Construction Systems


Date of this Version



47th ASC Annual International Conference Proceedings. Copyright 2011 by the Associated Schools of Construction. Used by permission.


The main objective of this study is to evaluate the potential of utilizing building information model (BIM) to perform whole building Life Cycle Analysis (LCA). The research question addressed was how life cycle performance of a building was affected quantitatively by design configurations. Life cycle energy consumption and CO2 emission of a university building in the Midwest was calculated using Autodesk® Ecotect and BIM model. The study compared life cycle performance, i.e., CO2 emissions and energy consumptions, among different design configurations, as well as their distributions in the stages of the building’s life time. Sensitivity analysis was performed by changing several alternative parameters, to identify which parameter has more impacts on building performance. Preliminary results indicated that whole building life cycle performance is affected by several design parameters, with different degree of sensitivity. The conclusions of the study are: 1) The combination of Ecotect and BIM model provides a convenient tool to conduct whole building LCA through the easier data flow from the BIM model to Ecotect. The data entry workload for whole building LCA can be reduced significantly. 2) Energy consumption in the operating stage dominates the lifecycle energy consumption of the building. 3) Sensitivity analysis of impact of design change can be conducted using the combination of Ecotect and BIM model.