Leonardo Rischmoller, Luis Fernando Alarcón, Martin Fischer, Robert Fox


This paper presents part of the research about the impact of Computer Advanced Visualization Tools (CAVT) in the AECdesign and construction planning processes, being carried out at the Catholic University of Chile. CAVT are identified ascore IT tools and defined in a broad sense, their main feature being to provide the ability to visualize the ends (Productmodels) and means (Process models) for AEC design and construction planning processes. The research is based on thestudy of CAVT applied by an Engineering and Construction Company on a real life (case) project, supported by theoreticalbackground and contact with experts in IT in Construction (ITC). The case project is being designed completely in 3D(First 3D project in Latin America) using PDS software, a powerful Plant Design System provided by Intergraph, Inc.DesignReview software (also from Intergraph) provides advanced visualization capabilities for visualization of the PDS 3Dmodel, and 4D modeling technology and simulations are applied to the planning and scheduling tasks of the case project.Computer graphics topic is overviewed and briefly discussed as a technology central to CAVT in AEC industry. The paperstates that knowledge about Product and Process modeling coming from the academic community, is usually overlooked ordeveloped in a tacit fashion, more guided by the common sense, than by an orderly approach based on techniques,methodologies or prototypes coming from the academic community. Digital Reality is presented and discussed as the nextVol. 17 N°2, año 2002, Revista Ingeniería de Construcciónstep following 3D product models and 4D modeling is identified as the technology that will trigger the major changesexpected from CAVT impact described in this paper. The extent to which CAVT are being used in the case project isproviding huge benefits to he company applying them. However, the research results lead us to conclude that even CAVTare a reality now, AEC industry is not taking full advantage of them. A closer approach of academic community and AECpractice is needed that could revert this situation, benefiting both industry and research. The main insights of this researchcoming from the study of the practical application of CAVT prove the former approach, which should lead the main impactof CAVT to go beyond current well known improvements, to a new unsuspected pace for improvements in the AECindustry.


CAD; 3D; 4D; construction; planning and programming of projects.


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