Building Energy Models provide a cleaner environment and major operational savings

Despite the fact that energy renovation is undergoing strong growth, there are still only a handful of architects using BIM for energy optimisation. One of the these exceptions is ISAGER Architects.

At ISAGER, architecture is not only about exciting shapes and wild visions. The company has worked on all types of projects for more than 40 years – but a common element throughout all their projects has been and still is a strong social cohesion combined with social significance. Cultural heritage therefore plays a crucial role in a range of very different projects, including the transformation of Kiel’s inner harbour, Brandts Klædefabrik and the national TV company TV2 ‘s headquarters at Kvægtorvet – both in the city of Odense, and the renovation of the Danish Parliament buildings at Christiansborg in Copenhagen.

BIM energy optimises the Danish Association of the Blind’s holiday centre
 Updating, expansion and operational optimisation of the holiday centre for the Danish Association of the Blind at Fredericia is an example of how ISAGER utilises BIM for energy optimisation. The centre currently brings together a hotel, spa, restaurant, conference and course rooms, facilities for guide dogs and administration. ISAGER is full-service consultant for a sweeping renovation and updating the 5,800 m2 centre, which will place the centre at the very forefront of research and knowledge about blind and visually handicapped peoples’ heightened senses in relation to spatial awareness.

BIM specialist Søren Schaldemann Hansen explains that a lot of people are becoming aware of the fact that energy optimisation will form a major part of the services provided by consultants in the future. He is responsible for the energy-related aspects of the project, with the approach being to preserve the strength of the building’s original architectural expression in the best possible way.

Taking this as a starting-point, ISAGER decided to use completely new technology to assess whether the impact of their choices were commensurate with the architectural and operational intentions, and do this already when sketching possible solutions. An early BIM model has quality-assured the construction and facility budget and compared the project against the actual utility costs.

BIM measures the effect of different solutions
The BIM model was subsequently used to outline the conditions for an improved indoor climate and measure the effects of various green initiatives. When the energy footprints for before and after were compared, the prognosis was for annual savings of several hundred thousand Danish Kroner – or equivalent to approximately 25% of the heating bills. Since the model is technically located and run from a shared BIM Server internally at the architects, the employees experienced the project as developing in a single smooth dynamic process.

ISAGER expects to utilise the intelligence in BIM to an even greater degree in the future, i.e. with direct building of BIM models using laser surveying and registration in the field, development of BIM-based operation and maintenance systems, and direct CAD/CAM production of concrete formwork etc.

“It’s just common sense to be a step ahead of your competitors,” says Søren Schaldemann Hansen.

Find out more on Isager Architect’s homepage