The EMP and WDCH projects were designed by architect Frank O. Gehry & Associates, with all the geometric complexity for which that firm is known. Threading mechanical and other trades through the intricate steel superstructure that supports these buildings' metal skins is a mind-boggling task that was only possible with 3-D visualization (Gehry's office designs in CATIA software, which yielded ready-to-go 3-D models for both projects). Sequencing of construction issues in such tight quarters also was facilitated by 4-D schedule simulation. In the case of WDCH, the entire team of contractors and subcontractors had access to a CAVE, or virtual environment, in which they could be surrounded by animation of the building being constructed around them. The shared vision (both literally and metaphorically) of the 3-D/4-D virtual building process allowed the EMP and WDCH project teams to detect and avoid many potential constructability problems well before they might have arisen in the field (preliminary research indicates that 40% of actual project change orders could be avoided by these methods).

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