Optimizing sustainability of infrastructure projects through the integration of building information modeling and envision rating system at the design stage

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Sustainable Cities and Society


With infrastructure services demand rising, a significant contributor to sustainable development goals, infrastructure systems have to evolve and adapt effectively, efficiently, and sustainably. The broad set of decision variables coupled with the trade-off among the economic, social, and environmental aspects complicate sustainability assessment and optimization during the design stage. Thus, this paper presents a Building Information Modeling (BIM)-based automated framework for real-time evaluation and optimization of sustainability in infrastructure projects. The proposed framework benefits from infrastructure sustainability rating systems that provide a systemic and balanced set of indicators for careful consideration of sustainability. On the other hand, to automate the process, BIM, with its 3D shared environment, is used as an integrated platform for dynamic sustainability analysis. The proposed framework integrates both novelties in real-time during the early design stages, which helps designers to select the most sustainable alternative. A prototype and a hypothetical case study are conducted to validate the framework's applicability through Infraworks 360 as the operating BIM platform and Envision as the baseline rating system. The results confirm that adopting the suggested method simplifies the inclusion of sustainability into design decisions while facilitating documentation of compliance with credit assessment for both project teams and verification agencies.



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