The application of BIM in volumetric construction

Seeam, Amar and Zheng, Tianxin and Lu, Yong and Usmani, Asif and Laurenson, David; Noguchi, Masa, ed. (2012) The application of BIM in volumetric construction. In: ZEMCH 2012 International Conference. ZEMCH Network, GBR, pp. 61-71. ISBN 9780957418905 (

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The authors are collaborating with a manufacturer of custom built steel frame modular units which are then transported for rapid erection onsite (volumetric building system). As part of its strategy to develop modular housing, Enemetric, is taking the opportunity to develop intelligent buildings, integrating a wide range of sensors and control systems for optimising energy efficiency and monitoring structural health, while adopting a BIM approach throughout the design process through to construction and lifetime management. Furthermore, combining BIM with real-time monitoring of energy consumption and structural health with simulation techniques (dynamic thermal simulation, on-line structural assessment) a robust and intelligent solution for managing modern buildings can be developed. Enemetric have recently been embracing BIM to improve workflow, in particular cost estimation to enterprise resource planning (ERP) and computer aided manufacture (CAM). By leveraging the existing data generated during the design phases, and projecting it to all other aspects of construction management, less errors are made and productivity is significantly increased. Enemetric may work on several buildings at once, and scheduling and priorities are important for effective workflow. The parametric nature of BIM is also very useful in terms of building management, whereby real-time data collection can be logically associated with individual components of the BIM stored in a local Building Management System, including structural health monitoring and environmental monitoring and control. BIM reuse is further employed in building simulation tools, to apply simulation assisted control strategies, in order to reduce energy consumption, and increase occupant comfort.