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Saving the World's Environment with BIM - Part 1: Planning Developments and Designing

Sustainably designed housing project
Sustainable housing design

It is evaluated that up to 25…35% of the total CO2 emissions of our planet derive from Construction or related activities (the entire AECO industry) - this is a large amount and every little improvement can make a huge impact in the total reduction measured in tons.

But this is just one aspect of the impact that using BIM makes to the environment and community around us - putting the best new ideas into use, hand-in-hand with well-tested practices and through the skillful use of up-to-date work-flows with digital tools will allow us to create a vastly better living-environment for the future and through that increase the values created for both the developers but also the ever-so happier end-users.

Let's break that last thought down by looking into the some of the values BIM creates in different stages of a Construction project life-cycle.

Lower the Risks by Developing the Best Product on the Market

Benefits of Planning Certificated Construction Projects By using all the tools made available by digitized design of projects one can tackle the fulfilment of requirements of various Certifications available with an ease. Having your project Certified (for example BREEAM) will greatly increase the value of your real estate by proving its quality through fulfilling an extensive checklist of properties that put most value on ecological sustainability and the comfort and safety for end-users. Getting certified will push developers towards more environmentally safe solutions!

Detailed Preparations and Analysis - Lower Risk for Changes and Surprises During the Execution Phase

Creating your design digitally and following the digital twin principles will greatly lower the risk for last minute principial changes (as everyone is already informed of the project in detail) which could greatly (and negatively) affect the overall completion process and budget. Probably no-one can be found who would disagree to the principle that a well-planned project will more likely give predictable results and have greater chances in being completed on time, within budget and everyone involved pleased with the process - this also translates into a more profitable outcome. Developing a project for the market that does not fulfill the Customers' expectations will result in an underused built space and a burden for the community for decades.

Environmentally Balanced Decisions - Energy Use and Embodied Carbon (Life Cycle Assessment)

In modern construction projects another aspect can no longer be forgotten - the designers must also analyze, calculate and use the knowledge attained of the total Co2 emissions of their project while making the design. Since the total emission equivalent can be influenced with different decisions the key is to find the most ecologically sustainable combination. It is vital to have all of the material data (Co2 embodied in constructions) and operations data (energy used in the exploitation phase) at hand when making fundamental decisions. The amount and ease of access of Information must be used to our benefits as often as possible!

The Art of Making Design… Sustainably

Work Online - Less Commute and Less Meetings to Drive to

COVID changed the way how many people "go to work" - and even as the pandemic has mostly passed by now, many offices remain emptier than they were before - and that is not do with less people employed but new routines of not working at the office daily. From an environmental stand-point this is not a bad idea - we can get a lot done by using online communication and interaction tools - not every meeting requires people from various distances coming together into one physical room. Workflows are nearly all digitalized when using BIM and thus it supports the lowering of unnecessary travel efforts and emissions.

Collaborate - Create Design Efficiently and Without Errors

Improved collaboration between the stakeholders throughout the project is vital for an efficient process - from Client to Sales, from Sales to Design, Design to Execution, and circling back to the Client by the time of Hand-Over. Using BIM creates the framework for great collaboration - it allows You to maximize the efficiency of project resources (material and labor) and lower the waste in manhours, produced tons of CO2 , and of course, the monetary costs. This all is already accessible for improvements from the Design phase where the foundation is laid for the whole upcoming process and where cracks can be most crucial.

Sustainable Design Decisions - Recycled and Reusable Materials

Why not use some materials again in appropriate locations after they have been dismantled from an old building? - Why not even create designs with that in mind and make the most of something that already exists? Any efforts put into repurposing and reusing materials is a win in all directions - less needs to be produced and less waste needs to be recycled or worse yet, landfilled. Many innovative and environmentally responsible designers are already exploring the options of reuse - we all should!

Build for a Better Tomorrow - Analysis of Indoor Conditions and Safe Material Usage

Ecologically safe materials benefit not only the wide wild nature, but also the narrower part of nature in the form of humans, living and working inside these materials daily. Longevity of materials is partly hidden in their safety to users factor as more and more focus (and standardization) is put on eliminating air, noise and light pollution is habitable spaces. The right choice of functionally suitable and durable materials can increase the lifespan of the building substantially!

I will continue on the environmental subjects related to Project Execution and Maintenance in my next post and bring out some of the key improvements digitalized processes make.

How Can We at Help You?

At we are already convinced that making sustainable choices in today's projects will pay off in the long run and are inevitable to stay competitive - we have created many functionalities to help You improve Your work-flow and make better data-driven decisions! empowers You with the cloud-based tools to introduce integrated business processes from BIM to supply chain planning and execution. If You are already using an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solution by vendors such as SAP or Microsoft, connects Your enterprise applications with BIM to enable Engineer-to-Order production scenario on industrial scale.

Keep focus on what You wish to achieve and involve those who have knowledge to help You out - We are here for You at to provide You with expert advice and world-class innovative solutions to help You really make use of BIM!

You are most welcome to contact us through our web-page at or myself directly through LinkedIn messages or by e-mail!

Joonas Mauer I Customer Engagement Executive @


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