BIM as a Framework for Sustainable Design


By Karen M. Kensek

Building information modeling can provide a framework for teaching sustainable design issues, especially for novices, as it often allows for interoperability between building performance software programs and 3d models.  It is also being used in the profession for design green architecture (Krygiel and Nies 2008).  Currently there are numerous annoying technical difficulties and stumbling blocks, but if students are creating these 3d models anyway, there is no excuse for them not to start at least preliminary analysis of their projects as soon possible in the design process.  The inclusion of these programs into the BIM courses is to encourage the students to become familiar with the tools, mentally synthesize their properties with information from building science courses taken previously and future coursework, and apply what they have learned. Recently the author has also been incorporating a short introduction to conceptual energy modeling into a required professional practice course for graduate and undergraduate students. The profession needs architects who understand the criticality of sustainable design, are competent with using software to predict building performance, and who create innovative, beautiful buildings that not only do little harm but also give back to the environment.  Every instructor can help achieve this goal.

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