June 10, 2010

Highlights from GreenBIM Conference (Boston)

Submitted by Glynnis Patterson, N.C.A.R.B. – Ideate Director of Services

I recently attended the GreenBIM Conference in Boston which was put on by McGraw-Hill Construction. It was a great one-day conference with presentations focused on how building information modeling is having a positive impact on sustainability and energy efficiency. The presenters included government representatives, researchers (building performance), and building and MEP contractors.
Keynote: Regulatory drivers in Sustainability and BIM by John Dalzell, Senior Architect for the Boston Redevelopment Authority
• Boston has implemented a Green Building Zoning code (Article 37) which is similar to the code in San Francisco.
• Boston is looking at LEED ND (Neighborhood Design) to drive sustainability through street layout and making alternate modes of transportation possible.

Case Study: Shanghai Tower by Ken Sanders, Managing Director, Gensler
• Able to reduce wind load by 24% by making a smooth building envelope, plus saved $50 million in structural material costs. BIM is making these kinds of analysis possible.

Impacts of BIM-Enabled Prefab on Sustainable Construction by John Cannistraro, Jr., President, J. C. Cannistraro, LLC
• IPD/Contractor for Autodesk’s headquarters in Waltham, Massachusetts (MEP)
• Cannistraro took the time to review the cost of change orders for hundreds of jobs over the past 6 years and found that more collaborative BIM led to a significant reduction in the cost and number of change orders (from 24% of the base contract cost down to 2%).

Case Study: Empire State Building Retrofit by Paul Rode, Project Executive, Solutions Division, Johnson Controls
• The retrofit is geared towards reducing the energy costs from $11M to $4M per year.
• Providing wireless thermostats was one of the simplest and cost effective measures possible.
• Providing user feedback loop online also helps in lowering costs.

In addition to partially fulfilling my 2011 architectural license renewal requirements, the conference provided me with a more rounded understanding of how BIM is impacting non-architectural players. The presentations noted highlight that with a few key choices in design, collaboration or products, it is possible to have a dramatic affect on sustainability.

Glynnis is a Registered Architect and has worked within the BIM industry since 1998. A graduate of Carnegie Mellon University, she has worked as an architect, educator and construction site manager. Glynnis is currently the Director of Development Services at Ideate, Inc. and continues to work with AEC clients across the nation, developing, and implementing best practices solutions. In her spare time Glynnis is a member of the Morristown Environmental Commission and builds Lego projects.