Goal: Building Performance Analysis


Operations (Starts in Design)

Operation Objective:

[ _ ] Simplifying effort by using BIMs to calculate a buildings performance during a day or a life cycle
[ _ ] Connecting a BIM to any virtual environment to see how the building will perform


A process that depicts how a building's performance compares to the specified design. This includes how the mechanical system will run and how much energy a building will use. Other aspects of this analysis include, but are not limited to, ventilated facade studies, daylighting and electrical lighting, internal and external CFD airflow, occupant evacuation, solar analysis, etc. As technology advances, builndgs are taking a 3D shape and project teams are using virtual environments to produce a climate. This in turn assists the design process. ensuring that the project is not overdesigned, which occurs additional costs.

Potential Benefits:

  • Creating a "what if" scenario
    • Ability to change different materials throughout the building to show better or worse performance conditions, without touching the building
  • Cut down on time needed for calculations
  • Can see how your building will affect the environment before it is built
  • Change aspects of your building instantly to help with LEED certification ideas
  • Can choose a different methods or aspects of construction to a building if the location, climate, and site don't cope well with your initial building ideas
  • Buildings can instantly be changed in software to check for better operation
  • Less over designing of mechanical system (Design phase)

Levels of Detail Considerations:

There will have to be much detail on the model for the analysis to be accurate. Materials, color, size, and aspects of the building must be entered into software to create the most exact model for it to be put into the virtual environment. All of these, but not limited to, aspects and more can contribute to how a building operates.
  • If the plans are just schematics, the mechanical engineer doesn't need to be involved
  • If detail needs to show capacities or design air flows, the mechanical engineer should be involved
    • Mechanical Engineer must or needs to help design BIM
    • Mechanical Engineer must be a part of the model as early as possible

Team Competencies Required:

Mechanical Engineer:
  • Need someone that knows the building systems and designs
  • Need someone able to see what is and isn't performing well
Building Controls Person:
  • Someone able to manipulate the system controls
  • Be able to unplug certain components without hurting other aspects of the system
  • Be able to check set points
    • Set points are easy to change and make uncomfortable spaces
Building Operator:
  • Someone who knows the building system and what it does on a daily basis
  • Someone to get complaints from occupants
  • Someone to get energy bills
    • Has theories they aren't always correct
    • Energy bill is good information to have for Building Performance Analysis
Training for Team:
Mechanical Engineer:
  • Must have experience with commissioning and/or mechanical design
  • can't be directly out of college
  • Must be able to do a Building Performance Analysis efficiently
Building Controls Person:
  • Controls are tricky
    • There are different interfaces and manufacturers
    • Must know the hardware itself
    • Must know the software to match the hardware to manipulate the system
  • Usually must learn directly from contractor, which can be difficult causing delays

Characteristics in order to substantiate BIM use:

Project -
Organization -
Environment -
Contract -
Process -

Potential Modeling Methods:

These models are best used for places that are occupied or are highly secured
  • BIM useful to see where ductwork is running
  • BIM useful to see where fuses are
  • BIM useful to see where reheating coils are located
  • Ect.
  • Best used for hospitals or mission critical facilities
These models are not completely necessary when a mechanical room is easily accessible, you can go in and see what's wrong yourself
In construction a mechanical lroom is most important to a model because of all the equipment

Potential Outputs:

3D Model which containing all building materials, colors, size, climate, etc.
  • Used to demonstrate how a building will perform

Legal / Commitment Considerations:

If the engineer running the program represents the owner, they will share everything with them with no legal faults

Additional Resources:

General Description:

Software Applications:

  • 2008 Revit Autodesk
  • IES <Virtual Environment>