Environmental performances evaluation through building information models
Keywords:BIM (Building Information Modeling), sustainability, environmental impacts, LCA (Life Cycle Assessment), ECI (Environmental Cost Indicator)
The construction industry produces several negative environmental impacts. To promote solutions that reduce these negative impacts, it is crucial to increase awareness among all parties involved in the supply chain. Currently, certification protocols, environmental labels and declarations are the most common tools for promoting sustainability in the construction industry. However, these tools are generally non-mandatory and require specific competencies to thoroughly understand and interpret their outputs, especially for non-specialized users in sustainability assessment. This paper presents a tool for visualizing environmental impacts directly through a Building Information Model, by assigning different colours to model objects according to their environmental performances. Understanding environmental performances data is thus more accessible to non-expert users. Unlike several BIM LCA integration studies that primarily focus on the needs of designers, this contribution considers the perspective of manufacturers. The developed tool focuses on building products and has been carried out with the Autodesk Revit BIM authoring platform and its VPL-based Dynamo plug-in. Through the combination of 3D models and histograms, the tool facilitates manufacturers to visualize with real time updates which phase of a product life cycle requires sustainable innovation, which sub components or process determine the major environmental impacts and calculate the environmental cost indicator of a product.