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Bim Centered Life Cycle Evaluation Tool Engineering Essay

Life Cycle Evaluation (LCA) is used to evaluate a specific product, process, or activity from cradle to grave the environmental results. LCA is strategy for measuring and assessing some areas of all relevant costs, revenues, environmental impacts and performance associated in all stages of an asset over its life cycle (ISO15686, 2008), it compiles and evaluates a listing of relevant type, productivity, and potential environmental impacts in relation to the objective of review throughout its life pattern (ISO14040, 2006). LCA offers a complete picture of the relationships of activities with the environment which is one of the decision helping tools providing information on environmental ramifications of these activities and recognizes opportunities for environmental improvement for stakeholders to make decision.

The concept of LCA began from overdue 1960s, the initial forerunners were the Source and Environmental Account Analyses (REPAs) and a study founded by Coca Cola funds review of different drink containers and packaging system. LCA been long used during global petrol crises from 1973 surfaced many countries commenced to explore alternative resources to produce energy. Energy examination by checking different substitute options through life-cycle basis offered a true indicator. The eye of LCA continued used for decision making insurance plan through the 1980s. The REPA early on studies emphasized on raw materials, energy inputs and waste materials era through environmental impact as LCA methodology and modern LCA methodology outlined the components of modern LCA from four specific analytical steps: goal description, inventory examination, impact diagnosis, and improvement evaluation in the past due 1990's released ISO criteria 14040 - 14043 by the International Company for Standardisation (ISO). The most recent series includes ISO 14040:2006 life circuit assessment concepts and platform, ISO 14041:1998 criteria for goal and scope explanation and inventory evaluation, ISO14042:2000 life cycle impact evaluation and ISO 14043:2000 life cycle interpretation. There still much development tacking place till today.

The phases of the LCA methodology based on international expectations of series ISO 14040 consists of defining the goal and opportunity, creating the inventory, examining the impact and lastly interpreting.

Fig. Stages of the LCA (ISO14040, 2006)

Today, the consumption of LCA is expanded to the construction industry; works have been performed on both large and small aspects from internal to exterior. Internally, LCA can be used in process analysis, product evaluation, materials selection (cement or bricks) and product comparison (heating up systems). From externally use, LCA can be utilized for marketing, information and education, eco-labelling.

LCA is a thorough method to evaluate environment impact through whole life procedure, LCA has 40-years background but still not been used greatly credited to there are limits in by using this tool. Firstly, expected life-time is various. Data collection and data reliability is often the question and challenges to LCA tool. Further, uncertainty is all over and comparisons between studies are difficult. In all LCA is a choice supporting tool, no methods can be used separately in providing a clear solution or decision.

There are various LCA tools have been developed based on qualitative and quantitative methods that can determine building environmental effects from embodied energy, operational energy, CO2 emission and other emissions from structures. These tools have been categorised and categorized into five major categories: Complete LCA Modelling Tool; LCA design Tool; LCA CAD tool; Green Product Courses and Checklist and Building Diagnosis Schemes.

Detailed LCA Modelling Tools:

This group of LCA tools to assess embodied energy and environmental impacts based on materials used, building components and processes of the work. The most famous used software under this category includes SimaPro, TEAM, Gabi, KCL-ECO, Boustead, GaBi, PEMS, Athena, BEES, LISA, ECO-QUANTUM, EQUER, Green Building Consultant USA, SIA D0123, Energy Life Pattern Evaluation Model for Building Design (SBI) [14].

SimaPro is one of the most trusted professional LCA software under precise LCA modelling tool category and worked well predicated on calculating of materials utilized by consultants, research institutes and colleges. It includes several impact evaluation methods can escort calculate for every aspect in a job; inventory databases can be edited and broadened easily; open up and transparent databases (Pre4 database, FRANKLIN US LCI repository, IDEMAT repository, BIWAL250 databases, FEFCO repository) which assists with fast data entry and database uniformity checks.

