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BIM for Analysis and Simulation

Tools for a sustainable, environmentally-responsive built environment

BIM for Analysis and Simulation


It has become increasingly essential to design and build an environmentally responsive and sustainable built environment to mitigate global warming and its associated climate change.

High performance buildings use less energy, water and materials. The use of Building Information Modelling (BIM) technology for building design performance through simulation and analyses could ensure the effective use of these resources for a more sustainable, environmentally-responsive built environment.

Different analyses will require different models and different tools. Here, we share three types of analyses that BIM can be used to perform simulation and analysis.

BIM for Building Airflow Modelling

What Building Airflow Modelling is Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) airflow modelling and simulation, coupled with the geometry input from a BIM 3D model. It enables airflow simulation over an estate landscape and within the building interior to be conducted as a design optimisation and assessment tool towards achieving a comfortable, naturally ventilated building environment in the Tropics.
How Enables seamless workflow from the early 3D-centric drawing stage, by exporting the Industry Foundation Classes (IFC) file from a 3D model to the geometry input file, for airflow simulation analysis.
Benefits
Cost effective
Improved turnaround time (from 2 weeks to potentially less than 2 days)
Motivates architects and consultants to widely adopt the tools to implement good natural ventilation strategies at the early design stage

An example of a building airflow modelling tool is the Green Building Environment Simulation Technology (GrBEST). BCA worked with A*STAR’s Institute of High Performance Computing and local industry practitioners, Building System and Diagnostics Pte Ltd and RightViz Solutions Pte Ltd to develop the GrBEST as a simple, efficient and cost effective CFD solution.

Image of airflow modelling and simulation (Image courtesy of A*STAR, IHPC)
Image of airflow modelling and simulation (Image courtesy of A*STAR, IHPC)

It aims to assist green building practitioners to meet the CFD simulation requirements for natural ventilation under the BCA Green Mark scheme. It also helps to improve productivity for the industry as the turnaround time is reduced drastically. With funding support from the Ministry of National Development, the pilot version of GrBEST was launched for trial in March 2014.

To find out more about GrBEST, contact: Dr Poh Hee Joo, A*STAR – IHPC
Email: pohhj@ihpc.a-star.edu.sg

Contributed by:
Dr Poh Hee Joo, Institute of High Performance Computing, A*STAR
Mr Wong Ngian Chung, Principal Manager, Centre for Sustainable Buildings & Construction, BCA

BIM for Energy Modelling

What Energy Modelling allows the design of a building to be analysed and optimised for energy efficiencies. Energy Modelling tools are used to help calculate a building’s expected energy demand and the estimated costs needed to meet that energy demand during the design phase.
How The building information inherent in the 3D model is passed to simulation engines for parametric analysis and energy simulation.
Benefits
Improve building energy prediction accuracy
Optimise building design for better energy performance efficiencies

An example of an Energy Modelling tool is Integrated Environmental Solutions (IES)’s Virtual Environment that models not only energy use but also daylighting, CFD and other attributes based on a shared model of the building.

Internal CFD studies were used to predict micro air movement and radiance studies helped predict daylight distribution within the atrium and open plan office areas for the Public Works Building, Ireland
Internal CFD studies were used to predict micro air movement and radiance studies helped predict daylight distribution within the atrium and open plan office areas for the Public Works Building, Ireland
IES software was used to optimise the HVAC design of five star luxury building – Four Seasons in New York
IES software was used to optimise the HVAC design of five star luxury building – Four Seasons in New York

Contributed by:
Mr Rohan Rawte, Associate Director, Integrated Environmental Solutions Limited

BIM for Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) Simulation

What CFD helps to analyse fluid flows and heat transfers both inside and outside a building design.
How Using the 3D model from BIM and computational fluid dynamics, airflow and thermal response of a new building design are simulated.
Benefits
Make more informed decisions to help optimise operation and maintenance costs for building owners
Obtain more accurate quantitative results to optimise airflow and thermal comfort for interior spaces

CFD simulation is a powerful tool that can help you analyse fluid flows and heat transfer both inside and outside your building design. For example, software like Autodesk Simulation CFD can help users get more accurate quantitative results to optimise the airflow and thermal comfort of interior rooms and spaces.

By using CFD analyses in conjunction with BIM to understand the forces and effects of fluid dynamics throughout the design process, critical design decisions can be made to reduce energy consumption and improve the efficiency of buildings.

To illustrate how CFD has helped the healthcare industry, Huntair – a leading designer and manufacturer of specialised heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) systems – used both Autodesk Simulation CFD and Autodesk Inventor software to develop its CLEANSUITE system. Inspired by the semiconductor and pharmaceutical industries, they employed a single diffuser approach to minimise turbulence and control the direction of air in the operating room, and successfully reduced re-infection.

In the case of data centres, simulating for optimal running performance temperature of the Computer Room Air Conditioning (CRAC) requires a good BIM model and good planning. Building factories of the future require LEAN strategies to be employed to reduce energy consumption. The ability to use a BIM model for CFD analysis early on in the design cycle allows for flexibility of adjustments to the model later on.

Images shows simulated particle trace of airflow from modified air diffuser system (Image courtesy of Huntair, Inc.)
Images show simulated particle trace of airflow from modified air diffuser system (Image courtesy of Huntair, Inc.)

Contributed by:
Ms Lyn Chua, Solutions Specialist, Manufacturing, Autodesk ASEAN

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