Into the Fourth Dimension

by Sheryl Staub, Proj. Engr.; Hathaway/Dinwiddie Constr. Group, Santa Clara, CA,
Martin Fischer, Asst. Prof.; Dept. of Civ. and Envir. Engrg., Stanford Univ.,
Melody Spradlin, Proj. Exec.; Hathaway/Dinwiddie Constr., Santa Clara, CA,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1999, Vol. 69, Issue 5, Pg. 44-47

Document Type: Feature article


A team of contractors designed a pharmaceutical plant entirely in 3-D CAD, then linked the renderings to a cost program and scheduling software, adding a fourth dimension�time�to the process. The results were impressive: the piping and mechanical subcontractors fabricated the ducts and pipes directly from the 3-D CAD model with virtually no rework; there was only one contractor-initiated change order, and RFIs (requests for information) were reduced by 60 percent compared to a typical, similar project designed and built by traditional means. By connecting specific work packages to items in the 3-D program, contractors were able to increase their productivity and reduce problems.

Subject Headings: Contracts and subcontracts | Computer aided design | Three-dimensional models | Pipes | Project management | Productivity | Fabrication

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