Planning innovation drives digital journey forward

October 08, 2021
  • Engineering and Infrastructure
  • Innovation

EIC Activities’ Active 4D Planning process (A4DP), developed in partnership with CPB Contractors, is a breakthrough in Integrated Digital Delivery. 

A4DP enables teams to collaboratively build a project’s program, directly from a 3D BIM model, from tender initiation. 

Its automation feature reduces the time taken to develop a project schedule from days to hours. Generating the initial project program in 4D, much earlier in the tender process than current industry practice, helps teams to develop industry leading solutions. 

Meet the drivers

Following a 3-year development phase, A4DP is now in use on a number of CPB Contractors projects and tenders. 

Lead developers, EIC Activities Principal – Planning, Mark Chapman, and CPB Contractors Manager Planning and Controls, Chris Priestland, spoke about the solution’s features and benefits – and the building blocks behind its success.
Mark: "A4DP meets and exceeds clients' growing requirements for a digital interface and helps us to win and deliver top tier projects with better solutions."
Chris: “The innovation saves us valuable time. Generating an early 4D model gives teams more time to explore options and develop safer, sustainable solutions."

Is it faster and smarter?

Chris: "We can quickly assess cause and effects of innovative value engineering activities through tender development.

"Planners, designers and construction leads use A4DP to visually test assumptions and interdependences. Visualisation helps teams to proactively avoid clashes and identify safety and efficiency gains in different methodologies, sequencing, and resources.

“They can consider all project KPIs, make better decisions, improve outcomes and extract every time and cost advantage.”

What’s under the hood?

Mark: “Power Project BIM Enterprise software is the solution’s base, and clever custom software enhancements power the process.

“CIMIC Group’s common Project Data Structure (PDS), which enables data to flow between digital systems, has been key to A4DP’s development and automation."  

Where does it take us?

Mark: “A4DP is an important step forward for Integrated Digital Delivery. Because we have our PDS in place, 4D information generated in A4DP can be distributed directly to other applications. We can integrate workflows across different specialist teams and project phases, and share accurate, high-value, reliable information.”

Chris: “That connectivity improves the solution, lifts performance and supports our client partnerships.

“We can work faster and smarter, as one team, toward the same project outcomes.”

Active 4D Planning process

Teams generate the initial project programe in 4D much earlier in the tender process than current industry practice, gaining more time to optimise the solution.

AD4P process

A digital work environment

Visualisation throughout the Active 4D Planning process enables teams to collaborate and improve outcomes.

A digital work environment

How times change

A4DP improves on traditional 4D planning which builds the project schedule in a spreadsheet and transfers it to a 3D model only in the final stage of a tender.

In the past, teams could take months to build a 20,000-line Gantt chart schedule, and that resource intensity inhibited industry’s take-up of 4D.

Today, with A4DP, we are providing clients with 4D schedule and design visualisations from as early as 20% into the tender period.

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