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Banteli, A, Stevenson, V and Patel, H (2020) Embodied Energy Considerations in a BIM-Enabled Building Design Process: An Ethnographic Case Study. In: Scott, L and Neilson, C J (Eds.), Proceedings 36th Annual ARCOM Conference, 7-8 September 2020, UK, Association of Researchers in Construction Management, 376-385.

  • Type: Conference Proceedings
  • Keywords: BIM, socio-technical theory, design process, embodied energy, ethnography
  • ISBN/ISSN: 978-0-9955463-3-2
  • URL: http://www.arcom.ac.uk/-docs/proceedings/b1bf37bd5817a3b0a9a006ee338be731.pdf
  • Abstract:

    Built environment carbon emission reductions have been focused on operational energy reduction.  Successes in this area have increased the significance of embodied energy and carbon (EEC); however, this is not addressed by legislation.  United Kingdom (UK) construction industry fragmentation creates further challenges that undermine the consideration of EEC. It has been hypothesised that Building Information Modelling (BIM) empowers information management and collaboration amongst professionals, thereby potentially facilitating consideration of EEC during building design. As both BIM and EEC pose new challenges to design teams, this research investigates the role of EEC in building design and how this is realised in practice, particularly for a BIM-enabled project.  This investigation aims to identify the factors affecting EEC considerations and reveal how relevant targets are set and realised in a BIM-enabled building process.  This will inform practice and policy to enable EEC consideration in building design for BIM-enabled projects. An ethnographic approach was adopted which included interviews, meeting attendance and document analysis to investigate: 1) EEC considerations in the design process, 2) the role of building professionals involved in the process and 3) what affects EEC considerations and information management through BIM. This was applied to a UK BIM-enabled building project case study at its design stage. Initial investigation considered: 1) barriers and enablers for EEC target setting and realisation and 2) BIM application and information management.  These results were classified in relation to people, process and tools. Social Science theories that relate to these three areas were examined and used as a lens to generate conclusions and inform further data analysis. Future research will include three further case studies, enabling cross-case comparison of the factors affecting EEC considerations in BIM-enabled projects.