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Journal of Construction Engineering
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 672896, 21 pages
Research Article

An Automated BIM Model to Conceptually Design, Analyze, Simulate, and Assess Sustainable Building Projects

Department of Civil Engineering, University of Ottawa, 161 Louis Pasteur Pv., Ottawa, ON, Canada K1N 6N5

Received 30 June 2014; Accepted 13 October 2014; Published 6 November 2014

Academic Editor: F. Pacheco-Torgal

Copyright © 2014 Farzad Jalaei and Ahmad Jrade. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Quantifying the environmental impacts and simulating the energy consumption of building’s components at the conceptual design stage are very helpful for designers needing to make decisions related to the selection of the best design alternative that would lead to a more energy efficient building. Building Information Modeling (BIM) offers designers the ability to assess different design alternatives at the conceptual stage of the project so that energy and life cycle assessment (LCA) strategies and systems are attained. This paper proposes an automated model that links BIM, LCA, energy analysis, and lighting simulation tools with green building certification systems. The implementation is within developing plug-ins on BIM tool capable of measuring the environmental impacts (EI) and embodied energy of building components. Using this method, designers will be provided with a new way to visualize and to identify the potential gain or loss of energy for the building as a whole and for each of its associated components. Furthermore, designers will be able to detect and evaluate the sustainability of the proposed buildings based on Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system. An actual building project will be used to illustrate the workability of the proposed methodology.