Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

Trends of 4D CAD applications for construction planning

Heesom, David; Mahdjoubi, Lamine


David Heesom

Lamine Mahdjoubi


Since the early 1990s, there has been a growing interest in four-dimensional computer aided design (4D CAD) for construction project planning. Commercial 4D CAD applications are becoming more accessible and the use of this technology allows the construction planner to produce more rigorous schedules. A review of the technical competencies of these packages highlights that most of the commercially available packages concentrate on the use of 4D CAD simulations for aesthetic visualization purposes. Very few packages offer the ability to carry out analytical tasks on the developed simulation and this is often left to the interpretation of the user. A thorough appraisal of emerging research developments in 4D planning highlights that this technology is employed for various applications; however, the amount of detail required in a 4D simulation is still ambiguous. A model is proposed to determine the attributes required for use with each of the various applications of 4D CAD simulations. Finally, various lines of future research are highlighted, including the need for improved use of data exchange standards and the automation of linking the construction tasks to the 3D CAD model. © 2004 Taylor and Francis Ltd.


Heesom, D., & Mahdjoubi, L. (2004). Trends of 4D CAD applications for construction planning. Construction Management and Economics, 22(2), 171-182.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Feb 1, 2004
Journal Construction Management and Economics
Print ISSN 0144-6193
Publisher Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
Peer Reviewed Not Peer Reviewed
Volume 22
Issue 2
Pages 171-182
Keywords 4D CAD applications, construction planning
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information Additional Information : This paper was based on an EPSRC project The Virtual Construction Site: A Decision Support System for Construction Planning GR/N00906/01 and carried out in conjunction with University College London (UCL), UMIST, Teeside University and over 20 leading Industrial collaborators, including WS Atkins, Carillion, Kværner Construction Ltd, and Stent Foundations. The overall scientific quality and novelty of the research was rated as internationally leading by the academic community including CNBR. Mahdjoubi was the Principal Investigator and Heesom the Research Fellow. Lead author.

Downloadable Citations