BIMSavesEnergy - BIM-based planning-methods for the assurance of energy-efficiency in the building process

The Building Information Model (BIM) brings about fundamental changes in the planning and construction of buildings, as the common base makes it possible to work closely together across disciplines in construction projects. In this project, BIM-based planning methods were developed, which make the influence of planning decisions on energy efficiency quantifiable and controllable in the management process.

Short Description

These BIM-based planning methods will be integrated into an existing Adaptive Case Management (ACM) platform in order to be able to verify the energy efficiency in a process-specific manner in the different building production phases. For this purpose, the business vocabulary for construction industry, the business rules and the necessary data model are implemented. The results are validated in three adjoining construction projects.




Increased pressure by costs and deadlines as well as high quality requirements in the construction industry require more effective cooperation from all participants in the building value chain, starting from the owner to the architect and planner to the executing trades. With the help of the Building Information Model (BIM), it is possible for the first time to establish an integrated computer-aided planning process, which connects the partners in planning and construction in close cooperation. The data formats and interfaces (IFC4, bSDD, mvdXML, etc.) are partly defined, but the necessary management processes and collaboration possibilities remain open.

Construction processes are characterized by a high degree of diversity since different construction requirements are different for each building project. For the digitalization of the construction processes, the mapping is based on a rigid process structure, since construction projects require, above all, knowledge-based, collaborative work, the characteristics of which are best described by "goal-orientation". Goals are achieved by the participants through their expertise and ad hoc defined activities. Adaptive Case Management (ACM), which is currently being used as an industry standard solution in other industries (e. g. in the handling of insurance business cases), carries the potential enables a new quality of integral planning.

In this project, goal-oriented planning methods are developed that evaluate the impact of decision-making options on energy efficiency in planning and construction phases. These planning methods are used for organization-wide cooperation and ensure the process-accurate provision of information for all parties involved. Compliance requirements are defined by validation rules (business rules) for the digital data and integrated into the management process.

BIMSavesEnergy solves the interface problem between planning-relevant decisions and architecture as well as engineering performance. The unique feature of BIMSavesEnergy is the joint method development in planning and management towards a new IT-supported communication platform for the construction industry.

In terms of interoperability, BIMSavesEnergy aims at loss-free bidirectional communication of fully attributed IFC objects between the tools used.

BIMSavesEnergy provides the BIM-based, rapid and hierarchical verification of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that quantitatively assess the influence of planning decisions on energy efficiency and allows to manage this efficiency in the management process (e. g. thermal losses across the building envelope, expected heating demand or summerly overheating in critical areas).

The results are applied in several pilot construction projects. For this purpose, the research project is attached to the corresponding construction projects in which the project results can be directly integrated into the construction process.

Within the project, several methods have already been developed which can qualitatively accompany the construction process from planning to execution. These are methods for quality assurance of BIM models, for time- and resource-efficient versioning and for easily comprehensible communication between different disciplines. They have been tested in pilot projects and have been adapted in some areas after evaluation based on feedback from the contractors involved. Thus, a high acceptance could be achieved compared to other software packages. Based on this, further development steps can be taken to integrate additional areas of the construction industry into an ACM system. The prepared platform provides an optimal, generic basis for that.

Project Partners

Project management

AIT Austrian Institute of Technology - Center for Energy
Sustainable Thermal Energy Systems

Project or cooperation partners

  • CES clean energy solutions GesmbH
  • ISIS Papyrus Europe AG
  • Bauunternehmung GRANIT Gesellschaft m.b.H

Contact Address

Gerhard Zucker
Sustainable Thermal Energy Systems - Center for Energy
AIT Austrian Institute of Technology GmbH
Giefinggasse 2
A-1210 Vienna
Tel.: +43 (505) 50-6591
Mobile: +43 (664) 2351921