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BIM + renewable energies: winning combo in construction

Published: 05/08/2020

Country: Spain

BIM is a methodology that not only allows for more efficient planning of construction projects if not through 3D design processes helps to make them more sustainable.

Renewable energy is growing on a large scale and has an important focus on buildings. We see this in growing photovoltaic installations or wind turbines, among other examples. BIM is involved in energy efficiency improvements from problem solving to finding new opportunities and does so in the following way: 

-Modeling and design as a central function of the BIM is one of the key elements. Creating a building focused on renewable energy means taking into account the energy impacts that the creation of the plan and model will have. Using this methodology, experts can obtain data on what the effects of the building will be on the environment and then choose the most suitable model. 

-The construction of sustainable buildings is synonymous with the construction of intelligent buildings. SMART technology in terms of renewable energy, such as HVAC systems or low energy refrigerators, is a critical element in the construction process. That's why sustainable building is having a smart building in mind. BIM takes into account the use of these resources during the modelling phase so that experts can see their effects.

-Planning is the other strong point of the methodology. It is responsible for providing information about a project throughout its process to all team members. From architects to contractors. This information not only allows the resolution of a problem or the organization of a certain process in the short term, but also extends to the long term and even shows how the materials will be maintained in the future. Applied to sustainable buildings this ability translates into the need for renewable energy to maintain and support performance for many years.

 -The green building concept can be one of the best sustainability options in building construction since efficiency is within the infrastructure. For example, the use of natural lighting allows the reduction of the use of artificial lighting. BIM in this case would provide the necessary information to design a building that takes into account sunrise and sunset to reduce the use of heating or cooling.

-There are many parties involved in the construction of a building. Planners, urban designers, architects, engineers... Collaboration between professionals is sometimes complicated. BIM facilitates this collaboration thanks to the centralized information system. The sum of good collaborations equals new renewable ideas and less clashes between professionals. 

-Once the design has been made, we move on to the implementation phase of the project. BIM provides a faster project construction that involves less replanning or debate. This efficiency reduces energy use and emissions from building materials and vehicles.

 -The annotated planning capability provided by BIM also reduces the number of errors encountered in the project. As a result, builders spend less energy on problem solving.

-Maintaining sustainable technology in a building can be critical since inefficiency or damage means wasting energy and money. BIM shows how long energy systems last and how their performance should be maintained in addition to their needs and required upgrades.

 -At a general level, there is increasing social pressure and demand for energy efficiency practices in many areas. In the building sector, BIM can provide transparency in the development of concrete plans and statistics and thereby show its commitment to the environment and the true application of sustainable resources. Moreover, the accessibility of the professionals involved to the information of the project allows them to see the energy plans and make modifications if the situation requires it.


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