The right BIM Solution

Cooperation on energy optimization with CIFE at Stanford University

The center for Integrated Facility Engineering pursues within its research project "Zero Emission Design" the realization of zero emission buildings. One of this research's topics is the optimization of a building's design process by integrating extensive energy consumption simulations. Initially there was the issue to be dealt with how the design data will be recorded, exchanged and edited for the simulation. AEC3 gave advice and support to this step of the process. Could the open IFC standard be used for the data exchange between CAD and the energy simulation? A major topic was the space boundaries that could be available in different level of details. At this point the IFC Space Boundary Implementation Guide Implementations Guide from the InPro project was integrated and supplemented.

Using the CAD data wasn't possible without refining and editing the space boundaries. It was AEC3's task to make a prototypical data converter in cooperation with Olof Granlund. For this the CAD data in IFC format had to be converted into an intermediate format to enable its processing by the simulation applications EnergyPlus and Radiance. Olof Granlund's library was used to refine the space boundaries. In addition to that TNO's IFC-Engine-Toolbox was integrated. After the converter was written in the programming language C/C++ it was integrated into CIFE's optimizing environment and was used for researching the MDO method (product model-based multidisciplinary design optimization).

After being tested successfully with IFC as a base the converter will be used in another project with gbXML as the data format. AEC3 is assigned to develop this prototype as well. Not all gbXML information can be mapped. That's why an additional catalogue was set up for the missing properties. The programming was done using the programming language JAVA as well as tried and tested XML solutions. The Eclipse Modeling Framework (EMF) will manage the imported gbXML data. By doing this the implementation efforts can be focused on the transformation logic. Additionally a preprocessor was introduced to correct wrong gbXML data even before the conversion.

For more information on this project please refer to

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