DS0302 -

Usage and interaction of synchronous 4D simulation for collaborative decision support in Architecture, Engineering and Construction – 4DCollab

Submission summary

3D semantics modeling through business-oriented CAD tools facilitates the achievement of design tasks in Architecture and Construction Engineering. Practices and usages of BIM "Building Information Modelling" allow an enrichment of 3D semantic models with information useful for implementation, evaluation and design and construction processes. The usage of 4D modeling (ie 3D + time), integrating 3D modeling semantic phases and temporal enrichment, simulates the stages of construction of a building by merging construction tasks of building elements with their 3D visualization. However, the construction industry has not really integrated all these new practices into its work processes. It is recognized by the scientific community that the usage of 4D technologies provides support to decision-making during the pre-construction phase and in construction monitoring. However this technology is little known. Many research papers assert that 4D simulation improves the quality of collaborations between actors before and during the construction phase. But this is demonstrated by few empirical analyses. Moreover collaboration is difficult when the 4D simulation is used by a group of actors using laptops: the screens are small, the type of interactions keyboard / mouse with 4D models are delicates in synchronous collaborative sessions. The adding value to business practices provided by the integration of 4D modeling (3D and time) to establish the schedule of construction tasks needs to be further demonstrated. The research project "4DCollab" has the objective of analyzing collaborative practices and usages of 4D technics during the pre-construction phase and evaluating its contribution to construction projects. The first objective is to identify and understand emerging practices for collaboration using both 3D semantic modeling and time during the pre-construction phase and to measure the contribution in terms of value and quality of projects. Secondly it plans to identify and define innovative usages and interactions with 4D models through suitable devices (touch table and wall) in a prospective ergonomics approach. Third, these new interactions dedicated to uses of 4D will be specified and integrated to the synchronous collaborative platform "Shariiing" of Immersion company. Iterative development of this prototype will implement these new interaction techniques oriented to collective and synchronous handling of 4D models. Two experiments of this system in pre-building phase of a real construction project are envisaged: the first one with our French industrial partner and the second one with our Luxembourgish industrial partner. After these two experiments, we will evaluate the usability of the innovative interaction technics implemented but also the added value of these usages and practices of the 4D in a construction project. They will allow us to question the articulation of user centered methods in a prospective ergonomics approach. Scientific publications are expected to disseminate the scientific results to AEC and HCI research communities. Sectorial communications are planned with professional publications and conferences. Our industrial partner specializing in design of collaborative and immersive 3D technologies will ensure sectorial communications of technical results of this project.

Project coordination

Christian Bastien (Psychologie Ergonomique et Sociale pour l'Expérience Utilisateur)

The author of this summary is the project coordinator, who is responsible for the content of this summary. The ANR declines any responsibility as for its contents.


Félix Giorgetti Félix Giorgetti (Entreprise Générale de Construction)
CNRS DR12_MAP Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique délégation Provence et Corse_UMR MAP CNRS/MCC n°3495
LIST Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology
PErSEUs Psychologie Ergonomique et Sociale pour l'Expérience Utilisateur

Help of the ANR 524,219 euros
Beginning and duration of the scientific project: October 2016 - 42 Months

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