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Facilitating BIM-based sustainability analysis and communication in building design process

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conference contribution
posted on 2014-04-23, 13:26 authored by Mariangela Zanni, Robby SoetantoRobby Soetanto, Kirti RuikarKirti Ruikar
Population growth and resource scarcity has created unprecedented demand of sustainable buildings around the world. During design and construction processes, meeting this demand is considered an extremely challenging task, at least due to following several reasons. Firstly, the long-term sustainability of a building is difficult to define, let alone assess. Although there are standard assessment methods (e.g. BREEAM, LEED) and specific client requirements, each participant of the process may have different views and approaches to sustainability owing to their disciplinary practices and experiences. Secondly, although the most critical time to make decisions on a building’s sustainable features is during the early stages of design, building performance analysis (for relatively easy to agree and accurately predict performance criteria, such as energy efficiency) is usually performed after the design and construction documents are produced. This practice results in lost opportunities to maximise the sustainability of building design and technology options. Thirdly, it is widely documented that the sustainability progress in the AEC/FM industry has been hampered by fragmentation, low innovation, adversarial relationships and slow adoption of Information Communication Technologies. The emergence of Building Information Modelling (BIM) has promised an accelerated progress of sustainable building development. BIM promotes integration among building professionals and improves design goals by allowing multi-disciplinary information to be integrated within a single model. This creates an opportunity to conduct the analysis throughout the design process, concurrently with the production of the design documents. Despite these expected benefits, the practice of using BIM for sustainability has not been widely embedded within the AEC/FM industry. In order to achieve a step change in current processes for optimal results, there is a need to define requirements of the process, tools, systems and stakeholders responsibilities of conducting sustainability assessment during the design stages of a building. To align with the industry practice, this should be based on the recently developed BIM Overlay to the RIBA Outline Plan of Work which offers a response to the UK Government’s commitment to have all projects utilising BIM from 2016. This paper presents a comprehensive literature review along with a conceptual model based on the RIBA Plan of Work 2013. The model describes the main stages of the sustainability design process and the key inputs and outputs of each stage.



  • Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering


ZANNI, M.A., SOETANTO, R. and RUIKAR, K., 2013. Facilitating BIM-based sustainability analysis and communication in building design process. IN: Proceedings of the 6th Civil Engineering Conference in Asia Region (CECAR6), Jakarta, Indonesia, 20-22 August 2013, 8pp.


Japan Society of Civil Engineers


  • AM (Accepted Manuscript)

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