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BIM for Low Impact buildings

Green Revolution: The Power of BIM for Low-Impact Buildings

Building Information Modeling (BIM) is an impactful technological asset for sustainable construction. Its use improves building energy performance and reduces carbon emissions. Explore the green revolution of BIM.

In recent years, with the intensification of climate change, the development of low-carbon buildings has gained great momentum and Building Information Modeling (BIM) is perceived as the most promising path.

BIM, with its advanced data management and integration capabilities, undoubtedly represents a valuable resource to promote the construction of low environmental impact buildings (LCBs): providing a considerable database, BIM allows to measure and monitor carbon emissions throughout the life cycle of buildings, paving the way for the adoption of innovative low-impact technologies. Through an integrated management platform with BIM, it is possible to manage a variety of technologies to form an integrated strategy for building energy savings.

The potential of BIM towards an integrated strategy

The effectiveness of BIM lies in its unique ability to integrate various low environmental impact technologies, thus forming a comprehensive strategy for energy conservation. This multifunctional integration includes energy saving simulation, energy analysis, and collaborative management, all essential elements to reduce carbon emissions throughout the life cycle of a building.

BIM Low Environmental Impact Buildings

Collaboration with advanced technologies

The Building Information Modeling (BIM) ecosystem is significantly enriched when combined with cutting-edge digital technologies. The synergistic combination of BIM with cloud computing, artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things (IoT), and blockchain further enhances the effectiveness of BIM in achieving low environmental impact buildings (LCBs).

Cloud Computing

Integration with cloud computing amplifies the ability to store and manage huge amounts of data, allowing smooth collaboration and shared access to relevant information. This promotes efficient communication among various project stakeholders and fosters integrated and dynamic data management.

Artificial Intelligence (AI)

The use of artificial intelligence optimizes the predictive capacity of BIM. Through the analysis of collected data, AI can anticipate energy trends, identify potential inefficiencies, and suggest optimized solutions for energy savings, thus contributing to the design and construction of more efficient and ecological LCBs.

Internet of Things (IoT)

Connection with IoT allows real-time collection of data from sensors and devices in the building. This provides detailed information on environmental performance, enabling proactive and optimized management of energy efficiency throughout the building’s life cycle.


The implementation of blockchain in the context of BIM contributes to the security and integrity of data. Blockchain can be used to ensure traceability and transparency of information related to low carbon emission materials, favoring the conscious selection of sustainable resources.

How BIM can contribute to achieving low environmental impact buildings and high energy performance

Building Information Modeling (BIM) is a digital representation of the physical and functional characteristics of a building or infrastructure. It is a process that involves the creation and management of 3D models and relevant data throughout the life cycle of a project, from design and construction to operation and maintenance.

The ability of BIM to create accurate digital representations of buildings and infrastructure can significantly contribute to reducing carbon emissions and promoting a sustainable future: it allows designers, engineers, and stakeholders to make informed decisions that optimize energy efficiency, minimize waste, and improve overall environmental performance throughout the entire life cycle of a building.

  1. Design optimization: BIM allows architects and engineers to simulate different design scenarios before construction begins. This helps identify energy-efficient designs, optimal material choices, and alternative construction systems that reduce carbon emissions. By analyzing various options in a virtual environment, professionals can make informed decisions that minimize energy consumption and overall environmental impact. Supported by suitable BIM modeling software they can:
    • use integrated solutions to address multiple aspects of design (architecture, structure, MEP, etc.) and various construction issues (AEC)
    • define a shared design idea based on coordinated models;
    • create the ideal environment to stimulate maximum collaboration among multidisciplinary teams, giving rise to projects that excel for their complexity and coherence.
  2. Energy performance analysis: BIM models can be linked to dynamic energy simulation software, allowing detailed analysis of a building’s energy performance. This includes the evaluation of factors such as heating, cooling, lighting, and ventilation systems. By simulating how these systems interact with the building’s design, stakeholders can identify opportunities to improve energy efficiency, reduce consumption, and decrease carbon emissions.
  3. Lifecycle assessment: BIM enables the integration of data related to the materials, components, and systems of a building. This data can be used to conduct lifecycle assessments (LCA) that evaluate the environmental impact of a building from construction to operation and eventual demolition. Considering the entire life cycle, designers can make choices that minimize the carbon footprint throughout the building’s entire existence.
  4. Waste reduction: BIM facilitates better coordination and communication between project teams, leading to a reduction in construction waste. Accurate digital models help simplify construction processes, minimize errors, and optimize material usage. This reduces the amount of waste generated during construction, resulting in reduced carbon emissions associated with waste disposal and production.
  5. Prefabrication and modular construction: BIM enhances the feasibility of prefabrication and modular construction techniques. These methods allow the production of building components in controlled environments before assembly on-site. Prefabrication reduces construction times and waste, resulting in energy savings and lower emissions. Accurate BIM models contribute to the precision required for these methods (for further information, read the article “IFC openBIM for the construction of prefabricated buildings“).
  6. Maintenance and operation: BIM models contain information about building components, systems, and maintenance schedules. This information can be used to optimize the operation of building systems, reduce energy waste, and ensure efficient performance. Regular maintenance based on BIM data prevents failures in high-energy-consuming systems and extends the functional life of the building. Thanks to facility management software like usBIM.maint that integrate maintenance with the BIM project model, it is possible to increase the productivity of maintenance processes, reducing time and costs related to property and asset management.
  7. Integration of renewable energies: BIM supports the integration of renewable energy systems, such as solar panels and wind turbines, in building design. By analyzing factors such as sunlight exposure and wind distribution, designers with the help of software for photovoltaics can determine the most effective positions for these systems, maximizing energy production and reducing dependence on fossil fuels.
  8. Adaptation to climate change: BIM can help in the design of buildings resilient to the impacts of climate change. By modeling various climate scenarios, architects and engineers can anticipate challenges and incorporate features that minimize energy demand, ensure occupant comfort, and withstand extreme weather events.

BIM for low environmental impact buildings - milan - city life

Challenges and future directions

The application of BIM in LCBs faces challenges such as interoperability, high cost, and lack of standards; but active research and growing interest in this field promise improvements and future innovations. BIM indeed emerges as a fundamental tool to achieve low environmental impact buildings, offering practical solutions for every phase of the building’s life cycle: the potential of BIM to transform the construction industry and promote sustainability is truly immense.