Utilizing BIM for Sustainable Architecture

An analysis and continuation of my graduate thesis at the University of Texas at Austin.

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Thesis Excerpt: BIM to Digital Fabrication

Posted by Justin Firuz Dowhower, AIA, LEED AP on August 7, 2010

A third area of research involves exploring the benefits of using BIM for digital fabrication.  This could take two forms:  digital fabrication for model representation (i.e. 3D printing) or digital fabrication for full-scale construction components.  A promising benefit to using BIM tools for design and documentation is that material components can be fabricated directly from the BIM model.  While this has already been done for representation and construction applications, it has yet to be applied specifically for affordable and sustainable housing development.  It would be interesting to determine how communication between stakeholders might be affected if scale models of various design options were 3D printed as opposed to hand-constructed.  Also, it would be interesting to research the cost savings by using BIM models for digital component construction to reduce waste and construction time.

Source:  Dowhower, Justin Firuz.  Adapting Building Information Modeling (BIM) for Affordable & Sustainable Housing:  Chapter 7:  Future Research.  Austin, TX:  The University of Texas at Austin, 2010.


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