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Building information modelling (BIM) for sustainable building design

Kam‐din Wong (Department of Building and Real Estate, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong, China)
Qing Fan (Department of Building and Real Estate, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong, China)


ISSN: 0263-2772

Article publication date: 22 February 2013




Because of global environmental concerns, sustainable design has become a mainstream building design goal in recent years. Sustainable development is even more urgent in the light of global climate change. This paper aims to examine the contributions which building information modelling (BIM) can make to the production of sustainable building designs.


Various research methodologies have been adopted, including literature review, design tool analysis, a case study and structured face‐to‐face interviews. Data collected were synthesized as part of the research process.


BIM is found to be ideally suited to the delivery of information needed for improved design and building performance. Two most significant benefits of BIM for sustainable building design are: integrated project delivery (IPD) and design optimization. However, there are also barriers to adopting BIM for sustainable design.

Research limitations/implications

This paper does not attempt to address all aspects of BIM functionality because the scope of BIM is very great and the resources of this research were limited.

Practical implications

Successful implementation of BIM is able to eliminate the extra cost of design changes during the subsequent phases of construction process. BIM, therefore, is also capable of enhancing the project delivery culture in future.

Social implications

BIM solutions can contribute to the selection of best solutions to reduce energy and resources consumption. This new technology and the approach also can generate the need of more innovative professionals and job opportunities.


This paper investigates the contribution of BIM to sustainable buildings from the perspective of design performance and improved communication and coordination.



Wong, K. and Fan, Q. (2013), "Building information modelling (BIM) for sustainable building design", Facilities, Vol. 31 No. 3/4, pp. 138-157.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2013, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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