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Concepts of Building Information Modeling (BIM) and Primavera P6
By:  Melanie Calverley

This article highlights Building Information Modeling (BIM) concepts, particularly about 4D scheduling and using Navisworks to integrate the Primavera P6 schedule with smart 3D models. When addressed separately, Primavera P6 is the tool used for integrated scheduling and resource planning, while Navisworks is 4D simulation that is used to bring the project plan into a sort of virtual 3D model to better understand the sequence of events. The construction industry often utilizes the visual benefits of combining Primavera P6 with Navisworks.

What is BIM and 4D Scheduling?

BIM is the term used to describe the intellectual 3D model-based process to efficiently design and construct infrastructure. The more recent 4D technology allows project managers, engineers, technicians, and other project team members to efficiently collaborate, communicate, and minimize risks throughout the project life cycle.

Incorporating Navisworks with the use of Primavera P6 allows the user to link a building model to the project schedule’s activities. These 3D models are navigated virtually using the data from the Primavera P6 schedule, including other tools such as measurements and comments. Navisworks, combined with Primavera P6, provides the project team with visual models and the sequential steps that are involved in the project building phases, thus, creating a 4D environment.

How Navisworks is Used with Primavera P6

Navisworks also contains a special feature that allows the user to incorporate various 3D models from multiple sources. For example, a user may have multiple 3D models in different formats such as Autodesk Revit and AutoCAD. Navisworks allows the user to incorporate these different formats into a single 3D model. This 3D model, combined with the Primavera P6 schedule activities, provides data for real-time modeling to understand the steps and timeline involved in building out each of the activities necessary to accomplish the end goal of the project. Users will first import 3D model files into Navisworks once the user selects the appropriate file types to import. The model can then be navigated and managed within groupings. Users can create animations and use different measurements to obtain their results.

Advantages of BIM Usage in the Construction and Architecture Industries

BIM in the construction industry serves as an insightful visualization tool for the project team to view virtual project models and implement changes before the start of the actual construction. When the project team is involved in the virtual modeling process, efficiencies can be built into the project schedule to accommodate the virtual models that are generated through BIM. These coordination efforts and team collaboration can help prevent project delays and cost overruns.

BIM is especially powerful when teams have access to the models and can offer suggestions during the decision-making process. Project stakeholders can implement early solutions to issues that may be visible due to the virtual modeling available when utilizing BIM. Combined with the Primavera P6 schedule and Oracle’s toolsets, for example, Navisworks not only creates the visual models from multiple platforms, but it also can store the documents throughout the lifecycle of the project. Therefore, the project team collaborates and shares information and changes for the duration of the project. This promotes project traceability and change control in all departments and phases of the project while considering the design and build construction process.

BIM: The Future of Project Management in the Construction and Infrastructure Industries

BIM represents the future of project planning and scheduling by integrating the solid and timeless principles of the traditional Primavera P6 project schedule and budget management and the physical and visual representation of 3D models in construction’s design and build phases. With visual representations and real-time adjustments to the virtual project, project teams can efficiently manage their projects and budgets, ensuring ease of meeting the project deadlines and keeping the scope of work within pre-defined cost parameters.

© 9/16/2020

Original article by author, Melanie Calverley, first posted by Leopard Project Controls at:

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