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Bueno, C, Pereira, L M and Fabricio, M M (2018) Life cycle assessment and environmental-based choices at the early design stages: an application using building information modelling. Architectural Engineering and Design Management, 14(05), 332–46.
- Type: Journal Article
- Keywords: Building information modelling; life cycle assessment; visual programming; environmental simulation; decision-making;
- ISBN/ISSN: 1745-2007
- URL: https://doi.org/10.1080/17452007.2018.1458593
Despite the apparent simplicity of existing BIM-LCA tools, there is a lack of integration with the main BIM software, and the double-effort of design development and parallel simulations is a barrier to their implementation in the design process. Moreover, simplifications on these tools may provide misleading results to the designer. The main aim of this research is to develop an integration interface of manufacturer-based LCA data into a BIM platform by combining applications of existing and consolidated tools (namely, Autodesk Revit and Dynamo, and Microsoft Excel), in order to obtain environmental profiles for decision-making in the initial design stages, requiring less time, effort and ad hoc experts. The methodological procedures were aggregated into the following system development and testing phases: (a) input data organization, (b) creating new parameters on BIM software, (c) visual programming, (d) results analysis for decision-making and (e) simulation of social housing. The results of the developed tool provided complete results automatically, not requiring the designer to make changes in the software or interfaces. Some limitations were identified during development and application, due to the lack of LCA data availability by manufacturers, the complexity of data programming importation and extraction on BIM software for different construction subsystems, and the complexity of LCA results analysis and understanding encountered by non-experts. Regarding the latter, the research concluded that broad knowledge dissemination is still necessary to improve awareness regarding this environmental assessment methodology, in addition to determining the most advantageous environmental performance parameters, as a reference point for comparison.