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Technical Paper #3 HOW TO SETUP AND MANAGE A 3D-4D MODELING PROJECT Timo Hartmann COPYRIGHT 2009 VISICO Center, University of Twente How to setup and manage
Technical Paper #3 HOW TO SETUP AND MANAGE A 3D-4D MODELING PROJECT Timo Hartmann COPYRIGHT 2009 VISICO Center, University of Twente How to setup and manage a 3D-4D modeling project How to setup and manage a 3D-4D modeling project... 1 Pre-planning the 3D/4D model implementation... 4 Evaluating the 3D/4D model application scope... 4 Define the scope of the 3D model D/4D Model budget considerations... 5 Setting up a technical environment for file storage and exchange... 6 Setting up a file server environment... 6 Setting up a Project Solve 2 site for file exchange... 7 Structuring the 3D model content... 8 Setting up a 3D modeling work breakdown structure... 8 Modeling the right level of detail... 9 Using folders to organize 3D model data according to a WBS Using files to organize 3D model data according to a WBS Using layers to organize 3D model data according to a WBS D model update processes and version management Integrating the 3D/4D modeling effort into daily project management Collecting productivity and performance data Appendix A Data from historical 3D/4D modeling implementations Appendix B AIA layer standard (without layers that are not usable in 3D) Appendix 3 Forms to collect 3D model application performance data Introduction These are guidelines written for Parsons Brinckerhoff during my consulting work with the company in the summer The guidelines are based on the experiences I gained on PB projects and the applicability of these guidelines might be comprised in the context of other companies. However, I believe that the guidelines can be a valuable starting point for other companies to set up 3D/4D modeling processes. In the past most PB projects used 3D/4D models only to support one single project management task, like for example the visualization of a planned construction sequence to a client organization, on construction projects. The project team use the 3D/4D model for the one purpose it was created. Afterwards the 3D model was discarded. We believe that such a one-time use of 3D/4D models is not sustainable. In contrast, we believe that it is possible that project teams establish sustainable 3D/4D modeling efforts on projects by using an into the project management integrated 3D/4D modeling process. We anticipate that in this way the relative high costs to use 3D/4D models on construction projects that exist at the moment can be reduced largely. A few number of PB pilot projects already established a sustainable 3D modeling effort; two of them are for example: The Boston Artery Big Dig, where one integrated 3D model was used to engage, for example, the following project challenges: o Visualize construction and design issues to the diverse stakeholders of the project o Architectural and structural design o Scope change evaluations o Fast tracking of the project o Trade and contractor coordination o Planning for construction schedule constraints o Complicated construction methods o Facility operations during construction and reconstruction o Claim negotiation (using the same model that was created 12 years ago) The Fulton Street Transit Center, where one integrated 3D model was used to engage, for example, the following project challenges: o Visualize construction and design issues to the diverse stakeholders of the project o Architectural and structural design o Scope change evaluations o Fast tracking of the project o Trade and contractor coordination o Planning for construction schedule constraints o Complicated construction methods o Facility operations during construction and reconstruction Instead of creating 3D models that only supported one single project management task these two projects created an integrated 3D model. This integrated 3D model then in turn enabled the project team to support many different project management tasks without the expensive need to remodel large parts of the project. How to manage the creation and use of one integrated 3D model is described within this document. In particular we will describe: Necessary pre-planning steps for the 3D/4D implementation, How to setup the necessary project hard- and software to support the effort, Ways on how to organize an integrated 3D model, How to manage changes, And finally how to integrate the 3D modeling team with the project team that will use the model. Pre-planning the 3D/4D model implementation An integrated 3D/4D model implementation on construction projects need to be thoroughly planned beforehand to guarantee an efficient and economic use of the 3D/4D model. At first it is important to plan the scope of application for the 3D/4D model effort on a specific construction project. Then a general scope for creating the 3D model itself can be defined according to the application scope of the model. Finally, a sufficient budget for the 3D/4D modeling effort needs to be estimated to provide the needed necessary resources. Evaluating the 3D/4D model application scope In a first step of the project pre-planning it is of utmost importance for engineers to evaluate which tasks and challenges are anticipated on the project and whether and how efficient these tasks and challenges can be supported with 3D/4D models. A number of different issues should be taken into account, like for example: - Contractual responsibilities - Client expectations - How severe can different challenges affect different project outcomes like budget or quality (risk analysis) - The respective importance of the identified challenges with respect to the overall project outcome (ABC analysis) Figure 1 categorizes different exemplary project tasks and challenges within their respective project life-cycle phase that engineers have supported on historical construction projects using 3D/4D models. Figure 1 can serve as an initial starting point for the scope evaluation of the 3D/4D modeling on a project. However, the listed challenges do only represent experiences from past projects and other project challenges that project managers can engage with 3D/4D models are existing. 