Life cycle energy efficiency in building structures: A review of current developments and future outlooks based on BIM capabilities

S. Eleftheriadis, D. Mumovic, Paul David Greening

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The continuous developments of Building Information Modelling (BIM) in Architecture, Engineering and Construction (AEC) industry supported by the advancements in material resourcing and construction processes could offer engineers the essential decision-making procedures to leverage the raising demands for sustainable structural designs. This article brings together the theory of Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) and the capabilities of BIM to survey the current developments in the energy efficiency of structural systems. In addition, the article explores the engineering dimensions of common decision-making procedures within BIM systems including optimisation methods, buildability and safety constraints and code compliance limitations. The research presents critical expositions in both engineering and sustainable energy domains. The article then argues that future innovations in the sustainable decision-making of buildings’ structures would require BIM-integrated workflows in order to facilitate the conflicting nature of both energy efficient and engineering performance indexes. Finally, the study puts forward a series of research guidelines for a consolidated decision paradigm that utilises the capabilities of BIM within the engineering and sustainable energy domains in a synergistic manner.

NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews [67 (2016)] DOI: 10.1016/j.rser.2016.09.028

© 2016, Elsevier. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)811-825
JournalRenewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews
Early online date25 Oct 2016
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2017


  • BIM
  • Building systems
  • Energy efficiency
  • LCA
  • Sustainable structures


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