14.06.2018 | By Arlinda Sipilä

According to World Watch Institute data, buildings are responsible for the annual consumption of 40% of the world’s energy.

While architectural decisions such as site selection and building orientation have a huge impact on the overall energy efficiency of a building, MEP design can impact energy consumption throughout its lifecycle. This is why the energy analyses and optimisation of the MEP systems in the design phase is a step not to be missed.

The digital BIM model provides information for initial energy analyses and predictions of the consumption of energy can be determined. The model
can be revised to lower energy consumption or to determine where fixes are needed. Later on, estimated energy analysis can be validated against actual performance – or measured consumption.

It’s important to note that it is not not only the heating and cooling systems that determine a building’s energy usage. For example, well designed duct and pipe systems have lower pressure loss, resulting to lower energy consumption. Also, MEP systems that work only on-demand have the same affect. Further, well designed electrical systems will have lower loss and use less energy.

The internal layout of a building’s rooms can have a great impact on areas that need to be heated or cooled. Noise level, lighting level, and motion of airlow through the building are all factors that the BIM model can determine. The switchboards can be modelled as close as possible to the rooms that will use the most electricity. This reduces the load on electrical networks.

Different network solutions, dimensions and routes can be calculated for finding the optimised solution by space and energy (including pressure loss, voltage drop causing energy consumption, etc.). The latest energy efficient systems can be accounted for in the BIM model: passive solar heating systems, photo-voltaic elements, geothermal heating or day-lighting systems.

To read further about Utilising BIM to Transform MEP Design, download our latest white paper.