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Growth in Green Building Drives Use of BIM

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The growth of the green building market will drive adoption of building information modeling software, according to a new SmartMarket Report, “Green BIM: How Building Information Modeling is Contributing to Green Design and Construction,” released last week by McGraw-Hill Construction.

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Produced in collaboration with the U.S. Green Building Council, the Mechanical Contractors Association of America, Autodesk and 13 other prominent industry organizations, the report provides new insights on the convergence of two important construction industry trends: green building and BIM, known simply as “Green BIM.”

“Green building is already transforming design and construction in the U.S., and BIM has the potential to increase innovation—and design and construction efficiency,” says Harvey Bernstein, vice president, global thought leadership and business development, McGraw-Hill Construction. “Therefore, the intersection of BIM tool use with sustainability goals is a powerful practice that can be truly transformative in increasing industry productivity.”

The industry agrees that they are just beginning to tap the full potential of BIM to achieve their green objectives. Only 17% of Green BIM practitioners are currently realizing more than 50% of BIM’s potential for their green goals, but a sharp increase in Green BIM use is expected in the near future.

The report captures perspectives on the future of Green BIM from a wide range of experts, as well as case studies that demonstrate Green BIM’s contributions to achieving sustainable outcomes. According to the report, as green building becomes a larger share of construction, the benefits provided by BIM will also be more widely recognized, and the use of BIM as a whole will increase.

“Green and BIM have been the two most dynamic trends in our industry,” says Steve Jones, who leads McGraw-Hill Construction’s BIM initiatives. “Although they have been growing independently, it was inevitable that they would converge because the analysis and simulation capabilities of modeling are such a natural fit with the objectives of green building. This report establishes a baseline for the state of that evolution and points the way towards further exciting developments.”

BIM offers an efficient way to create and leverage digital models for the design, construction and operation of projects, and it is revolutionizing the way firms communicate, solve problems and achieve better outcomes. Current users who practice Green BIM also report intensive use of BIM. Nearly half (49%) of Green BIM practitioners use BIM on over 50% of their projects, compared to approximately one quarter (28%) of non-Green BIM companies. Green BIM practitioners are also more intensive users of the software since they both create and analyze models more frequently than non-Green BIM companies.

According to prior McGraw-Hill Construction studies, energy efficiency is the most often cited green building benefit, yielding significant cost-savings over a building’s full lifecycle, and Green BIM is no exception. The study expects strong growth for energy performance simulation tools in particular: 95% of firms practicing BIM for green projects will do energy performance simulations within two years, compared with 73% now; and 79% of firms using BIM (but not focused on green projects) will conduct the simulations, compared to 21% currently. Energy efficiency is also an important tenet of the USGBC’s LEED certification, a sought-after distinction for many green builders.

Data presented in the report are drawn from a McGraw-Hill Construction survey of design firms, contractors and other major construction industry players in the U.S. who already use BIM. The report aims to determine how often, when and why they are using BIM on green projects, and provides a portrait of firms that are already Green BIM practitioners in contrast to typical BIM users, as well as insights into how they use BIM to achieve their green goals and what they anticipate the future to hold. To download the free report, visit http://construction.com/market_research/FreeReport/GreenBIM/.

Premier association partners include U.S. Green Building Council and the Mechanical Contractors Association of America. The premier corporate partner is Autodesk. Corporate contributors include Balfour Beatty, Chicago Faucets, Graphisoft, Johnson Controls, and Parsons Brinckerhoff. The association partners are the American Institute of Architects, the Associated General Contractors of America, Construction Owners Association of America, Design-Build Institute of America, National Association of Women in Construction, National Electrical Contractors Association, National Institute of Building Sciences and buildingSMART alliance.

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