4D BIM for Construction

The Benefits of Using BIM to Improve Building Performance

Posted by Liam Clarke on Nov 26, 2013 3:50:00 PM

Utilising BIM technologies to improve the energy efficiency and performance of buildings is easier than you would think. You would require a very small amount of basic building information; usually comprising of some dimensions and a context or use for the development. Using this fairly low-level information, you are able to develop a very basic 3D model even just as conceptual blocks, to enable you to get a feel for the architecture and assess very high level issues.

Once the basic 3D models have been generated, these can then be revised and developed to match the information available as the project grows. In the meantime, these models can be put to good use; already being used for analysing environmental and economic performance of the structure itself and also its impact on the surrounding environment, a typical example of this being a sun path – being able to calculate the affect this will generate on the end user of the development and also any limitations this may highlight of the design itself and/or moving forward in the design stages. This will allow you to discuss the information gathered with various different sectors, thus assisting in the development of ideas and prioritising alternative construction methods to suit client needs or Government regulation.

BIM and building model simulations aren’t only affecting and improving the new build construction workflows – refurbishment is also a big sector of the industry where BIM is making a huge impact on the design review process. Extending BIM to analysis can help you identify ways to reduce resource consumption, increase on-site renewable opportunities, build consensus, review investment-grade audits, increase investor confidence, improve employee morale, and meet requirements for sustainable design and energy efficiency.


Using BIM analysis and visualization tools can greatly increase the impact and clarity of presenting proposed modifications to stakeholders and decision makers in legal, procurement, and finance departments. Enable reviewers to perform virtual walk-throughs or to better see the modifications occurring over a timeline, so they can improve their understanding of the project and build consensus on how to address issues that arise. For example, a 3D model site plan may quickly help identify whether a building renovation would affect access roads in a way that makes the proposed renovation impractical. Provide evidence-based answers to financers to reduce financing costs and improve the project payback.

In conclusion, conducting building performance modelling and analysis of an existing structure or new development alike can only have outstanding benefits, not only during design and development stages but also for the longevity of the project and the end users to whom it will become home.

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