Technical challenges and approaches to transfer building information models to building energy

The complex data exchange between architectural design and building energy simulation constitutes the main challenge in the use of energy performance analyses in the early design stage. The enhancement of BIM model data with additional specific energy-related information and the subsequent mapping to the input of an energy analysis or simulation tool is yet an open issue. This paper examines three approaches for the data transfer from 3D CAD applications to building performance simulations using BIM as central data repository and points out their current and envisaged use in practice. The first approach addresses design scenarios. It focuses on the supporting tools needed to achieve interoperability given a 74 wide-spread commercial BIM model (Autodesk Revit) and a dedicated pre-processing tool (DesignBuilder) for EnergyPlus. The second approach is similar but addresses retrofitting scenarios. In both workflows gbXML is used as the transformation format. In the third approach a standard BIM model, IFC is used as basis for the transfer process for any relevant lifecycle phase.