Posted by: nedpelger | August 21, 2009

Opportunities Abound for Improved Construction Productivity: Part 3

This will be my last post in this series. I hope you thought about how our industry could operate differently…better. We get so caught up in our daily fights that we often don’t consider the future. I’m proposing you take some time to think about how your work could change, how things could be done better. Then put forth some effort to move things in that direction.

Whether you own your own business or work for others, your value depends on what you deliver now and how you improve in the future. Please commit to improving both those measures. You’ll be glad you did.

The video gives a good visual introduction to BIM.

One of the features that will ultimately be most useful will be 4D modeling. Obviously the 3D model shows the various building components. If we assign time as the next dimension (4D) we can build the model to show how it will look each day of construction. Think of the advantages of being able to design the exact construction sequence on a tricky project all in advance. Also, that information can be communicated to everyone involved, keeping all stakeholders working in the same  direction.

It’s a small stretch to go from 4D to 5D, which could show which materials or equipment or labor is needed at each moment in time and each location. Imagine how these technologies will change what we do.

I encourage you to take some time to think and learn about where our industry is headed. You’ll certainly have a better seat when we get there!


  1. I’ve spent the last few decades monitoring capital projects, and am in agreement with your ‘Opportunities Abound for Improved Construction Productivity’. I’m not convinced that BIM is the solution for project execution, until a ‘5D’ version becomes available. In the field, projects are too often inefficiently managed – ‘by the seat of the pants’ – as a result of poor planning and scheduling. This is a big factor in the low construction productivity score you referred to in Part 1.

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