Is BIM the future of green construction?

Is BIM the furutre of green construction?
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The aim of sustainability is to meet the needs of the present society without compromising the ability of the future generation to fulfil theirs. However, to reach net zero is no simple task and requires contribution from all the sectors of the society. Today, the construction sector is a significant contributor to CO2 emissions, energy consumption, non-renewable waste etc. It is imperative that the construction industry as a whole makes significant changes which go beyond installing LED lights or choosing efficient HVAC systems. There needs to be a fundamental change in the way it operates, the materials that are used and even the way buildings are managed and destroyed.

The construction industry in order to successfully bring about much needed change will have to embrace new technological solutions. At the core of the construction sector’s technological revolution lies BIM. It offers advantages right from the designing phase to construction and management. In the current article we will be stating how the construction sector can look at BIM to make a positive impact on the environment.

1. BIM boosts sustainable design:

Using Architectural BIM Services, the building can be designed in manner than reduces the need of energy consumption. Revit allows to calculate and quantify annual sunlight exposure and architects can use this information to design spaces that make the maximum use of sunlight and reduce lightning loads. It can also calculate heating and cooling load so that it is possible to determine how much energy will be consumed to cool or heat the building. Virtual exploration allows a realistic visualization of the final design making it possible to see how the final design will look. Additionally, simulations can also be run to see how the design will affect energy consumption. Finally, with BIM it is also possible to experiment with new and sustainable materials like bamboo, recycled steel etc. It can be used to test more renewable sources of energy like attaching solar panels. Since all the planning is done in the digital twin technology there are no real world consequences like waste of resources, compromised safety of workers etc.

2. BIM allows for greater transparency:

Whenever a project commences using BIM it offers high transparency throughout its lifecycle. All the information regarding the project is added in one shared 3D model which can be updated in real time. All the involved stakeholders like contractors, engineers, energy suppliers etc. can access this information and can draw on their experience and knowledge to provide sustainable options. It could be with regards to the building design, using sustainable construction materials, method of construction etc. Thus, enhanced collaboration and transparency means that the best possible design option can be figured out.

3. BIM boosts sustainable design:

Using Architectural BIM, the building can be designed in manner than reduces the need of energy consumption. Revit allows to calculate and quantify annual sunlight exposure and architects can use this information to design spaces that make the maximum use of sunlight and reduce lightning loads. It can also calculate heating and cooling load so that it is possible to determine how much energy will be consumed to cool or heat the building. Virtual exploration allows a realistic visualization of the final design making it possible to see how the final design will look. Additionally, simulations can also be run to see how the design will affect energy consumption. Finally, with BIM it is also possible to experiment with new and sustainable materials like bamboo, recycled steel etc. It can be used to test more renewable sources of energy like attaching solar panels. Since all the planning is done in the digital twin technology there are no real world consequences like waste of resources, compromised safety of workers etc.

4. BIM streamlines onsite construction:

The very goal of using BIM is the advantages it offers during onsite construction. Firstly, the design is created by considering all the stakeholders so there less chances of any errors. However, if there are any clashes or design errors then with BIM Coordination Services they are spotted in the designing and planning phase. The final construction documentation is only extracted from an error free model. This means that onsite there will be reduced waste.

BIM also supports prefabrication. Prefabrication is the construction or manufacturing of the building or building components in a climate controlled offsite location. It doesn’t require extra materials and also allows for a lot of materials to be recycled. Moreover, the controlled environment of the warehouse means there is more accurate construction, tighter joints, better wall insulation etc. ultimately leading to environmental savings.

5. BIM for operations and demolitions of buildings:

As-built BIM models can be used for facility management of the buildings. They can be used to keep track of the building’s energy consumption, see if any MEP component is using more than its share of energy (then it can replaced) or even if there is a more sustainable option. BIM for facility management can be used along with artificial intelligence to install and run motion sensor lights, heating and cooling systems, water taps etc. All this ultimately could account to a considerable saving of energy resources in the longer run.

Before demolition the laser scanning can be used to determine the exact condition of the building. If possible, certain components which are in good condition can be salvaged and used for the future. Generally, once the building is demolished the waste is directly taken to the landfills. With BIM it is possible to run simulations and gain an estimation of the amount of waste that would be generated. This makes it possible to have waste control strategies in place.

We are slowly coming to realize keeping a healthy planet is not just an option it is a necessity. The construction industry has a huge part to play in the long term sustainability of the planet and BIM could help achieve that.


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