Surveying the extent and use of 4D BIM in the UK

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More than half of construction projects exceed their agreed time schedules. Attempts to remedy this have been monitored over a number of years in the UK using standard industry KPI measurement data. The aim of this research was to investigate how contracting organisations have adapted their existing construction planning practices by using 4D BIM to improve project delivery and time predictability. In the light of the current lack of robust case-based evidence in support of this premise, a survey of 136 construction practitioners was conducted to measure the extent and use of 4D BIM in the UK and the perceptions of its value. Results indicated a high level of general BIM awareness, and some experience of 4D BIM for work winning, methods planning, and the visualisation and validation of construction processes. The study revealed the perceived value of 4D BIM, the extent of its use, and those elements of planning which were its principal targets. It also provided a view of the drivers and barriers for 4D BIM adoption. Several associations were found between the characteristics of user organisations and the extent and use of 4D BIM (and BIM more generally). The study uncovers the areas in which 4D BIM is believed by practitioners to be more effective than traditional means of construction planning. The conclusion is that the benefits of 4D BIM are considered to be less concerned with creating, validating and controlling project timescales (all of which still require the skills of experienced practitioners) but are more related to handling and communicating information. Given that these aspects are, using traditional 2D methods, considered to be a primary cause of 'poor predictability', the study supports the value of 4D BIM in improving project delivery.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)57-71
JournalJournal of Information Technology in Construction (ITcon)
Early online date3 May 2016
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 3 May 2016


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