DIM4Energy - Digital Information Models for the Planning and Optimization of Buildings and Urban Energy Infrastructure

Digital information models (DIM) are playing an increasingly important role in urban planning and decision-making processes, from individual buildings (BIM) to urban information models (UIM). For the planning and optimal operation of plus-energy neighborhoods, valuable information could be obtained from these existing models, provided the appropriate data sources and associated software tools are properly linked.

Short Description

The aim of this project is to explore the concrete challenges, possibilities and prerequisites for the integration of these different information models and software tools. With the involvement of relevant stakeholders (city planners, network operators, architects, property developers, etc.) concrete application cases are considered, requirements for the interfaces between the various data sources and the planning tools are derived and a qualitative assessment of costs and benefits is carried out.

The results of the project are summarized in a guideline for more efficient development and decision-making processes, with the aim of integrated planning and implementation of plus energy districts (both in new neighborhoods and integration in existing buildings) and the necessary energy infrastructure (e.g., low temperature networks or district storage).

Starting point / motivation

The planning and implementation of energy-efficient neighborhoods is a complex and costly process. The coordination effort between the involved stakeholders (urban planners, infrastructure managers, architects, etc.) is very high, partly because a large amount of data needs to be collected and processed in a way specific to each stakeholder.

The central question of the DIM4Energy project is whether this effort can be reduced by using Digital Information Models (DIM). DIM data is playing an increasingly important role in urban planning and decision-making processes, from individual Building Information Models (BIM) to Urban Information Models (UIM). Valuable information could be obtained from these models for the planning and optimization of plus-energy districts, but the degree of interoperability and automation between the individual planning processes is still low.

Contents and goals

The aim of project DIM4Energy is an assessment of the specific challenges, opportunities and requirements for the integration of DIM data in this context. Based on specific application cases and with the involvement of the relevant stakeholders (city planners, network operators, architects, property developers, software SMEs, etc.), it is intended to identify which data is usually needed or available and which tools are used for the individual planning processes.

Furthermore, the requirements for the use of BIM data are identified with the stakeholders. Based on this, opportunities for interfacing with UIM data and software tools for planning and operation of energy infrastructure are identified, in particular with regard to innovative system solutions (e.g., low-temperature networks or distributed electrical storages). In addition, a qualitative assessment of associated efforts and benefits is carried out.


With regard to the use of DIM data, the potential for the harmonization and integration of heterogeneous information (format, semantics, spatial/temporal resolution, owner) is analyzed. From an organizational point of view, processes for the management of DIM data are needed to enable the continuous exchange and monitoring of indicators within the overall process. From an application point of view, it must be identified what data is required for the implementation of innovative energy supply concepts and how it can be used for the planning and operation of plus-energy neighborhoods.

Expected results

The result of the project will be guidelines for data-based development processes tailored to the needs of stakeholders in Austria, which will enable the construction of new neighborhoods or district refurbishments in connection with innovative energy supply concepts. Furthermore, necessary development steps will be identified in the future and corresponding follow-up projects will be outlined.

Project Partners

Project management

AIT Austrian Institute of Technology

Contact Address

Dr. Edmund Widl
AIT Austrian Institute of Technology, Center for Energy
Giefinggasse 2
A-1210 Wien
Tel.: +43 (505) 50 6034
Fax: +43 (505) 50 6613
E-Mail: edmund.widl@ait.ac.at
Web: http://www.ait.ac.at/profile/detail/Widl-Edmund