BEES (Building for Economic and Environmental Sustainability) USA be developed and implement the most appropriate balance between environmental sustainability and economical performance. It could be used throughout all development stages from primary design stages, construction or building product produce, maintenance of building and building services. The data used in this software including inventory stream components of energy used and materials. It a typical specific LCA modelling tool worked on building components.

LCA Design Tools:

LCA Design Tool is the yardstick for designers to assess environment performance of the building during design level. Employing this kind of LCA tools, designers can easily evaluated environment impact. Environmental information can be optimized assessed.

Envest is one of the trusted software under group of LCA Design tools developed by Building Research Establishment (BRE) in the U. K. Designers input the basic design information such as building aspect choices, building level, variety of storeys, windowpane areas and building Gross Floor Area. Calculation of building associated impacts and different options' comparisons then performance. This software measures each environmental issue individually in their own models. Environmental issues data is easier to work with and gather on UK basis. Envest use weighting system based on BRE's Ecopoint report.

LCA CAD Tools:

Similar to LCA Design Tools, some of LCA tools integrated with CAD planning tool or CAD assessment tool. Tools under this category are able to read building part information from CAD. Some tools could work with 3-D CAD to work find the materials information and building components from CAD straight in order to work out environmental impact evaluation. Well known software under this category include EcoScan, ECOit, LCAiTLCAid, ECOTECT, ENER-RATEE, Energy 10, EQUER, PAPOOSE, Legoe, Ecopro, OGIP, EPCMB [15].

LCAidTM is a decision-making tool developed by Australia and directed to help building custom made, LCA specialist, LCA researcher or building rating practitioner for evaluating the various options of building or building components' environmental performance and impact. It creates evaluation work easier and faster with working on 3D CAD system by importing materials' volumes and assigning materials to each building elements. It really is based on Green Building Challenge's ranking guide to weighing the elements. Life Circuit Inventories of creating materials data are stored at LCAid collection.

Green Product Tutorials and Checklists:

It is the most frequent use methods to determine environment impact presently. They are incorporate of 'global research' and 'problem evaluation' take into consideration. Tools under this category provide qualitative courses of environmental issues to help stakeholders in decision making with account of environment performance at design level when selecting different materials, or building components. Many countries or areas they may have their own specifications or guides to check out. Some guilds are famous and used worldwide like LEED from US and BREEAM from UK, International specifications ISO 14040 to ISO 14043, and other famous manuals include Environmental Inclination Method (EPM), BEPAC, Renewable cover A-Z, ECDG, EcoSpecifier. [15].



Introduced Date














Ecohomes / code for ecological homes

New construction

Existing building: procedure and maintenance



Shell &core





Neighbourhood development



Health and well-being






Land use and ecology


Sustainable sites

Water efficiency

Energy and atmosphere

Materials and resources

Indoor environmental quality

Innovation in design




Very good








Trained Assessors






Very exact requirements

Complex weighting system

Market profile

Cost of compliance

Based on US systems

Intense documents required

No indie audit of the assessment

Mixing building function and form is difficult to assess


Allows comparability and benchmarking of different buildings

Independently audited

Adjusted to UK legislation and UK culture

Can examine any building with the bespoke version

Strong marketing has got the message through

Lots of information available

No need for an assessor and training

Table 1 - Evaluation of BREEAM AND LEED

Building Assessment Plans:

Basically, tools under this category are being used to predict or determine building performance during its operational stage. They normally can be utilized before or after building occupancy. For example GBTool, BEAVER/ESOII, BUNYIP, DOE2. 2, GSL-Giselle, Okoprofile, NatHERS, SEDA, ECOPROFILE, E2000 and BEE 1. 0. [15].

building information (bim)

Changes in Information & Communication Technology lead to a change in the manner information symbolized and in particular, information is being fed more easily and distributed quicker to different stakeholders through tool including the Building Information Modelling (BIM) [15]. BIM is an electronic building model which producing, managing and sharing information during its lifetime cycle. [17] The development of BIM ends in fundamentally changes of building design. With design information suggestions of product materials, specs, coatings, costs, 'carbon content' and any other special requirement exchanges into virtual building model. Different stakeholders have better cooperation by using BIM. Shape 3 shows the use of BIM and its functions.

