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An integrated BIM-based framework for minimizing embodied energy during building design
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.
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Industrilized and sustainable construction.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-4695-5369
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Industrilized and sustainable construction.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-2402-1845
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Number of Authors: 52016 (English)In: Energy and Buildings, ISSN 0378-7788, E-ISSN 1872-6178, Vol. 128, p. 592-604Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Assessment of the embodied energy associated with the production and transportation of materials during the design phase of building provides great potential to profoundly affect the building’s energy use and sustainability performance. While Building Information Modeling (BIM) gives opportunities to incorporate sustainability performance indicators in the building design process, it lacks interoperability with the conventional Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) tools used to analyse the environmental footprints of materials in building design. Additionally, many LCA tools use databases based on industry-average values and thus cannot account for differences in the embodied impacts of specific materials from individual suppliers. To address these issues, this paper presents a framework that supports design decisions and enables assessment of the embodied energy associated with building materials supply chain based on suppliers’ Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs). The framework also integrates Extract Transform Load (ETL) technology into the BIM to ensure BIM-LCA interoperability, enabling an automated or semi-automated assessment process. The applicability of the framework is tested by developing a prototype and using it in a case study, which shows that a building’s energy use and carbon footprint can be significantly reduced during the design phase by accounting the impact of individual material in the supply chain.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 128, p. 592-604
National Category
Construction Management
Research subject
Construction Engineering and Management
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-14918DOI: 10.1016/j.enbuild.2016.07.007ISI: 000382794200050Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-84978842557Local ID: e5af1053-d40e-4e8e-aef4-ceecf553ce53OAI: oai:DiVA.org:ltu-14918DiVA, id: diva2:987891
Note

Validerad; 2016; Nivå 2; 20160815 (andbra)

Available from: 2016-09-29 Created: 2016-09-29 Last updated: 2018-10-23Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. PERFORMANCE VISUALIZATION OF URBAN SYSTEMS
Open this publication in new window or tab >>PERFORMANCE VISUALIZATION OF URBAN SYSTEMS
2017 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The planning, construction, management and use of our built environment are affected by diverse social, economic and environmental factors. Sustainable urban development is dependent on the understanding of the complex relations between the built environment, the social activities that take place over time and the interaction with the natural environment. The challenge to understand urban systems on both the local and global scale has inspired researchers and national agencies to develop sustainability indicators to support the planning, construction, management and use of the built environment. Access to open data of our built environment in national, regional and local databases opens new possibilities to generate models of our urban systems to facilitate visualization and analysis of indicators in order to enhance awareness of sustainability dimensions. Here spatial Extract, Transform and Load (ETL) technologies can be used in combination with Geographic Information system GIS to manage data sets from multiple sources in different formats. The purpose of this research is to investigate how spatial ETL technologies can be used to develop models in order to analyse and visualize the performance of urban systems. The applied method is grounded in system development and based on an abductive research approach that was repeated in six studies. Three of the studies deal with the relocation of Kiruna where models of the city was created and used to investigate the impact of mining subsidence on energy supply, infrastructure and buildings. The fourth case investigates the selection of insulation material on the embedded energy in a passive house in Kiruna. In the fifth case an urban model of the twin towns Malmberget/Gällivare was created to explore and relate data on attitudes from a survey to public data on population, infrastructure and built environment. The final case is the development of an energy atlas containing 90% of the multifamily building stock in Sweden. The atlas combines the energy performance and renovation status of multifamily buildings with public data of ownership, income of residents etc. for individual buildings in 3D models or aggregated on spatial scales ranging from 250x250 m squares through district and municipality to county areas in Sweden. The result shows that multiple sources in different formats, both standardized and non-standardized, can be utilized in the extraction of information for the purpose of developing urban performance models. The Swedish high-resolution LiDAR digital height model together property information makes it possible to represent the built environment by extruded footprints to give a 3D representation of all urban areas in Sweden (Level-Of-Detail 1). In combination with performance data (e.g. energy use, renovation status or result from surveys) urban performance GIS models can be created and visualized in applications (such as Google Earth, 3D pdf) to support decision-making on both individual and institutional level. The automation of the process to develop performance models offers a method for customizing information deliveries on the fly using original data sources according to defined requirements. The flexibility and customization are kept in the process rather than in the delivered model. This makes it easier to keep the performance model up to date. For the management of large performance models, e.g. the example of the national energy atlas, a staging phase was added in the automation process, in order to reduce the processing time.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Luleå: Luleå University of Technology, 2017. p. 170
Series
Doctoral thesis / Luleå University of Technology 1 jan 1997 → …, ISSN 1402-1544
National Category
Environmental Analysis and Construction Information Technology Construction Management
Research subject
Construction Engineering and Management
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-61788 (URN)978-91-7583-814-4 (ISBN)978-91-7583-815-1 (ISBN)
Public defence
2017-03-30, F231, Luleå tekniska universitet, Luleå, 10:00 (English)
Available from: 2017-02-09 Created: 2017-02-02 Last updated: 2017-11-24Bibliographically 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, FarshidJohansson, TimLu, WeizhuoSchade, JuttaOlofsson, Thomas

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