CIM Development: XII. Placeholder Elements

In ALICE you essentially set up a simulation that connects the scope with certain operations (recipes). Sometimes a more efficient way to represent certain scope might be to create a “dummy” element. In other words, to indicate the presence of some scope of work you can add extra elements to your CIM model or simplify existing ones. See examples below:

Example 1: Pouring Element

Imagine a project where slabs and walls are formed separately but poured together. Since grouping wasn’t a solution, a placeholder element for pouring (yellow slab) was added.


Pouring placeholder element


As can be seen from the image above, there is a thin yellow slab added on top of the regular concrete slab to indicate the pouring element.

Example 2: Deconstruction and Temporary installations

Another scenario where a placeholder element can be used is to indicate deconstruction, renovation, or temporary activities. Imagine a renovation project where construction is happening in certain areas, and deconstruction at some others and you want to include both in the schedule.

The new construction can be visualized with the elements getting built. For the deconstruction scope, placeholder elements (masses) can be created. Essentially here you are creating a scope that won’t be built, but you can attach a recipe to it in order to schedule it and add it as part of the logic. In the analyzed 4D, you can see the element hiding when the last activity in the recipe is finished. 

The same can be done for a temporary activity like setting up Scaffold or Cranes. A lot of models don't usually have scaffold or cranes modeled already, it can be a tedious task to model them. We can use Simple placeholders to attach our Temporary recipes to them. 

For more information on how that is set-up in ALICE, please refer to this video: Temporary and Demolition Recipes.

 Assigning construction phases to recipes

Example 3: Interior works such as MEP and Partition walls

Bringing such complex geometry can make the model difficult to navigate. Rather than importing the complete model with built-in model elements, we can bring a simple geometry which can even be a cube. We can then create one single recipe for all the operations and assign that to the cube-like in the image below.



Interior Placeholders in Yellow and sample recipe to the right

Example 4: Non-Physical Activities

Placeholders can be very useful if you want to schedule activities that cannot have a physical appearance like Design Finalizing or movement of Traffic. To incorporate such activities, just add a placeholder and add the custom fields to calculate their duration.  This can be very helpful for Infrastructure projects because of the scale of the projects. We should avoid bringing tons of geometry and try to use Placeholders wherever necessary. 

Adding new User Define Fields or Custom Parameters from the element properties








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