Figure 3. BIM Consumption and its own Functions

BIM has fundamentally changed how buildings are designed. There is now lots of of hard research that the wealth of information from electronic building models has completely changed the way the designers make their design decisions lead to a much better sustainable design buildings indeed.

Typically collaboration between design disciplines is a minimal level information exchange, with a simple electric or shared format, nonetheless it is a existing commonly form of information cooperation in structure sector, in which there is none of added-value to the look process. The maintained situation is due to today's software tools, in particular to the BIM, have simply facilitated significant information collaboration across the sustainable self-control.

Proportionally through adding time factor into BIM, BIM becomes a 4D modelling tool. The use of BIM can then be extended to planning, resource string management, life circuit costing and examination. The integration of LCA disciplines into BIM permits to evaluate both monetary efficiency and sustainability of properties. Its availability is based on a central building part repository. Further, BIM is seen as a 5D modelling tool with component/material cost information, as well as time information stored in BIM, it can work out the task estimating cost and its own cash flow along the project life cycle. Comprising evaluation to the environmental information into the BIM, BIM can further become a 6D modelling tool that can estimate the environmental effects from structures. Eventually, it may become even nD model with other special information added in [18].

Performance-based design recognized by product models is becoming stage-of-the-art practice [19]. Therefore, one of the key benefits of using BIM as an examination tool allows multi-disciplines to simulate building performance in a exclusive environment. The amount of performance conditions can be analyzed that are depended on several aspects includes architectural, structural, mechanised, energy. Therefore, BIM tool is a possible approach for multidisciplinary team members to gain access to and collaborate effectively

Current existing BIM tools like Autodesk Revit, Tekla Structures, Digital Task, Bentley Syetems, ArchiCAD, AutoCAD- based Program, DProfiler and so forth. With the applications of structure practices, they are entirely on their own talents and weakness, especially in conditions of technique, operational efficiency and the facilitation of ecological information across. The research to the usedBIM tools being utilized shown below:





Introduce by Autodesk in 2002

Leader for the use in BIM

gbXML interface for energy simulation and insert analysis

Direct software to ROBOT and RISA structural analysis

Conceptual design tool

2D portion of detailing


Functionality is well-design and user-friendly

Broad group of object libraries

Direct website link interface

Bi-directional drawing

Slow down on job larger than 200MB

Limitation on parametric rules with angles

Bentley Systems

Introduce in 2004 by Bentley Architecture

Integrated with others Bentley software

Broad range of building tools

Supports modeling with sophisticated curved surfaces

Multiple support for custom parametric objects

Provide scalable support for large projects

Large and non-integrated user interface

Hard to learn and navigate

Less extensive object libraries


Produce by Graphisoft in early 80's

Serve MAC program in addition to Windows

Support range of direct interface

Contains extensive thing libraries

Suite interfaces for energy and sustainability

OBDC interface

Intuitive program and relatively simple to use

Large thing libraries

Rich collection in helping applications in structure facility management

Only strong BIM product for MAC

Limitation to parametric modeling

Encounter scaling problem with large project

Partition large task to control them

Digital Project

Develop by Gehry Technologies

Require a robust workstation to perform well

Able to handle even the major projects

Model any kind of surfaces

Support complex custom parametric objects

Complete parametric modeling features for controlling areas and assemblies

Relies on 3D parametric modeling for most detailing

Steep learning curve

Complex user interface

High original cost

Limited object libraries (including exterior)

Architectural drawing aren't well developed

Output section to drafting systems for completion

AutoCAD- established Application

Architectural Desktop ( ADT)

Autodesk original 3D building modeling tool prior to Revit

Provide a move for 2D to BIM

Relies on AutoCAD well-known capacities for pulling production

Interface: DGN, DWG, DWF, DXF, and IFC

Easy to look at for AutoCAD user

Drafting functionality and interface

Not parametric modeling

Limited software to other applications

Scaling problem

Tekla Structure

Offered by Tekla Corp.

