Building Information Modelling is to play a key role in making green building practices wholly compatible with aesthetic considerations, according to Pete Baxter, Vice President of Natural Resources for Autodesk in its EMEA territories.
It is well documented that clash reports reduce waste, which in itself makes for greener construction, but in an article for Building.co.uk Baxter claims that the data inherent to BIM-enabled projects naturally facilitates the delivery of more energy-efficient buildings.
Central to this is the ability for designers to monitor a building’s characteristics before it is even constructed. An accurate BIM allows for “simulations to test air flow and natural daylight at any stage in the design development process”.
He continues: “On a new build, technology [such as Building Information Modelling] can be used to help embed best practice principles into the design – so for example if you are incorporating photovoltaics, you can use data analysis to judge where the best places are to absorb the sun’s energy.”
This advanced technology, abundant in real-time information, is a world away from the situation he describes in the eighties, where it was common to build “big shiny glass towers and fitted expensive and inefficient air-conditioning systems as an afterthought to make them habitable”.
Since then, we have seen the advent of government-led schemes to reduce the carbon footprint of the construction industry, culminating in mandates to make all new buildings in the domestic and non-domestic sectors carbon-free by 2016 and 2019 respectively.
“Designing for green should no longer be an afterthought,” says Baxter, it’s time to embrace it at the start of the process.”