Using BIM to Retrofit Existing Buildings


Using BIM to Retrofit Existing Buildings


A large number of ongoing research programs are looking into the implementation of Building Information Modelling (BIM) platforms to optimize design and construction processes. BIM based tools (e.g., Bentley AECOsim Building Designer, Tekla Structures, Autodesk Revit's Architecture, Structure, MEP, and Navisworks) can handle numerous types of data input (e.g., 3-D design, energy models, schedules, cost estimates) and offer rigorous simulation and visualization options in an integrated manner allowing engineers and contractors to track and control their projects effectively. A similar set of research projects are investigating the use of sustainability principles (e.g., waste reduction, energy savings, healthy indoor environment) to optimize the management of projects throughout design and construction. The link between BIM and sustainability has been flagged in the literature especially in energy-driven retrofits. Nonetheless, the application of BIM to retrofit existing buildings faces challenges which could be due to the multi-disciplinary nature of information exchange, the timeliness of the exchange, and the wide array of technological components that are needed to ensure an optimal exchange. This paper describes, through a critical review of the literature, the areas which are mostly covered under BIM and sustainability. The purpose of this paper is to examine the overlap between the two topics where BIM offers a platform for reducing energy consumption in existing buildings. Finally, a research agenda on enhancing the role of BIM in energy-driven renovations is proposed.


  • BIM;
  • sustainable construction;
  • energy modelling;
  • refurbishment;
  • existing buildings

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