Publications / 2014 Proceedings of the 31st ISARC, Sydney, Australia

5D BIM: A Case Study of an Implementation Strategy in the Construction Industry

Anoop Sattineni, Jennifer A. Macdonald
Pages 361-367 (2014 Proceedings of the 31st ISARC, Sydney, Australia, ISBN 978-0-646-59711-9, ISSN 2413-5844)

Several factors have contributed to the growth of BIM usage in the global construction industry, including availability of appropriate software and hardware tools, the opportunity to minimize errors, waste & cost and increasingly competitive markets [1][2]. An emerging approach in the construction industry is the use of 5D-BIM, by combining the traditional three dimensions of a BIM with the schedule as the fourth dimension and cost estimate as the fifth dimension [3]. This approach allows the contractors to better predict the cost of the project, the time-line of the project when these expenses are anticipated to occur, while simultaneously allowing the schedule to be optimized by considering the quantities of materials derived from the model and the productivity rate of construction crews. On the one hand 5D-BIM methods provide an excellent opportunity to connect processes in design, cost and construction methods; on the other hand they call for a significant shift in the way construction companies operate. It is unrealistic to commit extensive resources for a large construction company, towards a re-alignment of their internal processes, while continuing to be competitive and profitable. This paper considers how one construction company in the United States adopted the 5D-BIM methods, the challenges faced in implementing it within the company and the lessons learned in the process. A case-study method was used in an effort to understand the paradigm shift within the company in adopting 5D-BIM. Interviews with key personnel within the company were conducted and content analysis of the data was performed to describe the results. The results from this study show the intricacies of implementing a technology driven paradigm shift to a population of construction experts with a not-so erstwhile philosophy of success within the construction industry. The captains within the company communicated a great appreciation for the 5D-BIM concepts but were unwilling to delve into it whole-heartedly. Several reasons contributed to this attitude, including a reluctance to change by some, motivation to demonstrate immediate profitability and the lack of demand for such endeavours from the owner/designer community. However there were also personnel within the company that quickly adapted to the 5D way of thinking about construction and were keen to proceed with using the methodology on future projects. The advantages of using 5D-BIM and the problems encountered in implementing it are analysed in the results section of the paper.

Keywords: Construction Management, 5D-BIM, Case Study, 5D-BIM Implementation