An investigation into the impact of 4D modelling on construction project planning [abstract]

The need to improve project planning and execution has been highlighted by industry professionals, critics and academic researchers as imperative if the UK construction industry is to reform itself and reduce the waste, risks and other myriad of problems associated with it. Suggestions have been put forth over time, through which these improvements can best be achieved. One such suggestion is through the improved use of Information Technology (IT), and in particular, 4D CAD. This paper is a product of an investigation into the concept of 4D CAD, and its deployment and manner of use within the UK construction industry; with a critical look at the benefit it brings to projects and the barriers limiting its use. Finally, recommendations are put forth, on how best to overcome these barriers and further improve the effectiveness of its use. The research is carried out via interviews with front end users and managers involved with its deployment and everyday use. The data generated and the analysis conducted leads to the conclusion that 4D CAD as a tool is indeed valuable and can have a positive impact on projects, but these benefits come only where it is used appropriately.