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To create energy models by using building information modeling (BIM). BIM is a combination of software and work process that streamlines the planning process using intelligent data coordination. BIM adds additional “dimensions” into 3D CAD models by attaching information to elements in the virtual building.

BIM is a combination of software and methodology of practice. Simply by translating building geometry automatically from a design model, 3D CAD and BIM tools have the potential to dramatically reduce the amount of time and effort required to set up energy models. BIM translation can be done from Revit and ArchiCAD.

BIM requires early coordination between architects, software experts, consulting building services engineers and contractors. More detailed energy analysis during design development or verifying a building’s performance from the construction documents is currently the task of mechanical engineers and experts in energy modeling.

The cost advantages of BIM include the potential for significant time savings during planning and construction, early and effective coordination eliminating shop drawings and change orders resulting from errors and omissions, and optimized building operational energy efficiencies.

BIM takes advantage of the intelligence that is embedded in the 3D model to optimize process and product. Early uses of BIM have advanced beyond collision detection to focus on specific functions such as real-time cost estimating and optimization of construction sequencing.

BIM is driven in part by developers and large building owners dictating a more integrated, efficient and effective planning and design approach. BIM-related organizations and initiatives are currently organized in the buildingSMART alliance™ of the National Institute of Building Sciences (NIBS).