Using 4D BIM to assess construction risks during the design phase

Ziyu Jin (School of Civil and Construction Engineering, Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon, USA)
John Gambatese (School of Civil and Construction Engineering, Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon, USA)
Ding Liu (School of Civil and Construction Engineering, Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon, USA)
Vineeth Dharmapalan (Department of Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering, University of Texas, Austin, Texas, USA)

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management

ISSN: 0969-9988

Publication date: 19 June 2019

Abstract

Purpose

The prevention through design (PtD) concept has been widely recognized as one of the most effective approaches to eliminate or reduce construction site hazards. It encourages engineers and architects to consider occupational safety and health during the planning and design phases. Nevertheless, the implementation of PtD is often inhibited because designers lack adequate knowledge about construction safety and the construction process, and limited design-for-safety tools and procedures are available for designers to use. The purpose of this paper is to provide designers a tool for assessing construction risks during early phases of multistory building projects at an activity level and on a daily basis in a 4D environment. By using the tool, proactive measures could be taken in the design and planning phase to reduce site hazards.

Design/methodology/approach

The proposed method consists of four steps including risk quantification at a design element level, 4D model integration with risk values, risk assessment, and design alternative selection and model acceptance. A case study was carried out to test and verify the proposed method.

Findings

The proposed tool has the capability to assess the safety risk for an entire multistory project and visualize safety risk in a particular time period, work space and task prior to construction. It benefits designers in conducting risk assessments and selecting design alternatives concerning safety. Contractors could also utilize the visualization and simulation results of the 4D model for site safety planning so that a range of risk mitigation strategies could be implemented during construction.

Originality/value

The study provides an innovative PtD tool targeting designers as primary end-users. The proposed tool helps designers assess construction risks and has potential to incorporate the top levels of the hierarchy of risk controls.

Keywords

Citation

Jin, Z., Gambatese, J., Liu, D. and Dharmapalan, V. (2019), "Using 4D BIM to assess construction risks during the design phase", Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/ECAM-09-2018-0379

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Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited

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