Durham School of Architectural Engineering and Construction


Date of this Version



Appl. Sci. 2019, 9, 1789; doi:10.3390/app9091789


© 2019 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY)


Spatial movements of workers and equipment should be carefully planned according to project plans. In particular, it is crucial for workers’ safety to prepare emergency evacuation paths according to changing construction site configurations and construction progress. However, creating evacuation paths for all crews for each day can be an extremely labor-intensive task if it is done manually. Consequently, in most construction projects, evacuation plans are not provided to managers and crews throughout the entire construction. Even state-of-the-art technologies do not suggest ways to generate evacuation paths according to changing progresses presented in 4-Dimensional Building Information Model (4D BIM). This research proposes a framework to automatically analyze, generate, and visualize the evacuation paths of multiple crews in 4D BIM, considering construction activities and site conditions at the specific project schedule. This research develops a prototype that enables users to define parameters for pathfinding, such as workspaces, material storage areas, and temporary structures to automatically identify the accessible evacuation paths. This prototype shows the secured evacuation paths in the 4D BIM environment and allows the users to organize the automatically generated evacuation paths. A case study using the BIM model of a real construction project involved in this paper demonstrates the potential of the proposed method.