Automatic generation of progress profiles for earthwork operations using 4D visualisation model

Raj K. Shah, Nashwan Dawood, Serafim Castro

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    Despite of the advances in construction planning and scheduling software, construction managers and planners are still facing problems in achieving accurate planning, scheduling and costing due to the one-off nature of the construction projects and the inherently uncertain site conditions and soil characteristics. The aim of the research presented in this paper is to introduce a new methodology for integration of ‘variable productivity’ data with a visualisation model of earthwork operations. To achieve this aim, a number of objectives have been set: identification of current industrial practices and confirming the needs and aspirations of the industry, designing of a methodology and a model to integrated variable productivity with visualisation, and performing a case study to demonstrate and verify the model. The paper presents a prototype of a 4D visualisation model which is designed by integrating the road design data, quantities of cut and fill, productivity model, algorithms for modelling terrain surfaces and a progress profile visualiser. The model generates automatically terrain surfaces of progress profiles for earthwork operations and visualises progress profiles throughout the construction operations under different site and soil conditions. It is demonstrated with a real life case study in a road project. The paper concludes that the model should be able to assist in producing efficient construction scheduling and resource planning, thereby reducing production cost and improving on-site productivity.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)491-506
    JournalInternational Journal of Information Technology in Construction
    Publication statusPublished - Oct 2008

    Bibliographical note

    ITcon is an open access journal and its articles can freely and with no charge be read by anybody who has an Internet connection. The copyright of the articles remains with the authors, from the start of 2009 using the Creative Commons standard licence. For full details see [Accessed 23/06/2010]


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