Utilizing BIM for Sustainable Architecture

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

Posts Tagged ‘AFI’

Affordable/Green Housing Funds

Posted by Justin Firuz Dowhower, AIA, LEED AP on August 25, 2010

The HUD’s Recovery Act and Green Retrofit Program is aimed at funding new jobs and helping to build sustainable housing.  The press release can be found here.

Perhaps local affordable/green housing initiatives in Texas will take advantage of this, like the Alley Flat Initiative?


Posted in Affordable & 'Green' Housing, Financing Structures | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Thesis Excerpt: Comparing Site Built vs. Prefab/Modular Construction

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

First, an issue which I mentioned in chapter 5 involved comparing site built construction with pre-fabricated and/or modular construction to offset hard costs and increase housing affordability.  In the case of the AFI, these strategies have been compared during the bidding phase for a single project which utilized a non-BIM workflow and it was determined (at the time) that pre-fabrication or modular construction was not economically feasible.  A potential area of research could be to investigate the impact a BIM workflow would have on a pre-fabricated or modular design in terms of overall construction costs.  It might be determined that the only way to make pre-fabrication or modular construction affordable (BIM or not), is to increase the scale of production.  A related and possible continuation of this research topic would be to explore the benefits of BIM versus CAD workflows for a multi-unit development.  This concept has been envisioned as a possible strategy for scaling-up the AFI, but it has yet to be tested as a real project.  Several local architects and contractors I interviewed in Austin all agreed that a multi-unit development would bring down costs, but it is unclear by how much and if BIM would have a significant impact if any.  Aside from hard costs, it could be theorized that at least soft costs could be reduced by using BIM on a multi-unit development by reducing the time needed to complete construction documents and make corrections/changes.  Overall, this research would require testing BIM and non-BIM workflow strategies for single housing developments and multiple housing developments over entire project timelines.

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.

Posted in Site Built vs. Prefab/Modular Construction | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »