Timelining the Construction in Immersive Virtual Reality System Using BIM Application
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Architectural, Engineering, and Construction (AEC) industry has been using 4D construction models (graphical illustration of the construction of a 3D building design with time as the 4th dimension) for many years to improve an existing construction schedule by identifying inconsistencies and out of sequence activities; reducing missing activities; and improving the ability to communicate construction plan information. In practice, majority of the AEC industry has been using a personal computer based monitor to view and analyze these models. A study on investigating the potential benefits and challenges of using an immersive 3D virtual environment to view 4D models proved that by interactively generating construction schedule in the immersive virtual environment, the construction professionals were able to identify design, constructability, sequencing, and interdisciplinary interfacing issues which resulted in the construction professionals being able to develop a plan that resulted in a 28% savings to their original schedule. The major shortcoming of these immersive virtual reality systems was the Building Information Models (BIM) had to be converted to a specific format before they can be visualized in the immersive virtual environments. This study is an attempt to address the shortcomings of the previous version of the BIM CAVE which had the control over the camera views for achieving an almost seamless immersive virtual environment by developing a new BIM CAVE application which synchronizes timelining of 4D construction sequence in BIM CAVE. The new BIM CAVE setup is run by a custom built application that makes use of the .Net API (Application Programming Interface) of the commercially available BIM application, Autodesk Navisworks 2012. The objective of this research is to investigate the effectiveness, potential benefits and challenges of timelining the 4D construction sequence in BIM CAVE developed at Texas A&M University by using a qualitative research methodology called phenomenological study. The findings of this research specify that timelining the 4D construction sequence in BIM CAVE has many potential benefits like better spatial perception which increases confidence of construction professionals over the schedule, better sequencing of construction activities, better communication of schedule, evaluating constructability issues, and training the work force. Thus, this research concludes that timelining the construction in BIM CAVE is effective over visualizing 4D construction on a single screen with some limitations mentioned in this research.
Kuncham, Karteek (2013). Timelining the Construction in Immersive Virtual Reality System Using BIM Application. Master's thesis, Texas A & M University. Available electronically from