The fifth dimension (5D) is cost, which is brought into the virtual building life cycle. Conventional estimating techniques that rely on two-dimensional drawing measurements have substantial potential for ambiguity, inefficiency, and error. A three-dimensional project model removes the ambiguity and potential inconsistencies in project quantity estimations.
A 5D estimate is a BIM linked to construction cost estimation through material quantities that are automatically generated from the data within the model. 5D Estimation improves budgeting, provides cost-loaded schedules, and displays multiple interactive forecasts to make agile comparisons. When the design is changed, cost adjustments are calculated in real time. This enables general contractors to help the owner improve design with value-engineering decisions
The creation of 5D models enables the various participants (from architects, designers, contractors to owners) of a construction project to visualize the progress of construction activities and its related costs over time. This BIM-centric project management technique has potential to improve management and delivery of projects of any size or complexity.