Greenovation+

Vol. 3 2010 – Building green with BIM

Building Green With BIM Overview

Green-ConstructionWith concerns of conserving energy and global warming making headlines worldwide, it isn’t a surprise that trends for green building to increase efficiency and sustainability have become hot topics in the construction design industry.

BIM has been quoted as being “the answer to sustainable building”. It is essentially a detailed digital simulation that provides graphical and non-graphical information of a building’s entire life cycle. It extends on the dynamic use of 3D modeling and immediate software data, to promote new levels of coordination and collaboration between stakeholders which was never possible before.

Interoperability Between Stakeholders

BIM liberates communication paths between manufacturers, contractors, architects and engineers. It collects, evaluates and records all pertinent project information such as schedules, costs, alternatives, materials used etc. so they are easily accessible and comprehensive to all the stakeholders involved. With this knowledge, end-users may predict more effectively how successful their project will be.

BIM Facilitates Green Projects

construction 4To foresee how well a project will perform in future environments is an advantageous feature in today’s building industry. BIM allows users to create “what if” analyses for their project(s). It assists with identifying possible combinations, in detail, that may be used in the final project.

For example, BIM users may access and compare the cost and energy benefits of using thermal efficient commerical gas water heaters, pint urinals, dual-flush flush valves, low-consumption toilets, solar powered faucets, and other low-flow solutions to other product options, in order to efficiently choose the best product for their application.

BIM-Combined 5

Left: This rendering features the A. O. Smith Cyclone, Centoco toilet seat, and Jay R. Smith MFG. Co. horizontal carrier.

By being able to visualize the end product and its future affect on the environment with BIM, it helps designers choose the best option for a sustainable building; thereby, inspiring designers to create greener buildings while still meeting building codes and other requirements.

Cost Savings

Sustainable design is undeniably one of the greatest selling features to the green community. BIM project creators are able to virtually analyze their materials, structure and performance as its being “designed” and more importantly, before the project is converted to costly tangible materials. Additionally, BIM efficiently provides fully coordinated conventional documents that are accurate, easily updated and reliable.

Final Thoughts

There are plenty of opportunities and potential players seeking ways to leverage new technologies to better use the world’s resources and diminish our effect on the environment. BIM’s development has provided the tool to make the building design and specification process easier, faster, more accurate and greener. Armed with this information, end-users may quickly evaluate alternatives and make environmentally friendly decisions.

BIM facilitates better decision-making throughout the project, by providing detailed information, quickly and accurately, to all stakeholders involved. During times when economical use of resources is of concern to the general public, it makes sense to research technologies to create efficient buildings. By integrating BIM into your next building project, you too can minimize your project consumption, errors and omissions; hence contributing to the green movement.

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