Defining the sustainable building design process: methods for BIM execution planning in the UK

Purpose – Building performance analysis is usually performed after the design and construction documents are produced resulting in lost opportunities. The purpose of this research is to develop a BIM-enabled sustainable design process model that identifies critical actions in the design process along with the information and level of detail that facilitate an informed and timely decision. Design/methodology/approach – A number of research methods have been adopted; these include extensive literature review and eleven in-depth interviews with industry practitioners (sustainable building design experts, early BIM adopters). Findings – Project delivery methods have a significant effect on the sustainable outcome of buildings. The development of a structured process can assist sustainable design practice among building professionals. Learning from implemented projects, that have utilised BIM processes, facilitates the scope of creating this process and advises future projects in order to prevent failures. Process mapping is essential to streamline the process, support key project processes and help the design team manage their own responsibilities and deliverables required by them. Originality/value – The identification of the gap and the need for a structured process for sustainable building design for BIM execution is discussed. The synergies that exist between BIM, building performance modelling, BREEAM assessment and the RIBA Plan of Work are shown. The effect that project delivery has on sustainable design outcome has been established. A coordinated collaborative design process model is presented based on the findings from interviewing early adopters.