Utilizing BIM for Sustainable Architecture

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

Chapter 2: Methods & Methodology

The following research involving the topics of BIM and affordable/sustainable housing are within the context of an emancipatory perspective where worldviews regarding interviews, experimentation, simulation, and case studies are socially and historically situated.[14] In other words, the collection and interpretation of data is understood and presented through the lens of multiple realities which are shaped by the social and historical context in which each respectively belongs.  Therefore, the relationship with the knowledge collected and presented henceforth is an interactive one and not absolute.  The importance of stating this relationship is to reveal the basic beliefs (ontological and epistemological) and assumptions inherent in the research.  I decided to follow the emancipatory approach to conducting the research based on my involvement with the case studied.  Furthermore, based on this approach I’ve opted to present my interactions for some methods of research through anecdotes and narratives.  I concluded that it would be inappropriate (if not impossible) to adequately present the data in a purely objective and dispassionate manner.

The goal of choosing certain research methods was to assist in triangulating data to help validate conclusions and recommendations for improving affordable and sustainable housing development using BIM.  Each methodology has strengths and weaknesses, but when multiple approaches are combined the weaknesses are minimized and strengths are improved.[15] The following research is the result of both qualitative and quantitative data collected from five primary methodologies: case studies, interviews, simulations, experimentations, and literature reviews.  Below, I explain each methodology and give an overview of the data collected and results.

Case Studies




Literature Review

[14] Groat, Linda N., and David Wang. Architectural Research Methods. New York: J. Wiley, 2002. 32-41.

[15] Groat, Linda N., and David Wang. Architectural Research Methods. New York: J. Wiley, 2002. 361.

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