Image of ICON Lab
BIM Uses

Phase Planning (4D Modeling)\

For Current Information about BIM Project Execution Planning is currently at




A process in which a 4D model (3D models with the added dimension of time) is utilized to effectively plan the phased occupancy in a renovation, retrofit, addition, or to show the construction sequence and space requirements on a building site. 4D modeling is a powerful visualization and communication tool that can give a project team much better understanding of project milestones and construction plans.

Potential Value:

  • Better understanding of the phasing schedule by the owner and project participants and showing the critical path of the project
  • Dynamic phasing plans of occupancy offering multiple options and solutions to space conflicts
  • Integrate planning of human, equipment and material resources with the BIM model to better schedule and cost estimate the project
  • Space and workspace conflicts identified and resolved ahead of the construction process
  • Marketing purposes and publicity
  • Identification of schedule, sequencing or phasing issues
  • More readily constructible, operable and maintainable project (Kang et al., 2007)
  • Monitor procurement status of project materials (Kang et al., 2007)
  • Increased productivity and decreased waste on job sites (Sheppard, 2004)
  • Conveying the spatial complexities of the project, planning information, and support conducting additional analyses (Koo and Fischer, 2000)

Resources Required:

  • 3D Model manipulation
  • Scheduling software

 Team Competencies Required:

  • Knowledge of construction scheduling and general construction process. A 4D model is connected to a schedule, and is therefore only as good as the schedule to which its linked.
  • Ability to manipulate, navigate, and review a 3D model.
  • Knowledge of 4D software: import geometry, manage links to schedules, produce and control animations, etc.

Selected Resources:

  • Dawood, N., and Mallasi, Z. (2006). Construction Workplace Planning: Assignment and Analysis Utilizing 4D Visualization Technologies. Computer-aided Civil and Infrastructure Engineering, Pgs. 498-513. 
  • Jongeling, R., Kim, J., Fischer, M., Morgeous, C., and Olofsson, T. (2008). Quantitative analysis of workflow, temporary structure usage, and productivity using 4D models. Automation in Construction, Pgs. 780-791.
  • Kang, J. H., Anderson, S. D., and Clayton, M. J. (2007). Empirical Study on the Merit of Web-based 4D Visualization in Collaborative Construction Planning and Scheduling. Journal of Construction Engineering and Management, Pgs. 447-461.


Penn State