I have also been demonstrating this software tool recently and the response it receives is absolutely fantastic. I thought I'd do a quick blog post on it with some screenshots. Please see these below. Also, I'll be delighted to demonstrate this to anyone coming to our stand at BIM Show Live this week.
This project was a joint research project that involved the following partners. However, a special mention must go to Steve Lockley's BIM Academy team at Northumbria for some really fantastic work on the IFC side of things.
The journey starts in the users BIM design tool of choice. For this research Autodesk Revit was used, however the great thing about this project is all interoperability is through IFC, so there is absolutely no reason why this could not be Bentley, ArchiCAD, Vectorworks or any other design tool. At this stage, it is possible that only concept objects are used and no firm decisions on materials or manufacturers have been made. Fig 1 shows that the user logs on and clicks to upload the IFC model directly to the iCIM website.
|Fig 1 - The journey starts in a BIM desktop software design tool - in this case Autodesk Revit|
|Fig 2 - The key information from the BIM is uploaded and a project dashboard is shown|
|Fig 3 - A fully functional online BIM viewer using IFC as the data model helps the process|
a. By starting with a pre-configured object from the National BIM Library
b. By starting with an object from a previous job, or
c. By starting with a blank object and configuring from scratch
|Fig 4 - Each object may be configured online|
a. Embodied carbon. As the industry move to dramatically lower the operational carbon of buildings, then the embodied carbon content of building materials is becoming more and more significant.
b. Recycled content. There is good recycled content guidance available already in products and services like NBS (in terms of WRAP). But having at this in parallel with the main BIM is much needed.
c. Capital cost. The last thing any designer wants to do is design a great environmentally friendly building, but find they are way over budget. So cost information is also provided.
d. Specification guidance. (Of course) NBS technical guidance is also available.
Clearly more tabs could be added over time for operational costs and other environmental considerations such as transport cost and water footprint.
|Fig 5 - The materials may be specified based their embodied carbon|
|Fig 6 - Guidance on recycled content is also provided|
|Fig 7 - A range of financial costs for each material is given|
|Fig 8 - Technical guidance on specification considerations from NBS is also provided|
|Fig 9 - Crucially, it is possible to export the design decisions back to IFC at the end|
|Fig 10 - By then importing this IFC file, the full round-trip is complete|
We've been carrying out user trials over the last two weeks, but any feedback on these concepts via this blog will be most appreciated.