BIM News

GSA Applies BIM Models to 100 Buildings in Portfolio


February 14, 2015 Charles Matta

Public owners have a responsibility to be stewards of the built environment they create, to set the example for excellence in design, construction and facility management to deliver buildings that provide healthy environments for tenants, neighbors, and the citizens that visit them. A key component of this stewardship is to build facilities that are sustainable, that reduce the environmental impact and that operate efficiently.

The earliest GSA owned projects have been BIM-deployed starting in late 2003. These BIM Requirements have applied to all major projects started in 2007 and beyond. As technology has matured, we have seen a much higher BIM adoption rate by architects and contractors, as BIM also promises designers and builders better efficiencies and performance, and ultimately competitiveness, with or without owner's mandate. GSA's BIM program may have been an important catalyst for architects and contractors to challenge their status-quo.

Given GSA’s push toward sustainability and “green”, the Architect/Engineer firms are looking at ever more creative ways to design a building with sustainability in mind. An Energy Performance and Analysis capability exists in BIM to conduct efficient, accurate, and reliable energy simulations to predict building performance during facility operations. Using this BIM capability can facilitate the comparison of actual building energy usage data against the quantified benefits in BIM to see if the design held up to its promise.

BIM and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) provide measurable sustainability in the areas of: energy simulation and optimization of factors such as building orientation, material choices, operation, location, and building system selection; energy simulation of building operation during planning and design that calibrate energy simulation based on live smart building data; and lifecycle assessment of building materials with respect to impacts on carbon, energy, water. This data contributes to an understanding of site selection impact on carbon footprint of employees and visitors on a more macro level with respect to trip generations and avoidance, and the use of public transportation.

As a champion and early adopter of BIM among public owners, GSA has worked top-down and bottom-up with a variety of national and international government agencies, professional and standard-setting organizations, academic institutions, BIM software vendors, and private AEC firms on various BIM-related efforts that culminated in Letters of Intention with counterparts in eight countries in support of Open Standards for BIM and Smart buildings technology. GSA’s collaboration with the National Institute of Building Sciences led public owners in the creation and promotion of open BIM standards; development of BIM Guides that evaluate the use of BIM data for critical tasks during a building’s lifecycle such as energy performance and facility operations; and amassing a BIM toolkit of case studies, BIM champions, and other resources to be used by BIM professionals everywhere.

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