TU.3.A || Building Information Modeling (BIM) and Life Cycle Assessment

Ebert, Samuel; Hollberg, Alexander; Hollberg, Philipp

For effective decision-making, many aspects have to be described in an early stage, regarding the range of possible results and the main influencing parameters of these results. This paper shows the potential of real time Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) in combination with Building Information Modelling (BIM) to deliver relevant information with the necessary level of detail for environmental impacts, e.g. for Global Warming Potential (GWP). In this paper, the combination of LCA and BIM is realised by the use the CAALA software. The potential for early decision-making support is illustrated by a pilot project for sustainable district development in Cologne, Germany. The project developer “Bauwens” wanted to analyse potential solutions before opining an architectural competition. The pre-design analysis distinguishes different parameters for early decisions regarding construction and operation, including 1) main material of the structure, 2) extent of underground parking, 3) insulation standard, 4) the window to wall ration, and 5) the type of heating system. Combining these parameters leads to 324 variants that are analysed concerning the energy demand in the use phase and the GWP over the whole life cycle (modules A1-A3, B4, B6, C3, C4 based on EN 15978). The results provide two main benefits: a) a possible range of GWP indicator values and b) the effect of each parameter. In addition, the results illustrate the total greenhouse gas emission (GWP) savings potential and highlight the necessity to include aspects of timing and carbon storage. The methods used and the results gained make a strong case to combine LCA and BIM for decision-making in pre-design phases. The potential as a support tool and the challenges in the scope and application should be further discussed. In conclusion it can be stated, that this approach achieves the integration of environmental aspects in a pre-design stage in a way that is applicable not only for LCA experts, but for every planner.