Publications / 2019 Proceedings of the 36th ISARC, Banff, Alberta, Canada

An Approach to Enhance Interoperability of Building Information Modeling (BIM) and Data Exchange in Integrated Building Design and Analysis

Troy Nguyen and Elvis Amoah
Pages 876-883 (2019 Proceedings of the 36th ISARC, Banff, Alberta, Canada)

Achieving high energy-efficient building designs requires conducting energy analyses iteratively starting from the conceptual stage to ensure suitable selection of building components to meet energy performance requirements. In recent years, advanced BIM capabilities have allowed designers to assimilate design and energy modeling processes geared towards improving productivity. However, there are shortcomings in many BIM platforms that circumvent effective data exchange between design/analysis models and essential data/information sources, resulting in reduced efficiency in terms of money, time and effort losses. This paper proposes an approach to enhance data interoperability to allow seamless integration of design and energy analysis processes. The approach reviews data exchange requirements by key stakeholders in the building lifecycle and analyze how a common platform can address their needs. The paper first surveys existing BIM design and analysis software applications and various data sources to identify individual data interface formats. Autodesk Revit and USDOE EnergyPlus are examples of software tools, and ASHRAE climatic/building data are representative of a typical data source. The paper then develops use cases in which different combination of BIMs and data sources may be selected by the design team. For each use case, data exchange formats are analyzed against BIM data exchange standards to evaluate data interoperability. The objective is to identify suitable combinations of design, modeling, and data interface tools to accommodate the need of integrated design team. Finally, based on the results of the use cases, the paper recommends specific BIM tools that can accommodate the required models and data sources.

Keywords: Data Exchange; Interoperability; Building Information model; Data Interface; Energy Modeling