Connecting a Schedule to Models

How to connect a Schedule to Models to enable 4D modelling

Aifric Delahunty avatar
Written by Aifric Delahunty
Updated this week

How it works

Sensat supports the visualisation of schedules, providing access in an easy-to-understand visual format to streamline issue identification & resolution.

Once uploaded you can connect models to scheduled activities to create a 4D construction sequence to carry out digital rehearsals and project walk-throughs.

How to connect your schedule

1. Import your construction schedule

To get started, upload your Schedule file to Sensat. Read about the supported file types. Press the 'Upload' button on the right-hand toolbar (highlighted in red below).

Drag-and-drop or press 'Add files' to select your Schedule file.

Press 'Upload'

Your schedule file will then be uploaded and processed by Sensat.

2. View your schedule Gantt chart

Your schedule file will appear in the Layer manager along with your other project files.

To view the schedule press the Schedule button on in the top-right.

NOTE: this button only appears once a valid Schedule file has been uploaded and processed.

The schedule Gantt chart will appear in a panel at the top of the screen:

  • Black Bars represent the Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) groups that contain Activities and Milestones. They can be expanded and collapsed by pressing the + and - icons.

  • White Bars represent the Activities.

  • Orange Diamonds in black squares represent Milestones.

  • Relationships/Dependencies between activities and milestones are visualised as grey arrows.

How to adjust the panel Size

The panel can be resized to make it shorter or taller by clicking & dragging from the bottom edge.

How to navigate

To open/close Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) groups:

  • Click the + icon to open.

  • Click the - icon to close.

To move around the schedule:

  1. Click and hold anywhere on the background then move your mouse to pan in any direction.

  2. Use your touchpad scroll gestures to pan in any direction.

  3. Use your mouse scroll wheel to scroll up/down. Hold the Shift key to scroll left/right.

  4. Drag the scroll bars, or click either side of them, to scroll horizontally or vertically.

To show a smaller or larger range of time, zoom in/out:

  1. Click and drag the Zoom slider in the top right.

  2. Use your touchpad zoom gestures.

  3. Hold the Ctrl key (or Command / Cmd key on MacOS) and scroll with your mouse wheel.

Item Details

Click on any item to see more details.

WBS group & Activity details include: name, code, start date, end date, and duration.

Milestone details include: name, code, date.

NOTE: If the Schedule file contains Actual dates then these will be displayed, otherwise planned dates will be shown.

Work Breakdown Structure detail:

Activity detail:

Milestone detail:

3. Link your schedule to your BIM

Once you have uploaded your BIM models for each part of the sequence, simply ‘link’ them to the relevant activities and dates in your schedule.

  • Click on any WBS Group or Activity to open the detail card

  • In the Create Link box simply type to search for the model you wish to link and then select it to confirm.

  • The linked model(s) will then appear below.

Once linked, the models will take on the Start and End dates of the schedule item and only appear on the map when the correct time period is selected on the timeline.

For flexibility and iteration during planning and model breakdown one or more models can be linked to any WBS Groups or Activities you wish. The same model can even be linked to multiple activities (it will then show from the earliest start date to the latest end date).

WBS Groups and Activities that have linked models will show a purple icon in the main Gantt view.

4. 4D visualisation - walk through your sequence using smart jump

Once the Gantt chart and BIM models have been linked you can easily click through your timeline. The models will automatically appear on the map on the date specified by the Activity, or WBS group, they are linked to.

To move through time either:

  1. On the Schedule panel: click the Smart Jump arrows in the panel header to move to the next point in time where there is a model change

  2. On the Schedule panel: Click anywhere in the date header. A dark grey line will appear to show the date to be selected. The green line shows the currently selected date.

  3. On the Timeline: Select a month (or week)

The timeline highlights when changes are occurring on site, allowing users to quickly zoom in on the schedule and the 3D map to inspect the site for any potential issues and risks. Once identified, our commenting feature is the perfect tool for teams to flag and discuss resolutions.

5. Iterations and new versions

All projects go through numerous iterations of their schedules. When a new version is ready simply upload it to Sensat to replace the previous one. Links to models will be automatically migrated where we detect the same Activity (or WBS Group) exists in the new version.

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