Use of Building Information Modelling (BIM) to aid Passivhaus design

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The UK Government is looking to make the use of collaborative 3D BIM mandatory on all Government projects by 2016 (with all project and asset information, documentation and data being electronic), with the aim of delivering more efficient ways of working at all stages of a project life cycle. There are examples of PH projects in the UK (e.g. Bushbury Hill Primary School, Oakmeadown Primary School, Wilkinson Primary School and Chester Balmore housing, all designed by Archetype – see presentation & that have utilised BIM during the planning stages to aid design. The detailed, 3D models developed allow visual interrogation of the building to allow consideration to be given to important construction details in 3D (particularly where 2D drawings may not capture the potential difficulties faced on site by installers), while also providing accurate numerical data for inclusion in PHPP modelling, such as areas and volumes and the length and routing of duct and pipe runs etc. However, the real benefit of BIM is that the whole design team can work from a single shared model to aid information transfer, which can then be carried through for use in the running and maintenance of the building by the users.

To make BIM a more powerful tool for use with Passivhaus, research has been carried out at Cardiff University to investigate how BIM can be better integrated with Passivhaus assessment and how necessary data for PHPP energy calculations can be directly extracted and calculated from BIM models. Progress on this research has been reported in the following journal article: A. Cemesova, C.J. Hopfe, Y. Rezgui, ‘PassivBIM – a new approach for low energy simulation using BIM’, eWork and eBusiness in Architecture, Engineering and Construction – Gudnason & Scherer (Eds), 2012 Taylor & Francis Group, London, ISBN 978-0-415-62128-1.

media:Architype BIM 4 PH presentation.pdf