Building information modelling for sustainability appraisal of conceptual design of steel-framed buildings

Oti, Akponanabofa Henry (2014) Building information modelling for sustainability appraisal of conceptual design of steel-framed buildings. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.

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In the construction sector, capturing the building product in a single information model with good interoperable capabilities has been the subject of much research efforts in at least the last three decades. Contemporary advancements in Information Technology and the efforts from various research initiatives in the AEC industry are showing evidence of progress with the advent of building information modelling (BIM). BIM presents the opportunity of electronically modelling and managing the vast amount of information embedded in a building project, from its conception to end-of-life. Researchers have been looking at extensions to expand its scope. Sustainability is one such modelling extension that is in need of development. This is becoming pertinent for the structural engineer as recent design criteria have put great emphasis on the sustainability credentials in addition to the traditional criteria of structural integrity, constructability and cost. Considering the complexity of nowadays designs, there is a need to provide decision support tools to aid the assessment of sustainability credentials. Such tools would be most beneficial at the conceptual design stage so that sustainability is built into the design solution starting from its inception. This research work therefore investigates how contemporary process and data modelling techniques can be used to map and model sustainability related information to inform the structural engineer’s building design decisions at an early stage.

The research reviews current design decisions support systems on sustainability and highlights existing deficiencies. It examines the role of contemporary information modelling techniques in the building design process and employs this to tackle identified gaps. The sustainability of buildings is related to life cycle and is measured using indicator-terms such as life cycle costing, ecological footprint and carbon footprint. This work takes advantage of current modelling techniques to explore how these three indicators can be combined to provide sustainability assessment of alternative design solutions. It identifies the requirements for sustainability appraisal and information modelling to develop a requisite decision-support framework vis-à-vis issues on risk, sensitivity and what-if scenarios for implementation. The implementation employed object-oriented programming and feature modelling techniques to develop a sustainability decision-support prototype. The prototype system was tested in a typical design activity and evaluated to have achieved desired implementation requirements.

The research concludes that the utilized current process and data modelling techniques can be employed to model sustainability related information to inform decisions at the early stages of structural design. As demonstrated in this work, design decision support systems can be optimized to include sustainability credentials through the use of object-based process and data modelling techniques. This thesis presents a sustainability appraisal framework, associated implementation algorithms and related object mappings and representations systems that could be used to achieve such decision support optimization.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (PhD)
Supervisors: Tizani, W.M.K.
Sansour, C.
Keywords: Building information modeling, steel framing (Building), sustainable buildings, design and construction
Subjects: T Technology > TH Building construction
Faculties/Schools: UK Campuses > Faculty of Engineering
UK Campuses > Faculty of Engineering > Department of Civil Engineering
Item ID: 14335
Depositing User: EP, Services
Date Deposited: 27 Jan 2015 09:28
Last Modified: 13 Sep 2016 19:04

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