The construction industry and its associated supply chain are a significant contributor to the European economy, but the built environment is also widely recognised as one of the largest consumers of natural resources, producers of carbon emissions and sources of energy wastage. More coordinated approach in order to enhance collaboration and other skills in the industry will , in turn, help reduce waste, reduce inefficiencies in the all supply chain, and improve coordination and management. Better, more suitable and more sustainable design choices and decision making supported by BIM are directly reducing environmental impact and energy and carbon footprint of buildings.
Middle and senior level professionals as well as blue collar workers face challenges in relation to achieving sustainable energy targets and efficient construction. These challenges cross the entire sector affecting designers, architects, engineers, building managers, technicians, installers, blue collar workers (including apprentices and other building professionals), as well as facility operators and building sector investors. The industry is complex, interconnected, and increasingly technology-dependent in its progress towards goals of nearly zero energy buildings and smart cities, and implementation of methods to predict, quantify and manage data to increase energy and resource efficiency to better tackle climate change. The aim to improve the collaborative skills of practitioners at all levels will enhance the sectors ability to deliver energy efficient buildings through new construction and, perhaps of greater impact, when renovating our existing stock of buildings.
BIMcert stands on three pillars to reach energy savings in buildings, towards reaching energy efficient building stock.
1. BIMcert aims at collaborative working to improve access to and the transition from design to development and delivery of both new build and renovation to achieve energy efficient near zero buildings, thus reducing the embedded energy of the buildings. Embedded energy is all energy used in construction process – from raw materials extraction to finished building, both in materials and finished building.
2. Achieve efficient and effective ongoing management and use of the building in terms of energy and fabric, which is the operational energy for the building. Operational energy accounts for approximately two thirds of building lifetime costs, and almost equal or even larger environmental impact of the buildings-
3. Utilise Building Information Modelling ( virtual construction) as the enabling methodology and tool (sustainable energy)
Energy savings metrics are present in all BIMcert project objectives – most of them are intuitive and easily comprehensible, but deeply integrated into the whole construction process and supply chain. Therefore, indirect metrics are more appropriate to assess the energy savings triggered by the actions, by comparing the scenarios of the industry development and effect on construction industry. Baseline scenario (or frozen scenario) is the trajectory of the final energy consumption from the baseline year, without additional measures used to affect the course. Business as usual scenario is the one accounting for organic improvements in the industry practices, such as the technological development and improvements which are increasing the total efficiency of the process. These can be driven by number of factors, and energy efficiency usually is one of most prominent drivers, but key driver in commercial activity is profit.
BIMcert is striving for the improvement in both organic growth, as building information modelling has proven its value in construction, and through active measure for increased use of BIM. Any activity targeting energy wastage could be considered as the active measure towards sustainability goals.