A Novel Building Information Modeling-based Method for Improving Cost and Energy Performance of the Building Envelope

Document Type: Original Article


Department of Civil Engineering, Sharif University of Technology, Tehran, Iran


Building envelopes and regional conditions can significantly contribute to the cost and energy performance of the buildings. Structured methods that take into account the impacts of both the envelope materials and the regional conditions to find the most feasible envelope materials within a region, however, are still missing. This study responds to this need by proposing a novel method using the capabilities of Building Information Modeling (BIM). The proposed method is used for identifying cost- and energy-efficient building envelope materials within a region over the life cycle. First, commonly used envelope materials in a region are identified. Then, BIM is employed for simulating the energy performance and evaluating the life cycle cost of the materials. The method was implemented in Tehran, Iran. It was successfully utilized for improving the cost and energy performance of a nine-story residential building case. The achieved results indicated a potential energy performance enhancement of 31%, and the life cycle cost improvement of 28% by replacing conventionally used envelope materials with the available high-performance building materials. The proposed method can benefit various stakeholders in the building construction industry, including municipalities, owners, contractors, and consumers, by enhancing the cost and energy performance of the buildings.


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