4D Programming and Production Control

What is 4D Scheduling and Why is it Important?

The trouble with construction planning in Australia and Papua New Guinea is that few, if any, construction programmes and schedules are based on actual quantities of work to be performed and estimated productivity rates. Generally in the construction industry a task duration is based on the Contractors 'Gut Feel'.

The Beacon BIM based programming method makes perfect sense when you understand it and really think about it? We use our 5D BIM Model quantities combined with the productivity rates contained in our Cost Plans to calculate the durations for each task on the construction site.


It sounds so simple, but no one in Australia does it on their construction projects. Why, because of the following factors:

  • It isn't easy and requires a lot, and I mean a lot of research development and implementation.
  • It requires construction calibre BIM models.
  • It requires accurate quantity take-off from BIM models
  • It requires Cost Plans which are derived from actual costs, labour and resources which are derive from our experience and knowledge of actual construction productivity rates. Not just m2 rates.
  • It requires taking BIM to the next level.

Beacon Consulting have invested the time and money into research, development and procedures to achieve all of the above.
Are we 100% of the way done? No, we are continually improving our libraries of costs, productivity rates and procedures because these are always changing, we find better and faster ways to do things. We learn and improve. We are committed to continuous improvement.

Using quantities by location taken from the BIM model and productivity rates from our Cost Plans we use our Construction Programme Planning software to optimise construction programmes and schedule based on the right mix of crew sizes, task splitting, including adding buffers for procurements, float and other non-model-based tasks.


Our 4D BIM based Programming and Schedule Planning software provides a scientific way of optimising a construction schedule with these durations, sequencing logic, and even geography-specific pricing. And by creating a programme which eliminates stops and starts for Subcontractors and work crews, we reduce project risk and keep the project flowing smoothly.

The end result is a cost and resource-loaded schedule that provides Owners and Contractors with an inside and out knowledge of the resources and tasks on a project, appreciation and efficiencies on both sides of the equation!

Why the Beacon 4D Programming approach is Better?

Beacon 4D Flow Line Programming is vastly different than traditional Critical Path Method Programming because it is location based, logical and delivers better results

A 4D BIM Construction Programme or Schedule is a derivation of the 3D BIM geometry and an optimisation of the resources. From the 3D BIM model geometry, we extract quantities and allocate these quantities to locations. Now we can apply sequencing logic, include crew sizes, productivity rates, and geography-specific pricing. By creating a schedule optimised to eliminate stops and starts and reduce project risk, we keep the project flowing smoothly.

This integration between the 3D model, the construction-calibre quantities, the locations, and cost plan is critical. More and more, owners are requiring cost-and resource-loaded schedules that are updated during the construction phase of a project. Our cost-loaded construction programmes allow project teams to determine planned cost at a point in time and compare that to the actual cost from reported completion. Creating and maintaining these schedules, as well as creating the progress reports is just one benefits of this tight integration of the Beacon Project Management Service.


With our 4D BIM based Programme and Schedule Planning, our Programme Managers in conjunction with Building Contractors and Subcontractors can design significantly compressed construction programmes without increasing risk. The incorporation of locations, estimated quantities, and productivity rates early in the planning phase yields clear, accurate, and feasible schedules. Using the Flow line™ view, our Project Managers can easily manage task buffers, visually identify conflicts, and communicate complete schedules of complex projects – all on a single page.

Our Beacon Project Managers use our 4D BIM Based Programme and Schedule Planning software to deliver projects faster, while carefully managing risk, through increased productivity, predictability, and transparency. As an integrated part of the Beacon IPD Service, Schedule Planning enables the generation of 4D project simulations in 4D Manager. These simulations clearly illustrate the correlations between construction, cost, and programme / schedule.

Our BIM Neutral 4D BIM based Schedule Planning process provides the following benefits:

  • Define the resources and tasks associated with each piece of material and BIM objects
  • Cost out the tasks and labour with our integrated Cost Plans
  • Optimise the best sized construction crews for that task and the desired productivity rate and organise those crews by location

How Production Control Delivers On-Time Delivery

Construction Planning and Programming is only as good as the on-site control and implementation during the construction phase. That is why we working collaboratively with Contractors and Sub Contractors to track production on-site and control deviations from production and outcomes on-site during the Construction Phase.

Creating an optimized location-based programme is only one half of the equation required to deliver 4D BIM and actually deliver projects on time. Managing to that programme on the construction site is the other half of the process which is equally essential to ensure our teams stay on track. Bringing BIM out to the construction site is a natural extension of its powerful problem-solving abilities and part of Beacon Consulting core Project Management Solution or as a standalone service as required by our Clients.

Beacon Consulting provides a process that works collaboratively with Contractors and Sub Contractors to monitor construction productivity on site and feed this actual productivity back into our 4D BIM based programming software to ensure productivity is being actually maintained on site.


Our collaborative Production Control provides tight control over your project schedule's actual progress that works with Builders and Subcontractors in a collaborative manner. Using Production Control we work in a team to identify schedule glitches earlier, analyse their effect on the overall project schedule, and make sure the appropriate actions are taken.

Our Project Managers use Production Control charts that provides an easy to use and intuitive color-coded feedback about the state of the project. Our on-site clerk of works, Superintendent, or the Contractors team members update the Task per Location status on a daily or weekly basis and project stakeholders can easily identify schedule problems.

Our Project Managers then use Production Control forecasting tools which enable our planners to easily analyse project schedules based on actual progress. In addition, we can then visualize the effect of delayed activities on the entire schedule, and swiftly run "what-if?" scenarios.

Included in our scientifically researched Library are average productivity rates by trade and standard formulas for deriving labour and material resource requirements. By updating this information with actuals from each new project, your data set becomes more refined and accurate and a powerful differentiator to Owners and Contractors.

We have created specific 5D Libraries for productivity rates and costs in both Australia and Papua New Guinea which take into account the different method of procuring and performing building works on site, as well as the productivity of local labour and skills in each country.

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