What is vastly missing is the “connecting glue” that seamlessly integrates Building Information Modeling (BIM), and energy and environmental analyses that supports building stakeholders to design, engineer, construction, and maintain buildings such they seek self-sustenance to prevail in competition with other building designs in a time with limited availability of energy and materials. With my expertise in architecture, computer science, and civil / mechanical engineering, I developed a Dynamic-BIM Workbench, an extensible, multi-user environment that maps energy (electricity, chilled water, steam) and water use of portfolio of buildings, i.e., for university campus or urban settings. This was possible through a competitive Opportunity Seed Fund that I won in 2012.
The Dynamic-BIM Workbench I developed is a novel, transformative, and an efficient system for evaluating all facets of building impacts and permits dynamic data visualization to inspect one or a portfolio of buildings at the same time. Moreover, the system allows for seamless data transfer via open-source platform and enables dynamic linkages to assessment tools. This Workbench is an extensible, both in spatial and temporal contexts, interactive, multi-user environment for greater user experience. With such capabilities, architects and engineers can analyze portfolio of buildings from their desktop or mobile computing platforms, utilize scientific workflows to suggest appropriate technologies, optimize energy and material usage through a decision model. The Workbench transforms as a learning environment for “gamification” purposes where stakeholders can simulate almost any operating scenario such as heat, airflow, etc., including disturbances, malfunctions, shutdowns, etc., for education / training purposes. Currently, there is no such system available, and preliminary studies with this creative, original, and transformative Workbench are very promising in that it accelerates progress toward achieving Net Zero goals. Besides, the Workbench produces exemplary material and streamlines existing processes that would enhance stakeholder learning experience.
Watch YouTube Videos of University of Florida Campus in Dynamic-BIM Workbench.
The Dynamic-BIM Workench I developed has several important real world applications namely,
- The Workbench reduces unknowns by collecting and analyzing historic and realtime data by collecting and analyzing appropriate data through surveys, sensors, tools, and persuasive computing techniques.
- The Workbench provides compatible conversions for seamless data transfer and offer dynamic linkages to tools; and utilizes Open Graphics Rendering Engine thereby allowing virtual, stereoscopic, collision effects, sounds, lighting, and weather conditions, thereby permitting realistic walkthrough environment and experience.
- The Workbench enables scientific workflows, appropriate technologies, and optimization tools for decision support and gamification, i.e., simulate almost any operating scenarios.
- Since this Workbench I developed used is an open-source environment, the software tool, after beta tests, will be available for general public to use, explore, and optimize building energy and environmental impacts considerably.
In such a short time since 2012, my research work related to REB and Dynamic-BIM Workbench has been cited over 50 times collectively.
Since the development of Dynamic-BIM Workbench, several multi-institutional and multi-disciplinary research agendas and proposals were identified and developed. More importantly, the Dynamic-BIM Workbench established significant collaborations between disciplines (Architecture, Building Construction Management, Civil and Mechanical Engineering) and institutions (Building Technologies Research & Integration Center at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory), among the US academic institutions (University of Florida and others), industry and government, and with international partners.
To name a few, a research proposal was submitted to the Global Innovation Initiative of the Institute of International Education. University of Florida collaborated with University of Cardiff in the UK, and University of Indonesia for this prestigious grant. For this grant, the Dynamic-BIM Workbench will be used to visualize and manage energy-related data for the Universities of Florida, Cardiff, and Indonesia campuses, i.e., Sustainable Campus Monitoring. Non-energy qualifiers such as soil hydrology and water quality will be mapped to this Workbench in order to dynamically assess/monitor energy and material flows for future growth of the campuses. Yet another research that expanded from the Dynamic-BIM Workbench is Urban Performance Simulations that will establish urban-scale energy management system considering building life cycle assessment for Net Zero cities.