Using BIM for Sustainable Design

Good article in Architecture Week titled, strangely enough, Using BIM for Sustainable Design, I guess we’re getting that horse out of the stable again, but this is it.  Like AARA funds and the stimulus package put every paver and asphalt layer in the US back to work, sustainable design and retrofits are and will be it.  Eddy Kryiegel, the author, goes on to elaborate the ease that option analysis and energy modeling that comes with BIM.

In the case of energy modeling and its relationship to BIM, there are three primary steps involved: modeling the building geometry, adding building loads, and performing the analysis.

If you compare the time it takes to perform each of these steps for the same building type across a variety of analysis packages, you will see very similar results. During years of integrated practice, I have found that more than 50 percent of the overall time needed to perform an energy analysis is consumed by modeling building geometry.

Adding building loads accounts for about 35 percent, followed by less than 15 percent to perform the actual analysis. By simply being able to reuse the model geometry and transfer the building design from the BIM model to the energy model, we can reduce the time needed to run an energy model by almost half.

The traditional process of energy modeling within our own office typically takes a couple weeks. Using the workflow established with BIM, we can now perform some types of energy analysis in half the time, do twice as many as before, or make energy analysis available to projects that would normally not have the fee to support the endeavor.

A) If a project is started in BIM more services can be offered whereas they were too expensive the traditional way, and B) with option analysis you can find ways to make your building more efficient, demonstrate that with positive ROIs and have the analysis and design pay for itself.  Just keeps on getting more compelling, like the Lebron laugh-a-lympics televised special, no strike that, like Lindsey..strike that, like having your cake and eating it too. 


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