Bentley Infocenter

Countless resources—from equipment to field personnel—go into major construction projects. These resources generate large volumes of data and create collaboration obstacles, lack of skills, and budgetary issues that have slowed a unified, effective approach to industrywide construction digitalization. However, finding ways to digitalize workflow processes and leverage and share that data among multiple construction teams and stakeholders is paramount to financial success in the industry.

While many digital applications—ranging from 4D BIM, digital twins, and cloud-based collaboration applications—are being used by construction firms, the sector as a whole has not fully embraced digitalization or capitalized on the full capabilities of the technology. Yet, the potential impact of technological innovation in construction is significant, presenting the industry with an opportunity to streamline more traditional processes to achieve greater efficiencies, reduce errors, and improve profitability.

From pre-bid to design, and through all phases of construction, everyone can benefit from 4D modeling and the new construction technology available for the industry to visualize and simulate the entire construction process in a digital environment.


Redefining the Construction Landscape

As the construction industry is quite labor-intensive, technology can help to integrate, visualize, and streamline processes. 4D simulation technology is just one way to provide a digital holistic view of the entire construction project. However, many teams are not using the technology or the 4D models to their fullest capabilities, providing only a static snapshot of the project to a few select team members, rather than a dynamic digital simulation accessible to every stakeholder involved in the project. It results in avoidable construction slowdown, errors, and costly rework, as well as miscommunications in the field.

Without the technology to digitalize and visually see and plan your project before construction begins, you increase the chance of risk, costly rework, and workspace and logistical clashes, delaying project delivery and overextending the budget. From the onset when bidding on a project, for example, the traditional quantity take-off process is manual, repetitive, time-consuming, and often error-prone. One small mistake can have cascading effects and can mean the difference between winning and losing a bid. Once construction has started, project updates and communications often rely on emails back and forth between the field and the office, contributing to inaccurate data, poor decisions, and costly project delays. Creating an accurate plan for scheduling and material estimations is also challenging using conventional processes.

These legacy methods of communication and management are increasingly seen as outdated, reflecting poorly on construction firms that have not embraced more efficient and seamless 4D modeling and digital technologies that promote construction industry growth. As such, the industry is taking steps to redefine the way it works, automating conventional workflows and modernizing its project approach through 4D BIM and digital innovation. For those firms on board, productivity, profitability, and competitive advantage await.

4D simulation

Using 4D simulation technology to visually review time-lapsed construction sequences enables teams to identify issues before they occur, minimizing costly and time-consuming mistakes during construction.

Expanding the Potential of BIM and Construction Digitalization

4D BIM is just one of the 2023 construction trends helping the construction industry modernize and digitalize their conventional workflows. The future of BIM in construction leverages 4D models and new construction technology to validate and optimize project plans before starting work on site. Using 4D simulation technology to perform what-if scenarios and visually review time-lapsed construction sequences enables teams to identify issues before they occur, minimizing costly and time-consuming mistakes during construction. 4D digital workflows allow you to break construction projects into constructible components to automate estimates in terms of labor and material needs and create an accurate representation of the project, accelerating the bidding process and optimizing scheduling and sequencing for improved efficiency and maximized profitability.

The industry technology is shifting away from being just an animation to study the schedule and get into the field. Now, the 4D model can become updated in real time. It is no longer just a prediction of or view into the future, but it can also capture the actual progress so that the model becomes a record of what is being completed. Working in a digital cloud-based collaboration platform, where stakeholders and field crews have access to the web-based 4D sequence, provides better project insight and understanding. Everyone on the project can share and access data, streamlining communication and collaboration to better mitigate risk and make more timely and informed data-driven decisions. Through collaborative 4D construction digitalization, teams improve situational awareness, enhancing every aspect of project delivery.

4D construction digitalization

Through collaborative 4D construction digitalization, teams improve situational awareness, enhancing every aspect of project delivery.

Technology Trends Shaping the Construction Industry

The construction industry is constantly evolving, with digital construction management and 4D simulation becoming more widespread. The development of new construction technology is helping enhance work processes to improve efficiency, safety, and productivity. There remains a great opportunity to create an ecosystem driven by technology to build revolution. By adopting the right technologies, the construction industry can see considerable transformation in the supply chain, efficiency, transparency, and timeliness.

From 4D simulation, digital twins, and predictive analysis to cloud-based collaboration capabilities, and virtual and augmented reality applications, these construction technology trends streamline construction project management processes and reduce waste. They are lowering barriers to productivity and can reduce project costs and durations by double-digit percentages. The future of construction lies in embracing these cutting-edge technology solutions that are now driving construction industry planning practices and initiatives to implement modern, more certain, and more sustainable building construction methods.