PhD Research Work in 4D

The Concept and Working Environment
iConViz © is a 4D visualization software that integrates a construction schedule information with a 3D CAD model to produce a dynamic visualization of constructing a building in 3D fashion. The tool includes a dynamic visualization mechanism to enable target users such as architects, project managers, and the client to rehearse different execution strategies for the project. It enhances the coordination of work on site as well as simulating the site/campus space planning operations. Hence, the main aims are:
- To rehearse construction schedules and ‘what-if’ scenarios via integrating products and processes using 4D CAD/VR visualization.
- To allow architects to analyze site space configuration and minimize clashes between activities mainly for campus planning.
- To simulate realistically the construction progress based on true ‘visual workspace’ planning features like: work-rate simulation, time-based progress visualization, and directionality of work using ‘Execution Patterns (EP)'.
- To enable architects, project planners, and clients to open lines of communication and work together to create a successful work plan, detect any project delays and lead the project with better value.
The illustration in the thumbnail below shows the time-based simulation mechanism that represents the change of progress of work in 4D by utilizing a clock (activity dates) as a controller for altering the 4D visualization backward and forward.

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System Description and Integration

Derived from the above concept, the system considers that the construction progress visualization for the iConViz must be based on single-source of information combining the CAD product model and the activity schedule details inside a central database. The developed 4D system brings together the project schedule information using planning software like MS Project and 3D-CAD components of a construction project using AutoCAD ADT or Revit. Then the implemented VRML visualizer uses VB.NET to embed a CORTONA ® VRML browser. In this way, users can utilize the VRML interface to export and visualize ‘on-the-fly’ the weekly 4D simulation of a particular construction stages. This enhances the user level of realization, as they find more freedom for exploring the 4D in a Virtual Reality fashion.

The illustration in the thumbnail bellow shows the overall system integration and technologies utilized in the development of iConViz.

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The Current Development
4D construction visualization has become a popular technique in architecture and the construction planning. In the last five years, both practitioners and researchers in Architecture, Engineering and Construction (AEC) realized the great benefits of such emerging visualization techniques. Nowadays, the Construction Industry is more familiar with the implementation of 4D models synchronized with Building Information Modeling (BIM) to improve visualization of construction schedules.
The designed software is a result of further improvement and development of my PhD research output back at the University of Teesside, UK. The software Graphical User Interface (GUI) and functionality have been improved thru the last two years to facilitate more easy way to produce 4D models in an effective manner. The reason for this is directly from my working experience in the past year that user desire a quick and flexible approach to produce 4D visualization. You can read more about my PhD research following this link.

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Download iConViz 4D information sheet here

Read more about iConViz interface