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Digital Campus Innovation Project: Integration of Building Information Modelling with Building Performance Simulation and Building Diagnostics

Zixiao Shi, Aly Abdelalim, William O'Brien, Ramtin Attar, Peter Akiki, Katie Graham, Barbara Van Waarden, Stephen Fai, Alex Tessier, Azam Khan

Symposium on Simulation for Architecture and Urban Design


Building Information Modelling (BIM) has emerged as a powerful technology that creates a central hub for managing building energy and resources at all phases of the building life cycle. Without it, many tools that lack interoperability are used, thus massively under-exploiting the efforts of other building design and management parties; this largely describes the status quo. However, despite the power of BIM, it has not been readily adopted by industry, and especially not at the community and campus scale. Digital Campus Innovation (DCI) is a large multi-year and multidisciplinary project involving development of a methodology for use of BIM for operation and maintenance of a portion of Carleton University’s 45 interconnected buildings. Major elements include: (1) development of highly-detailed BIM models for site and buildings; (2) conversion from BIM models to building performance simulation (BPS) models; (3) model validation using measured data; (4) building Fault Detection and Diagnostics (FDD) using advanced algorithms and calibrated modelling; and (5) advanced building performance data visualization on top of 3D BIM model. This paper will describe the methodologies that are being developed while demonstrating the ongoing processes by a case study of Canal Building, a part of DCI project. While the project is only one year old, impactful examples have already demonstrated BIM as an invaluable technology that improves indoor environment quality, reduces energy costs, and has a potential application for asset management.

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Buildings are the largest consumers of energy responsible for 48% of all Green House Gas (GHG) emissions. Due to the complexity and multidisciplinary aspects of architectural design, construction, urban design, and building occupant behavior, simulation has gained attention as a means of addressing this enormous challenge. The idea is to model a building’s many interacting subsystems, including its occupants, electrical equipment, and indoor and outdoor climate. With simulation results in hand, an architect is better able to predict the energy demand associated with various designs, and choose from among the more sustainable options.


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