A Framework for Benchmarking Energy Retrofit Systems through Building Information Modeling (BIM)
Elmani, Ahmad Hussein
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The rapid increase in worldwide energy consumption has raised a global concern about the future of energy use and its impact on the surrounding environment. Such impact is causing resource degradation, increased carbon emissions, depletion of the ozone layer, and global warming. As the building sector is considered one of the main energy-consuming sectors, the trend of sustainable designs, green projects, energy optimization and reduction policies are many countries' recent focus. This focus is typically on new buildings, and it constantly overlooks the vast impact of existing buildings. Efficient energy retrofitting of existing buildings, therefore, is highly needed to mitigate the impact on the surrounding environment, due to the excess use of energy. This research presents a framework for benchmarking energy retrofit systems of office buildings in climate zone 1 (very hot humid regions), by integrating building information modeling (BIM) and laser scanning. The reason for considering existing office buildings is related to the great benefits of retrofitting and the ability to efficiently analyze the main energy consuming systems, which are office equipment, lighting, and heating ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems. The proposed non-destructive methodology will assist in providing an estimate of the amount of possible energy use reduction, and the likelihood of achieving standard and sustainable conditions. The analysis of separate and overall energy consumptions for each of the systems will be investigated through a developed benchmarking tool. The tool will analyze each of the systems' existing performance and benchmark this performance to an enhanced condition. The integration of laser scanning and BIM will provide an accurate measure of the building's existing condition and will provide the required data input for analysis in the developed tool. In addition, the benchmarking tool analysis for an office building energy system in the UAE will illustrate the proposed procedure and analytical process. The results of the investigative framework show that the examined office floor can reduce its total energy consumption according to standard and sustainable conditions by almost 14% and 29%, respectively. Also, the energy end use breakdown was found to be 55% for the HVAC system, 23% for lighting, and 17% for office equipment.