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Cemesova, A (2013) Enhancing BIM-based data transfer to support the design of low energy buildings, Unpublished PhD Thesis, School of Engineering, Cardiff University.

  • Type: Thesis
  • Keywords: building environmental assessment scheme; building information modelling; building performance simulation; certification; energy analysis; industry foundation classes; interoperability; prototype development; sustainability
  • URL: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/57565/
  • Abstract:
    Sustainable building rating systems and energy efficiency standards promote the design of low energy buildings. The certification process is supported by Building Performance Simulation (BPS), as it can calculate the energy consumption of buildings. However, there is a tendency for BPS not to be used until late in the design process. Building Information Modelling (BIM) allows data related to a buildings design, construction and operation to be created and accessed by all of the project stakeholders. This data can also be retrieved by analysis tools, such as BPS. The interoperability between BIM and BPS tools however is not seamless. The aim of this thesis is to improve the building design and energy analysis process by focusing on interoperability between tools, and to facilitate the design of low energy buildings. The research process involved the following: undertaking a literature review to identify a problematic area in interoperability, extending an existing neutral data transfer schema, designing and implementing a prototype which is based on the extension, and validating it. The schema chosen was the Industry Foundation Classes. This can describe a building throughout its lifecycle, but it lacks many concepts needed to describe an energy analysis and its results. It was therefore extended with concepts taken from a BPS tool, Passive House Planning Package, which was chosen for its low interoperability with BIM tools. The prototype can transfer data between BIM and BPS tools, calculate the annual heat demand of a building, and inform design decision-making. The validation of the prototype was twofold; case studies and a usability test were conducted to quantitatively and qualitatively analyse the prototype. The usability testing involved a mock-up presentation and online surveys. The outcome was that the tool could save time and reduce error, enhance informed decision making and support the design of low energy buildings.