UCL Institute for Environmental Design and Engineering


BIM integrated optimisation framework for environmentally responsible efficient design systems

30 November 2016

BIM integrated optimisation framework for environmentally responsible and structural efficient design systems: a holistic cloud based approach

By Stathis Eleftheriadis


Dr Dejan Mumovic

Dr Paul Greening

Industrial Supervisor/Sponsor:

Jessica Gray/Price Myers

2013 – 2017

The building sector has been identified as a major contributor to the global environmental impact due to human activities. LCA has been applied to building systems at different scales from building materials to the buildings as a whole. Most building related LCA studies focus on specific parts of the building life cycle, whereas a few address the whole building in its life cycle. The main reason for this is because it is difficult to acquire accurate building material information in terms of quantity, especially during various design stages of a project. 

One of the ways to reduce the environmental impacts of structural systems is optimisation. Optimisation is an effective tool that is commonly used for structural design in order to synthesise the compliance of mechanisms and it is classified based on size, shape and topology. Building information model is designed to enhance optimisation in projects by characterising the geometry, spatial relationships, geographic information, quantities and properties of building elements, cost estimates, material inventories and project schedule. 

Therefore, such model can further be utilized to indicate an entire building life cycle as the drawings, procurement details, submittal processes and other specifications can easily be interrelated: data generated by the BIM can be extracted and analysed to generate information that can be used to make decisions and to improve the design process. 

The main objectives of the research are determined following the consideration of an interrelation between BIM and LCA in order to achieve optimised and robust structural design solution:

  • To implement computational strategies that enhance data interoperability between the BIM models and the analytical tools 
  • To understand and assess the significance of the materials/structural systems choice in a building’s life cycle
  • To develop new optimisation approaches and strategies for higher levels of integration between materials, structures and environmental indicators
  • To identify the relationships between different structural design decisions and to make it easier to document and coordinate the design development process