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An Integrated BIM-based framework for the optimization of the trade-off between embodied and operational energy
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Industrilized and sustainable construction.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-0907-1270
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Industrilized and sustainable construction.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-4843-8936
2018 (English)In: Energy and Buildings, ISSN 0378-7788, E-ISSN 1872-6178, Vol. 158, p. 1189-1205Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Design choices with a unilateral focus on the reduction of operational energy for developing energy-efficient and near-zero energy building practices can increase the impact of the embodied energy, as there is a trade-off between embodied and operational energy. Multi-objective optimization approaches enable exploration of the trade-off problems to find sustainable design strategies, but there has been limited research in applying it to find optimal design solution(s) considering the embodied versus operational energy trade-off. Additionally, integration of this approach into a Building Information Modeling (BIM) for facilitating set up of the building model toward optimization and utilizing the benefits of BIM for sharing information in an interoperable and reusable manner, has been mostly overlooked. To address these issues, this paper presents a framework that supports the making of appropriate design decisions by solving the trade-off problem between embodied and operational energy through the integration of a multi-objective optimization approach with a BIM-driven design process. The applicability of the framework was tested by developing a prototype and using it in a case study of a low energy dwelling in Sweden, which showed the potential for reducing the building’s Life Cycle Energy (LCE) use by accounting for the embodied versus operational energy trade-off to find optimal design solution(s). In general, the results of the case study demonstrated that in a low energy dwelling, depending on the site location, small reductions in operational energy (i.e. 140 GJ) could result in larger increases in embodied energy (i.e. 340 GJ) and the optimization process could yield up to 108 GJ of LCE savings relative to the initial design. This energy saving was equivalent to up to 8 years of the initial design’s operational energy use for the dwelling, excluding household electricity use.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2018. Vol. 158, p. 1189-1205
National Category
Construction Management
Research subject
Construction Engineering and Management
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-66697DOI: 10.1016/j.enbuild.2017.11.017ISI: 000428010300020Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85034624206OAI: oai:DiVA.org:ltu-66697DiVA, id: diva2:1159204
Note

Validerad;2017;Nivå 2;2017-12-05 (andbra)

Available from: 2017-11-22 Created: 2017-11-22 Last updated: 2018-10-23Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Structures for supporting BIM-based automation in the design process
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Structures for supporting BIM-based automation in the design process
2018 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Alternative title[sv]
Strukturer för stödjande av BIM-baserad automation i designprocessen
Abstract [en]

During recent decades the advent of IT in the construction industry has prompted a gradual shift from manual paper-based processes to computer-aided design and production. In this shift there has been an increasing interest in the application of building information modelling (BIM) for the overall management of information throughout the lifecycle of a building. By implementing BIM and automating the workflows within, decreased time spent on engineering tasks and an increased focus on building performance could be achieved during the design process. Due to the complexity of the design process it is rare that a single BIM application can manage all the activities that are present. This puts pressure on the coupling of multiple applications, tools, and information. The challenges that this poses on interoperability and information exchange has received a wealth of attention in research however it is still argued that many of these operations require manual input. Automating parts of a BIM-based workflow is facilitated by the possibilities that exists for exchanging information and controlling the flow of information. This implies that not only do we need to understand this on a data level, but also that we understand how the system and information structures can be managed to enable this.

The purpose of this thesis was to investigate how structures could be applied on both a system and information level to support automation within a BIM-based design process, and more specifically how these structures could be used to overcome some of the challenges of information exchange. Three studies were conducted to explore different methods and their potential in achieving automated workflows. The findings of these studies were then analysed against a theoretical framework based on structures of systems and information. The results show that choosing a distributed method for structuring systems allows for the coupling of multiple software, tools, and information without the need for a single shared schema. The critical component of the distributed system structure is a middleware which is responsible for controlling the flow of information. It is the middleware that when implemented allows for the management of multiple sources of information, each with their corresponding schemas. The results also showed that information which travels between the components of the distributed system can be structured according to their relationships to provide the foundation for a mapping. This structure enables the decomposition of information that can be used to transfer information only relevant to the current activity. When applied this aids to resolve the coupling of information at each activity in an automated BIM-based workflow.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Luleå: Luleå University of Technology, 2018
Series
Licentiate thesis / Luleå University of Technology, ISSN 1402-1757
Keywords
BIM, Automation, Distributed System, Information, Structures
National Category
Construction Management
Research subject
Construction Management and Building Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-70412 (URN)978-91-7790-184-6 (ISBN)978-91-7790-185-3 (ISBN)
Presentation
2018-10-10, F231, Luleå, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2018-08-16 Created: 2018-08-15 Last updated: 2018-09-18Bibliographically approved
2. Assessment and optimization of life cycle enrgy use in buildings
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Assessment and optimization of life cycle enrgy use in buildings
2018 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Alternative title[sv]
Utvärdering och optimering avlivscykelenergianvändning i byggnader
Abstract [en]

