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Optimising Embodied Energy and Thermal Performance of Thermal Insulation in Building Envelopes via an Automated Building Information Modelling (BIM) Tool

1
School of Built Environment, University of New South Wales (UNSW Sydney), Sydney, NSW 2052, Australia
2
School of Architecture & Built Environment, Deakin University, Geelong, VIC 3217, Australia
3
Boral Ltd., North Sydney, NSW 2060, Australia
4
School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of New South Wales (UNSW Sydney), Sydney, NSW 2052, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Buildings 2020, 10(12), 218; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings10120218
Received: 31 October 2020 / Revised: 24 November 2020 / Accepted: 24 November 2020 / Published: 27 November 2020
Insulation systems for the floor, roof, and external walls play a prominent role in providing a thermal barrier for the building envelope. Design decisions made for the insulation material type and thickness can alleviate potential impacts on the embodied energy and improve the building thermal performance. This design problem is often addressed using a building information modelling (BIM)-integrated optimisation approach. However, one major weakness that lies in the current studies is that BIM is merely used as the source for design parameters input. This study proposes a BIM-based envelope insulation optimisation design tool using a common software Revit and its extension Dynamo to find the trade-off between the total embodied energy of the insulation system and the thermal performance of the envelope by considering the material type and thickness. In addition, the tool also permits data visualisation in a BIM environment, and automates subsequent material library mapping and instantiates the optimal insulation designs. The framework is tested on a case study based in Sydney, Australia. By analysing sample designs from the Pareto front, it is found that slight improvement in the thermal performance (1.3399 to 1.2112 GJ/m2) would cause the embodied energy to increase by more than 50 times. View Full-Text
Keywords: BIM; insulation design; building envelope; multi-objective; optimisation; pareto-front BIM; insulation design; building envelope; multi-objective; optimisation; pareto-front
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MDPI and ACS Style

Chen, Z.; Hammad, A.W.A.; Kamardeen, I.; Akbarnezhad, A. Optimising Embodied Energy and Thermal Performance of Thermal Insulation in Building Envelopes via an Automated Building Information Modelling (BIM) Tool. Buildings 2020, 10, 218. https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings10120218

AMA Style

Chen Z, Hammad AWA, Kamardeen I, Akbarnezhad A. Optimising Embodied Energy and Thermal Performance of Thermal Insulation in Building Envelopes via an Automated Building Information Modelling (BIM) Tool. Buildings. 2020; 10(12):218. https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings10120218

Chicago/Turabian Style

Chen, Zixuan; Hammad, Ahmed W.A.; Kamardeen, Imriyas; Akbarnezhad, Ali. 2020. "Optimising Embodied Energy and Thermal Performance of Thermal Insulation in Building Envelopes via an Automated Building Information Modelling (BIM) Tool" Buildings 10, no. 12: 218. https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings10120218

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