Framework for parametric assessment of operational and embodied energy impacts utilising BIM

Alwan, Zaid, Nawarathna, Amalka, Ayman, Rana, Zhu, Mingyu and Elghazi, Yomna (2021) Framework for parametric assessment of operational and embodied energy impacts utilising BIM. Journal of Building Engineering. p. 102768. ISSN 2352-7102 (In Press)

1-s2.0-S2352710221006264-main.pdf - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution 4.0.

Download (3MB) | Preview
Official URL:


In recent years advances in digital tools have been leading the way in the construction of cleaner, more energy-efficient buildings. Furthermore, improvements in Building Information Modelling (BIM) have resulted in various tools being used to assess building performance and overall Life Cycle Analysis (LCA). This work offers a unique insight into the development of a parametric LCA BIM tool, focusing on both operational and embodied energy perspectives through case study analysis of a commercial and a domestic building in the UK. A mixed research method was employed combining a literature review, qualitative and quantitative LCA case study analysis, and parametric modelling. The results indicate that embodied energy is much more critical in the early stages of the building’s life, then is quickly overtaken by operational energy. In addition, many variations exist in energy outputs between domestic and commercial buildings. Operational energy takes a significant share in domestic buildings compared to commercial buildings. These variations are attributed to different design methods, construction materials, occupancy patterns and energy demands. The study proposes an LCA-BIM interactive user-led method of addressing energy hotspots for both operational and embodied elements, which can provide more instant identification of energy critical areas. Such an approach can offer real alternative BIM-based analysis tools during the design stages, compared to those currently being used, which focus mainly on either LCA of operational or embodied energy.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Funding information: This paper originated from a research programme funded by the Centre for Digital Built Britain (CDBB): ECR programme 2018-2019, (Ref DEET project). See Figure 15 and the video. The authors would like to thank BDN Architecture, BIM Academy, and White Frog training for providing the case studies, and Alex Holberg for sharing information on the parametric approach from ETH Zurich.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Building information modelling, operational energy, embodied energy, life cycle assessment, parametric design
Subjects: K200 Building
Department: Faculties > Engineering and Environment > Architecture and Built Environment
Depositing User: Elena Carlaw
Date Deposited: 02 Jun 2021 16:19
Last Modified: 03 Jun 2021 11:28

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics