Publications / 2014 Proceedings of the 31st ISARC, Sydney, Australia

GIS-BIM Framework for Integrating Urban Systems, Waste Stream and Algal Cultivation in Residential Construction

Daniel Castro-Lacouture, Steven Jige Quan, Perry Pei-Ju Yang
Pages 576-583 (2014 Proceedings of the 31st ISARC, Sydney, Australia, ISBN 978-0-646-59711-9, ISSN 2413-5844)

Among alternative energy sources for residential buildings, algae technology has emerged as a promising option due to its closed-loop configuration and the ability to produce biofuel energy while reducing waste stream flow and capturing carbon. Furthermore, this technology has the potential of integrating resource and waste management, and can be complemented with other alternatives, such as photovoltaic, wind or fuel cells. This paper provides a framework for integrating information from geographic information systems, building information models, construction schedules, construction cost estimates, and constructability reviews. The integration is aimed at designing an algae-powered residential building environment at the level of urban neighbourhood, in which the algae technology is taken as a design intervention to promote energy performance and carbon reduction within the urban system. This framework couples the design intervention with impact simulations influenced by geographic contexts, construction considerations, and digital building technology. By extending the system boundary from a closed algae cultivation system to an open neighbourhood-scale urban environment, urban renewable resources such as energy, water, material and carbon flows are connected to the algae cultivation process. The framework would further advance the possibilities for sharing information among planners, architects, engineers and construction managers for innovative closed-loop sustainable energy systems in residential construction. This approach will address challenges such as cost, governmental incentives, regulatory barriers, or need of research and development that could overcome limitations for automating predesign, design, construction and facility management processes.

Keywords: Algae technology, GIS, BIM, residential construction