1 - Historical applications of 3D/4D models to support design and construction management tasks Finally, the 3D/4D model application scope that the project team has decided upon should be documented properly for future reference. In this way it will be possible to control the respective efficiency of the 3D/4D modeling effort during the implementation phase. Furthermore, it is most likely that the respective application scope will be changed later on during the application of the 3D/4D models. The initially established documentation can then be updated accordingly and the scope of the application will remain clear to all project participants. Define the scope of the 3D model According to the defined 3D/4D model application scope, project managers need to evaluate the initial scope of the necessary 3D models. Considerations that they should take into account during this evaluation step are, for example: - Which construction trades need to be modeled for the respective application scope? - Is it necessary to 3D model the complete site or is it sufficient to focus the 3D modeling effort to specific site locations? - How detailed do 3D modelers need to model the planned design to support the respective application scope? - Is it necessary to 3D model existing or temporal conditions next to the proposed/planned design of the project? During the scope evaluation it is often helpful to already start developing an initial work breakdown structure (WBS) (see Setting up a 3D modeling work breakdown structure chapter in this document). Using this WBS, project managers can then document the respective 3D modeling scope for future reference. 3D/4D Model budget considerations Developing a budget for a 3D modeling effort is, in general, not and easy task as few historical data from past 3D/4D modeling efforts is available. Experiences from past projects, however, show that engineers often estimated the 3D modeling budget to opportunistic. Due to missing funds project often were only able to create insufficient 3D models which were not able to support the anticipated application scope. This lead to unsatisfied results of the overall 3D/4D modeling effort on a number of past projects as the scope of the 3D model application had to be adjusted. Generally, a number of different issues need to be considered during the budgeting, like for example: - Are trained 3D modelers that can work directly with the project team available? - About 10-15% of the overall budget should be contributed to managing the 3D modeling effort and the 3D/4D model application effort. - Budgeting for the needed soft- and hardware for the 3D/4D modeling effort - How accurate were project managers able to estimate the 3D model scope (risk analysis) - How often will the project design change, and how severe will these changes be. Appendix A Data from historical 3D/4D modeling implementations shows collected data from previous projects that project managers can use as a starting point to budget the 3D/4D modeling effort on their project. However, the data described in the Appendix for some of the historical projects is still ambiguous and should be treated with utmost care. We advise to use the data as a basis for the estimate, however, project managers should also account for other local conditions. Setting up a technical environment for file storage and exchange Setting up a file server environment One of the first and most important steps before starting the 3D/4D modeling process is to set up a working file server environment. The file server is used to store and backup the 3D model files and other project data that is created throughout the 3D/4D modeling process. Furthermore, all design and project management input data from third parties other than the 3D/4D modeling team/person needs to be stored on the local file server. It is extremely important that 3D modelers or other persons do not only store all the data locally on their respective workstations, but also on a centralized file system. Next to the possibility to backup all data, the server serves as a central access point to the whole 3D/4D modeling team and the project team that plans to support its work with the 3D/4D models. The local file server system should have the following minimum requirements: A file system that can be easily accessed by working directly in Windows Explorer. We do not advice to rely on storage systems that only enables up- and down-loads through a web interface or a comparable mechanism. Access to these systems is often cumbersome and not supportive for the frequent changes the 3D/4D modeling team has to incorporate that are needed within the data files during the modeling effort. The possibilities to seamlessly add and delete users by a member of the 3D/4D modeling team and to create personalized access rights for every user. The access rights that are available should at least distinguish between no access, read only access, write access and executable access. The file system needs to follow the latest security standards to prevent non-authorized access. To prevent data loss, the file server needs to have two different backup mechanisms in place. To prevent data loss due to technical problems a redundant backup system needs to duplicate all existing data and store a redundant version of the data at all times (for example a Redundant Array of Independent Disks (RAID) system level 1 to 5). Furthermore, to prevent data loss due to user mistakes regular backups of the system need to be scheduled (for example using an external hard drive or tape backup system) that stores snap-shots of all files on the server (it is recommended to backup data at least weekly or daily). A technical support person needs to be available during normal business hours to maintain the system and timely assist with any occurring technical problems. Often it is useful during the management process if the server environment also provides access to a SQL database (e.g. Oracle, Microsoft SQL Server or MySQL) and an integrated file versioning system (e.g. cvs or subversion). In this way several advanced 3D/4D modeling management processes can be supported. Most PB office locations already have a local file server system in place that can be used for the 3D/4D modeling purpose. If the 3D/4D modeling team is working directly within a project office that has no solution readily available, we advise that the file server environment is designed and established in a way that it will not only provide the needed services for the 3D/4D modeling team but for the whole project management team. Setting up a Project Solve 2 site for file exchange A Project Solve 2 site should be set up for exchange of files with stakeholders that do not have direct access to the internal file server environment. Project Solve 2 is a secure internet-based collaboration tool that allows sharing of project related files. Project Solve 2 comes with a complete documentation about how to set up the site. In particular, as first steps during the setup, you need to add all stakeholders that need access to the files as Project Solve users to the site. Furthermore, you need to establish a folder structure similar to the folder structure on the internal