plaza Construction Corp.
B. Gottardo Construction Ltd.
Bergmann Associates: Walkway Over The Hudson
Craig Olden Inc.
G.M. Sipes Construction Inc.
Idaho Sand & Gravel Co.: Ten- Mile Interchange
Malcom Drilling Co. Inc.
Mid Eastern Buildings Inc.: Southampton Wastewater Treatment Plant
Minnesota Department of Transportation: I35W Crosstown/ Urban Partnership
Nicholson Construction Co.
Papich Construction Co. Inc.: Route 46 Expansion Project
Tilcon New York Inc.: Interstate
Tyam Excavation and Shoring Ltd.
W.C. English Inc.: U.S. 321
West Electric Corp.
Turner Construction Co.: Eastern High School
Gafcon Inc.: Carlsbad High School Modernization Project
DASNY: Gouverneur Healthcare Services
Stuart Olson: University of Lethbridge Markin Hall
University of Houston Student Housing
HDR Architecture Inc.
Marshall-Lee Construction Corp.
RA-LIN & Associates
Suffolk Construction: Boston Renaissance Charter School
Suffolk Construction: FIU School of International and Public Affairs
Tower Construction: Huntington Memorial Hospital expansion
Absher Construction Co.: Chief Sealth High School and Denny International Middle School
Casey Middle School
Cedar Ridge High School
Clark: Lowell Reception Center
Gilbane/Banks Joint Venture: Coppin State University
Hensel Phelps Construction Co.: FORSCOM/USARC New Headquarters
Shaw Construction: Mesa State College Student Center
Shiel Sexton: Butler University
SpawGlass Contractors Inc.: Austin Community College Rio Grande Campus Parking Garage
Stuart Olson: New Edmonton Remand Centre
The Christman Co.
Turner Construction Co
Weddle Construction Ltd.
Kite Realty Group Trust: Eddy Street Commons at NotreDame
Last Look: DANSY
Construction Today - December 2009