Special Issue "Integration of LCA and BIM for Sustainable Construction"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 May 2020.

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Guillaume Habert
Website
Guest Editor
Department of Civil, Environmental and Geomatic Engineering, ETH Zurich, Switzerland
Interests: Life Cycle Assessment; Alternative materials; Material and economic flow analysis
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Alexander Hollberg
Website
Guest Editor
Chalmers University of Technology
Interests: Life Cycle Assessment of buildings; Parametric design; Real-time analysis methods
Prof. Dr. Alexander Passer

Guest Editor
Institute of Technology and Testing of Building Materials, Graz University of Technology, Graz, Austria
Interests: Sustainable Construction; LCA; BIM

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Digitalisation can facilitate collaborative design and could provide new opportunities for planning sustainable buildings. Especially the integration of Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) into the design by means of Building Information Modelling (BIM) has the potential to facilitate environmental performance assessment. By linking material properties with the geometry, material-related environmental impacts such as embodied energy and greenhouse gas emissions can be calculated based on the digital model. In addition, BIM can provide the basis for building performance simulation and therefore the environmental evaluation of the use phase of the building. Furthermore, the recycling potentials of components and their materials can be directly derived from BIM and will provide information for circular material flows. The costs of the construction throughout the life cycle can also be easily calculated based on BIM. While substantial research on frameworks has been published in the last decade and individual case studies have shown the potential of BIM for sustainable construction there are still many challenges regarding applying BIM-based environmental performance assessment and optimization on a large scale.

This Special Issue calls for papers that contribute digital approaches to a transformation to a net zero carbon built environment. These topics include, but are not limited to

  • BIM-based Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) and/or Life Cycle Costing (LCC)
  • BIM-based building performance simulation
  • BIM-based workflows for integrating sustainability assessments in the design process
  • BIM-based support for building certification / sustainability assessments
  • Assessing circularity based on BIM
  • Visualisation and design integration of LCA/LCC results
  • Optimization approaches towards life-cycle environmental performance including AI
  • Tool development and parametric scripting


Prof. Dr. Guillaume Habert
Dr. Alexander Hollberg
Prof. Dr. Alexander Passer
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Building Information Modelling (BIM)
  • Life Cycle Assessment (LCA)
  • Life Cycle Costing (LCC)
  • Sustainable Construction
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI)
  • Optimization
  • parametric design
  • building performance simulation
  • embodied energy
  • greenhouse gas emissions

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Uncertainty Analysis of Embedded Energy and Greenhouse Gas Emissions Using BIM in Early Design Stages
Sustainability 2020, 12(7), 2633; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12072633 - 26 Mar 2020
Abstract
With current efforts to increase energy efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of buildings in the operational phase, the share of embedded energy (EE) and embedded GHG emissions is increasing. In early design stages, chances to influence these factors in a positive [...] Read more.
With current efforts to increase energy efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of buildings in the operational phase, the share of embedded energy (EE) and embedded GHG emissions is increasing. In early design stages, chances to influence these factors in a positive way are greatest, but very little and vague information about the future building is available. Therefore, this study introduces a building information modeling (BIM)-based method to analyze the contribution of the main functional parts of buildings to find embedded energy demand and GHG emission reduction potentials. At the same time, a sensitivity analysis shows the variance in results due to the uncertainties inherent in early design to avoid misleadingly precise results. The sensitivity analysis provides guidance to the design team as to where to strategically reduce uncertainties in order to increase precision of the overall results. A case study shows that the variability and sensitivity of the results differ between environmental indicators and construction types (wood or concrete). The case study contribution analysis reveals that the building’s structure is the main contributor of roughly half of total GHG emissions if the main structural material is reinforced concrete. Exchanging reinforced concrete for a wood structure reduces total GHG emissions by 25%, with GHG emissions of the structure contributing 33% and windows 30%. Variability can be reduced systematically by first reducing vagueness in geometrical and technical specifications and subsequently in the amount of interior walls. The study shows how a simplified and fast BIM-based calculation provides valuable guidance in early design stages. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Integration of LCA and BIM for Sustainable Construction)
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Open AccessArticle
Investigating Critical Non-Value Adding Activities and Their Resulting Wastes in BIM-Based Project Delivery
Sustainability 2020, 12(1), 355; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12010355 - 02 Jan 2020
Abstract
Building information modeling (BIM) is deemed a useful innovation for technological and sustainable development of the economy. It is partially used in building projects in Singapore, although its implementation is mandated by the local government, resulting in various wastes and suboptimal productivity. Little [...] Read more.
Building information modeling (BIM) is deemed a useful innovation for technological and sustainable development of the economy. It is partially used in building projects in Singapore, although its implementation is mandated by the local government, resulting in various wastes and suboptimal productivity. Little is known about how non-value adding (NVA) BIM implementation practices were perceived by the local practitioners and how these practices affected productivity in building projects in Singapore. This study aimed to identify critical NVA BIM implementation activities and investigate the criticality of their resulting wastes to productivity performance in the current project delivery process in Singapore. The results from a questionnaire survey of 73 experts and four post-survey interviews in Singapore revealed that 38 NVA BIM implementation activities were deemed critical, among which “lack of involvement by contractors to contribute site knowledge” in the design development phase was ranked top; the top five resulting wastes with highest criticalities were reworks/abortive works, requests for information, design deficiencies, defects, and waiting/idle time. Furthermore, an independent-samples t-test was conducted to examine whether construction firms and upfront stakeholders perceived the NVA activities differently. It was discovered that most NVA activities exerted more agreement from construction firms than upfront non-construction organizations. Six strategies were proposed to mitigate the NVA activities and wastes. The findings can help practitioners identify weak areas of their BIM implementation practices and prioritize resources accordingly to eliminate the wastes and foster sustainability, as well as help overseas project teams, with minor adjustments, customize their own NVA BIM implementation activities and management strategies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Integration of LCA and BIM for Sustainable Construction)
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Open AccessArticle
Development of a Carbon Emissions Analysis Framework Using Building Information Modeling and Life Cycle Assessment for the Construction of Hospital Projects
Sustainability 2019, 11(22), 6274; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11226274 - 08 Nov 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
Buildings produce a large amount of carbon emissions in their life cycle, which intensifies greenhouse-gas effects and has become a great threat to the survival of humans and other species. Although many previous studies shed light on the calculation of carbon emissions, a [...] Read more.
Buildings produce a large amount of carbon emissions in their life cycle, which intensifies greenhouse-gas effects and has become a great threat to the survival of humans and other species. Although many previous studies shed light on the calculation of carbon emissions, a systematic analysis framework is still missing. Therefore, this study proposes an analysis framework of carbon emissions based on building information modeling (BIM) and life cycle assessment (LCA), which consists of four steps: (1) defining the boundary of carbon emissions in a life cycle; (2) establishing a carbon emission coefficients database for Chinese buildings and adopting Revit, GTJ2018, and Green Building Studio for inventory analysis; (3) calculating carbon emissions at each stage of the life cycle; and (4) explaining the calculation results of carbon emissions. The framework developed is validated using a case study of a hospital project, which is located in areas in Anhui, China with a hot summer and a cold winter. The results show that the reinforced concrete engineering contributes to the largest proportion of carbon emissions (around 49.64%) in the construction stage, and the HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) generates the largest proportion (around 53.63%) in the operational stage. This study provides a practical reference for similar buildings in analogous areas and for additional insights on reducing carbon emissions in the future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Integration of LCA and BIM for Sustainable Construction)
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