The global population is increasing rapidly, and as the majority of people live in urban areas, studies are estimating that over $3 trillion of investments will be needed in infrastructure every year through 2030. Buildings account for 40 percent of global energy consumption, so it’s crucial that new buildings are as energy-efficient as possible. Building Information Modeling, or BIM, technology is making significant efforts to help designers include energy modeling as a part of the design process and improve efficiency during construction. Continue reading to learn more about BIM and how it is the new model for energy-efficient buildings.
BIM solutions provide various powerful tools to stimulate the mechanical, electrical, and plumbing, or MEP, performance of a building. Building Energy Modeling, or BEM, is only offered by a small number of BIM providers, while most tools are available as standalone applications. BEM tools help address energy demand, indoor environmental quality, carbon dioxide emission, and payback periods of energy saving measures.
The BEM tool can help assess whether or not the building design will meet energy regulations, and has the potential to model control of the building in operation. While most energy modeling today happens when a building design is almost complete, the BEM can be integrated with the BIM application to allow for more informed design decisions.
Energy modeling tools use various parameters to estimate the energy performance of a building, and some of this information can come directly from the BIM system. However, a more detailed level of information on energy characteristics is needed for comprehensive energy modeling. For effective energy modeling, a designer must include the right amount of information about each piece of equipment, but there is not yet an established global standard for defining energy-related properties.
The energy modeling offered by the majority of BEM tools now only takes into account the ‘passive’ elements, while true energy efficiency estimation has to consider active control scenarios and real energy usage data. Schneider Electric partnered with Autodesk to use its Revit BIM platform to build our new Technopole building in Grenoble, France. The process helped coordinate construction, helped the building reach LEED Platinum certification, and is intended to reproduce real energy behavior. The BIM system will eventually be connected to the operating data of the building, and the model will help create augmented virtual tours, manage areas, perform scheduling in connection with the BMS, monitor and manage energy, and perform predictive maintenance for the building.
Today’s BIM solutions are allowing the AEC industry and building owners to work towards a more energy-efficient building design to lower energy consumption around the world. However, to make better decisions for subsequent designs, greater levels of energy-relevant specifications are required.
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