file server. Then you can copy all necessary files that need to be exchange into the respective folders and notify the respective stakeholders that the files are available for download on the Project Solve site. One very useful feature of Project Solve 2 is that it offers file versioning control. With versioning control files that change often can be managed over time. Project Solve 2 enables you to examine the history of the changes to the file, like, for example, who uploaded a new version of the file to the Project Solve 2 site and when. We suggest you to use the versioning feature of Project Solve 2 for all files that you expect to change often in the course of the project. Structuring the 3D model content Overall we suggest organizing 3D models using a number of different categories, like for example, spatial project area, engineering trade, 3D modeling software used or 3D model building objects. A hierarchical structure that uses such different categories is commonly called a work breakdown structure (WBS). Using a WBS enables the different stakeholders, including the 3D/4D modeling team, of the project to fast and easily access parts of the 3D model that are needed to support various project management tasks. The 3D/4D modeling team needs to set up a 3D model WBS that fits the respective project and that supports the creation and access of the 3D model. Then project managers need to develop a storage system for the 3D model components that enables fast and easy access to the different parts according to the WBS. Setting up a 3D modeling work breakdown structure The requirements for suitable WBS vary from project to project according to the 3D model scope that is necessary to support the respective application scope on the project. Furthermore, as the application and therefore the 3D model scope often changes on projects the WBS needs to be flexible for future extensions with respect to the level of detail, the site locations that are 3D modeled and the construction trades that are modeled. Usually engineers have already created several WBSs on the project before the 3D modeling effort starts for cost estimating and scheduling. These existing WBSs should be used as a starting point for the development of the WBS for the 3D modeling effort. Ideally a project would work with one overall WBS for estimating, scheduling and 3D modeling. However, in reality a project often has multiple WBSs as the need for estimating, scheduling and 3D modeling differs. Engineers who need to combine items from these different project management tasks need to map these different WBSs onto each other. One important task in developing a suitable WBS for a 3D model is to take the scope of the planned 3D modeling effort into account and adjust or reduce the existing WBS categories accordingly. For example, the cost estimate WBS is often split up by construction trade, however in only a few cases project s plan to model all construction trades. Therefore, all construction trade categories that the 3D/4D modeling team does not plan to model should be stripped off the estimating WBS. Another example is that the schedule WBS often contains categories for procurement activities like a design or shop drawing schedule. As these procurement activities have no geometrical representation they should not be included in the WBS of the 3D model. 2 - Work breakdown structure of the Fulton Street Transit Center Project Figure 2 shows the 3D model WBS for the Fulton Street Transit Center (FSTC) project in New York City a $750 Million subway reconstruction project in downtown Manhattan. During this 3D modeling effort the project team decided to only model structural and some architectural elements. Therefore, the WBS does not contain any construction trade information. However, the WBS contains location based elements (e.g. AC, RW or 23 for the different subway lines that have to be reconstructed) and activity elements for e.g. demolition or temporary construction. Modeling the right level of detail While establishing the 3D model WBS for the project the 3D modeling team should consider whether the WBS also allows the incorporation of several levels of detail to support the different panning stages. Unfortunately, in the early planning stages a lot of design data is not yet available. Furthermore, design data tends to change often. Therefore, the 3D modeling team together with the project team has to continuously evaluate how much of the available design detail the 3D model needs to represent. As a rule of thumb, the 3D model should not represent design information that the project management team will not need in the near future for any planning tasks. Therefore, an ongoing discussion between the project team and the 3D modeling team needs to be in place in which the project team updates the 3D modeling team about the actual planning stage of the project. It is often the case that the needed level of detail of the 3D model starts on a very high level, only representing the main project components with single objects. As needed these single objects are then replaced with more and more 3D modeling objects for different parts according to the need of the project team. A sound WBS supports this process of keeping different levels of detail for different aspects of the project site. 3-3D and 4D models from the FSTC project showing different levels of detail Figure 3 illustrates the level of detail for various applications of the integrated 3D/4D models that engineers from the FSTC project used to support project management tasks. The model in the center of the figure shows a general site overview, modeling the different subway lines and buildings of the project with simple 3D block objects. The 3D model at the top of the Figure shows some more detail of four buildings that need to be demolished. Each level of the building is represented as simple 3D blocks without any structural or architectural detail. The two 3D models at the bottom of the Figure show more detail using 3D objects that represent structural items for two of the subway lines. Using folders to organize 3D model data according to a WBS As a first system to distinguish between categories of the WBS, you can set up a folder structure on the file server. Usually we suggest that you do not use the folder structure to organize 3D model building objects, like structural steel, windows or doors. By storing different 3D model building objects in one file, you will be easier able to understand the context of one respective model file without the need to merge multiple files in 3D viewing applications like, for example, Navisworks. However, folder structures
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