The streamlined BIM workflow saves you time by avoiding rework, which can lead to significant soft cost savings during the design process.
It’s safe to say that these days’ architects are most likely using a BIM tool for architectural design. But when it comes to collaborating with the engineer or energy modeler with BIM, the models are typically never done to accommodate their needs and a large amount of time gets wasted due to rework. There are ways to adapt a model to use them for energy modeling, but most of the time it’s easier to rebuild the geometry, which seems redundant given that we’re duplicating existing work. The solution isn’t to find better ways at fixing these models, but to build these models up correctly from the beginning with energy modeling in mind. For that we’re going to need a volumetric modeling process, which outlines the progression of model elements through a level of detail that is required to suit energy modeling and then allow the model to progress seamlessly into detailed architectural modeling. This way the energy modeler can get involved early and provide quick feedback using an effective design process.
Once the BIM is integrated, a link is created between the spaces which facilitates a bi-directional data exchange between BIM and energy modeling, but also an iterative energy simulation process. The workflow manages the building model’s information in a way that continuously adds value by refining the building using a LEED compliant energy modeling tool. This saves you time by avoiding the rework that would otherwise be necessary from transitioning to this software.
Integrating Architectural BIM for Energy Modeling
The architectural design industry is one that has the biggest adoption of BIM tools, but so far most of the architects are using BIM to serve their own requirements. Some design teams will use BIM to collaborate, but this has typically been around the coordination of the various disciplines for clash detection. This process requires a high amount of detail (LOD 300) in order to facilitate effective coordination. Clash detection is a great BIM goal to strive for during the detailed design stage, but it has been leading designers to start modeling elements at a LOD 300 for coordination.
Starting your architectural design at this LOD 300 can be cumbersome to manage at an early stage, but more importantly it skips over the opportunity of integrating the model into an energy modeling application. What ends up happening here is the architect passes off this LOD 300 model to the energy modeler, who then needs to rebuild or adapt an identical model in order to perform an energy simulation. I can teach you how to build models quickly and effectively in order to seamlessly integrate with energy modeling, but the biggest opportunity to save time and speed up energy performance feedback is to build up the model from an LOD of 0 to 150, and then migrate to 300 once the integration link is created.
This problem is exactly what I set out to resolve, by building an online training course that teaches design practitioners how to build these simple but very precise models for a perfect integration into an energy modeling tool. Building a perfect BIM model for energy integration can save the engineer a significant amount of time, but having the architect build the model right from the start can improve collaboration and facilitate integrated design, which will help them receive their energy performance feedback earlier.