Buildings account for 40% of all energy use in European countries. The European Union (EU) therefore encourages member states to adopt Energy Efficiency Measures (EEMs) and implement energy-efficient practices during building design to minimize the energy use of buildings. However, recent studies have shown that energy-efficient buildings may not always outperform conventional buildings in terms of Life Cycle Energy (LCE) use. This is mainly due to the trade-off between embodied and operational energy, and a reliance on EEMs that reduce operational energy while sometimes increasing embodied energy and LCE use. To improve buildings’ environmental performance, the impact of different EEMs on buildings’ energy use needs to be assessed from a lifecycle perspective, and methods for identifying optimal combinations of EEMs that minimize LCE use should be developed. Ideally, these methods should be integrated with building information modelling (BIM) to enable seamless data exchange and to help Architecture, Engineering and Construction (AEC) practitioners make optimal design decisions relating to EEMs. The work presented in this thesis had two overall objectives: (1) to explore the scope for developing BIM-supported method(s) for assessing and optimizing the impact of EEMs on buildings’ LCE use during the design process, and (2) use the BIM-supported method(s) for exploring the impact of various EEMs that are implemented and modified during the building design process on the buildings’ LCE use.

The work presented in this thesis is based on an exploratory research design involving iterative cycles of (1) problem identification, (2) method development, (3) method examination, and (4) theory suggestion. In step 1, problems were identified by conducting literature studies and workshops with AEC practitioners, and analyzing archival data. In step 2, prototyping was used to develop methods to overcome the identified problems. In step 3, the applicability of these methods (or prototypes) was tested in case studies on actual and hypothetical building projects. Three case studies were conducted – one dealing with a low energy dwelling located in Kiruna, Sweden; another dealing with a multifamily residential building in Uppsala, Sweden; and a third dealing with a hypothetical multifamily residential building in Stockholm, Sweden. In step 4, the results were compared to existing theories to strengthen existing knowledge and identify previously unrecognized findings.

In relation to the first objective, the results obtained show that the factors and activities required to develop BIM-supported method(s) for assessing and optimizing the impact of EEMs on a building’s LCE use during the design phase are:

• A database that stores external and building project data (e.g. BIM data) and links it to be used for assessment and optimization, providing access to the data whenever needed.

• The development of interfaces using middleware applications to ensure interoperability and seamless automated exchange of information between BIM and other systems.

• Predefined objects (i.e. building part and component recipes) that are stored in a database and linked to inventories and Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) for the relevant materials, enabling assessment of the buildings’ embodied energy and LCE use.

• The application of multi-objective optimization techniques (e.g. Pareto-based genetic algorithms) to identify optimal solution(s) for EEMs that minimize (optimize) the building’s LCE use.

In relation to the second objective of the thesis, the results obtained indicate that:

• EEMs that are implemented and modified during the detailed design phase have much less influence on the building’s LCE use than those implemented in the early design phase. Highly influential EEMs related to the early design phase which were tested herein were the building’s shape, orientation, Window to Wall Ratio (WWR), and the selection of materials used in the building envelope.

• Generally, thickening roof insulation has a strong beneficial effect on LCE use for buildings in Sweden.

• For buildings using energy sources with high primary energy factors, the most effective way to reduce LCE use may be to implement many EEMs that reduce operational energy use. However, this approach may be less helpful for buildings using greener energy sources because in such cases the embodied energy may have a greater effect on the final LCE use.

• The embodied energies of materials in the same class can vary significantly between suppliers. Such differences in embodied energy can be identified by considering the suppliers’ EPDs, the energetic contributions due to their mode of transportation from the site of production, and the distance between the site of production and the construction site.

• If the developed optimization approach is used to identify optimal combinations of EEMs in the early design phase, designers can freely choose from a wide range of building shapes without greatly affecting LCE use. However, without early phase optimization, designs that use different building shapes may exhibit significantly different LCE use values.

The results provide both theoretical and practical contributions that may be useful to researchers and AEC practitioners seeking to develop BIM-supported design processes and to reduce buildings’ LCE use by adopting appropriate EEMs. The results also show that embodied energy can be a major component of a building’s LCE use if the building’s design relies heavily on EEMs designed solely to reduce operational energy use. Policy makers and governmental bodies are thus advised to update regulations and building codes to reflect the importance of embodied energy so as to minimize the LCE use of new and retrofitting building projects.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Luleå: Luleå tekniska universitet, 2018
Series
Doctoral thesis / Luleå University of Technology 1 jan 1997 → …, ISSN 1402-1544
National Category
Building Technologies Environmental Analysis and Construction Information Technology Architectural Engineering Construction Management
Research subject
Construction Management and Building Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-71315 (URN)978-91-7790-244-7 (ISBN)978-91-7790-245-4 (ISBN)
Public defence
2018-12-20, E632, Luleå, Luleå, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2018-10-25 Created: 2018-10-23 Last updated: 2019-01-03Bibliographically approved

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Shadram, FarshidMukkavaara, Jani

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