Workspace Planning - the Hidden Villain of Construction Management

Workspace Planning - the Hidden Villain of Construction Management

Workspace Planning - the Hidden Villain of Construction Management
  Workspace Planning - the Hidden Villain of Construction Management 

Over the past few years, the adoption of 4D simulations has significantly increased in the construction industry. Although several construction companies have started using 4D planning software to create model-based schedules from scratch, the process adopted by the majority of construction companies still consists of importing an existing schedule and linking it to the model elements. Because of that, auto-matching has become really popular among 4D users, and companies are leveraging model and schedule parameters to automate the creation of their 4D model. 
This has enabled the fast production of highly detailed 4D simulations, where each small model object is linked to the relevant schedule activity. Although these models are great for look ahead planning, project controls, and resource status tracking, they make it easy to overlook a very important part of construction management: Workspace planning!

Let’s elaborate on that. The logic behind skipping 4D workspace planning may be something like: “Why would I want to create a less detailed 4D model when I have the more detailed 4D model?” However, the reality is that more detailed 4D models can be a bit overwhelming when trying to visualize the flow of trades and they generally do not include laydown areas or an indication of the space occupied by a trade when working on a specific object. This increases the risk of waiting, transportation waste, and over stacking of trades.
Figure 1: Site conditions are generally not reflected in 3D models (image photographed by the author)  Fortunately, the solution is simple, and its implementation is pretty easy. Synchro PRO allows you to assign different location resources to tasks, summary bars, or hammock activities and either visualize the logistics and flow of trades, or use spatial coordination to automatically detect clashes. 
These workspaces can be created in Synchro from an extruded shape, from the bounding box of a group of objects, or simply imported from the modeling software. They can be used to show work areas (as well as the trade occupying it), exclusion zones (safety planning), lay-down areas, and path areas (to indicate for example that personnel or equipment will be traveling back and forth along a certain path during a certain period of time).
The Author: Mazen Faloughi
Customer Success Manager at ALICE Technologies Inc.

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