Publication Details

Heffernan, E., Sohel, M. I., Beazley, S. & McCarthy, T. J. (2017). From BIM (Building Information Modelling) to BEM (Building Energy Modelling): a collaborative approach. Australasian Building Simulation 2017 Conference Proceedings (pp. 1-11).


The use of simulation to predict building energy performance has been shown to have significant benefits in terms of reducing energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. However, in terms of implementation, the process can be disjointed and messy, with a lack of integration between architects and engineers. For the process of creating a building energy simulation to be more efficient, a seamless transition from an architectural design to an energy model is required. This paper highlights some of the practical issues manifest in the process of data exchange for energy analysis. It presents a proposed workflow for the exchange of data between architectural professionals and mechanical engineers for the purposes of building energy simulation. The workflow is based upon the information delivery manuals (IDMs) from buildingSMART using non-proprietary industry foundation class (IFC) format, in order to ensure its wide scale adoptability. Construction material parameters are integrated within the architectural building information model (BIM) allowing for improved transparency between the disciplines in both directions. This methodology also enables an iterative design process, reducing the amount of modelling work required by the engineer and allowing for better informed design decision-making by the architect. This offers the potential to reduce costs, and avoid unnecessary delays and miscommunications.