Using Method Models to Generate 4D Production Models 

with the 

Construction Method Modeler (CMM) Planning System 

Practical Motivation: 

Construction planning and scheduling are integral and important parts of any construction project. The planning process, as it is carried out today, though, does not adequately address some of the critical needs in construction planning. The current construction planning process is largely a manual and time-consuming process. The translation of a design to a construction schedule involves several steps of human interpretation and requires manipulation of data and knowledge in the plannerís mind. As a consequence, the construction planning needs (the need to rapidly generate realistic plans, the need to generate and consider many alternatives, the need to communicate and evaluate alternatives, the need for detailed planning, and the need for scheduling flexibility and ease of replanning) cannot be adequately addressed. 

CMM Planning System: 

To overcome these limitations,  I have combined and extended the basic theories developed for automated construction planning. These make possible my formalization of a construction method-driven, hierarchical construction planning process. The formalized planning process translates design information into a realistic 4D production model. I have implemented the construction method-driven, hierarchical planning process in the Construction Method Modeler (CMM) planning system. 

Schematic of the CMM Planning System:

Figure Caption: Schematic of CMM system that illustrates the translation process from a (a) project description (product model) to a (b) 4D production model using construction method models. A formalized hierarchical construction planning process forms the basis of the translation process. The planning process is broken down into (c) method-driven elaboration and (d) hierarchical planning and scheduling steps. User-defined and user-selected (e) construction method models drive the elaboration process by supplying CMM with the necessary (f) activity and (g) component elaboration knowledge. The product model undergoes a (h) transformation from a design-centric decomposition to a production-centric decomposition (if necessary). CMM plans and schedules the elaborated activities based on (i) sequence constraints that are passed on to the activities from their construction methods. The output of the CMM planning process is a 4D production model. A 4D production model is a linked representation of an elaborated product and process models. A 4D production model is a flexible representation of the construction process that can support many views for communication and evaluation, e.g., (j) 4D visualization, CPM-network, barchart, resource histogram, etc.