Framework for parametric assessment of operational and embodied energy impacts utilising BIM

Zaid Alwan*, Amalka Nawarathna, Rana Ayman, Mingyu Zhu, Yomna Elghazi

*Corresponding author for this work

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Abstract

In recent years advances in digital tools have been leading the way in the construction of cleaner, more energy-efficient buildings. Furthermore, improvements in Building Information Modelling (BIM) have resulted in various tools being used to assess building performance and overall Life Cycle Analysis (LCA). This work offers a unique insight into the development of a parametric LCA BIM tool, focusing on both operational and embodied energy perspectives through case study analysis of a commercial and a domestic building in the UK. A mixed research method was employed combining a literature review, qualitative and quantitative LCA case study analysis, and parametric modelling. The results indicate that embodied energy is much more critical in the early stages of the building’s life, then is quickly overtaken by operational energy. In addition, many variations exist in energy outputs between domestic and commercial buildings. Operational energy takes a significant share in domestic buildings compared to commercial buildings. These variations are attributed to different design methods, construction materials, occupancy patterns and energy demands. The study proposes an LCA-BIM interactive user-led method of addressing energy hotspots for both operational and embodied elements, which can provide more instant identification of energy critical areas. Such an approach can offer real alternative BIM-based analysis tools during the design stages, compared to those currently being used, which focus mainly on either LCA of operational or embodied energy.
Original languageEnglish
Article number102768
JournalJournal of Building Engineering
Early online date30 May 2021
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 30 May 2021

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