Multiple divisions: building and construction, infrastructure and energy

Support fabrication-level detailing of precast concrete structure and facades

Structural analysis

Interface: IFC, DWG, CIS/2 DTSV, SNDF, DGN, and DXF

Export CNC

Model buildings that incorporate all sorts of structural materials

Support large model

Concurrent operations on some projects

Multiple simultaneous users

Support intricate parametric custom component libraries

Too complex to learn and totally utilize

Parametric component require advanced operators with high skill

Not in a position to import intricate multi-curved surfaces

Relatively expensive


Product of Beck Technologies in Dallas, Texas

Provide reviews for structure cost and time

User gain a couple of attracting with financial and agenda reporting

Can source own cost data or data from RS Means

Support Sketchup and DWG

Interface with Excel and DWG

Market as a shut system for feasibility studies before genuine design begins

Ability to create quick financial assessments

Not an over-all reason for BIM tool

Purpose is economic evaluation of development project

Interface to support development in BIM

Design tools is bound to 2D DWG files

As provided above within the existing BIM tools, they offer less supports in ecological information discipline across the models throughout the complete construction phases.

Life cycle assessment in relation to carbon and energy emission

Bim-based lca tool

There is a higher degree of demand for sustainable construction due to the rising knowing of local climate change and the main building's lasting features are determined at design level. Designers need to analyses sustainable features including building type, building forms, major materials used, context, MEP system. As mentioned in the last section, BIM permits multi-disciplinary information to be put together within one container and it generates a system for multi-disciplinary to perform sustainability analyses at structure initial level.

Adopting LCA notion integrate into BIM technology take factor of low impact building design decision in time, embodied carbon, waste products and cost (as shown in Physique 2).

Figure 4 - Alternative nD modeling in the building lifecycle

The theory of BIM-based all natural modelling in the building lifecycle, LCA can be available in the form of static visualization examination at design stage whilst its vibrant simulation can be achievable through all levels of structure till demolition. During design stage, associated sustainability issues like energy consumption, carbon emission, throw away generation, involved with building design and materials can be effectively quantified on the basis of a distinctive visualized static 3D information building model. In the phases of construction, to operation and demolition stages, LCA are a powerful process where building sustainability are being inlayed in those stages. For instance, carbon emission and waste material production are likely to occur in the limitations of manufacturing for building construction, maintaining for building operating and daily habit repairing, as well as recycling and disposing of building components and materials. These vibrant features are suggested to using a simulation way for analyzing, while popular 4D/5D CAD techniques provide a viable method of this vibrant simulation.

The BIM-based LCA tool is therefore being considered as an enabler for multidisciplinary collaboration across specialty restrictions throughout the building lifecycle. The viability of model-based collaborative work has been verified by an interactive strategy targeting on 4D CAD [21]. Planners with different specialties can collaboratively perform planning and 4D simulation underpinned by the 3D model. Similarly, taking the advantage of integrating LCA into BIM can realize optimum design decisions from a holistic point of view in multidisciplinary coalition. Sustainability issues and related costs in HVAC, structure, for instance, in a building may then be examined using the same BIM environment. In this kind of design decision process, the central information repository provided by the BIM model can create a cooperation context for potential stakeholders. Different specialties' information in the repository can be reached not only by information owners but other collaborators. Therefore, sustainable design decisions on LCA can be made on the basis of educated rather than isolated techniques. The capability of central information repository from the BIM model also brings the versatility in applications. Given an internet BIM model, distributed LCA request can be available through network support for geographically dispersed stakeholders.

Future work


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