6D BIM for project life-cycle management information

Energy usage is expensive, and it also has staggering consequences for the environment and surrounding ecosystems.

All About 6D Sustainability BIM

One such technological process with the power to reshape a business’s carbon footprint is 6D Sustainability BIM. A step up from the economic and scheduling data of other BIM options, 6D BIM focuses on sustainable and cost-effective construction and design.

  • The Basics

    Each of these types of BIM has different applications in the fields of architecture, design, and engineering. While one project might be focused on economics and require 5D Estimating BIM, another might be time-oriented and work well with 4D Scheduling BIM. No one type is “better” than the others or universally required. When working with energy in building systems, 6D Sustainability BIM is the way to go. Because of the richness of data that BIM provides, linking energy usage data provides a powerful source of sustainability information.

  • Energy Analysis

    For a business, the bottom line is the cost of the space and the ROI it provides. That’s why, when talking about the energy efficiency of a space, it’s crucial to include an analysis of the economic side of the issue. Using REVIT, which integrates 3D modeling and cost estimates, to build a picture of a space’s energy efficiency is a great way to move towards that goal and present a compelling plan. By providing 3D drawings and CAD sketches, it easily shows the places where energy efficiency can be improved for better economic return.

  • Sustainable Element Tracking

    Sustainability deals with the life cycle of energy and resources through any one element. When working on a new building or improving an old one, a great way to make a space as cost effective as possible is through sustainable element tracking. In this process made possible by 6D Sustainability BIM, you can analyze individual components of a space and figure out how to optimize each element. Over time, keeping an eye on your sustainability will increase profit and public opinion of the company.

  • LEED Tracking

    One of the most popular building sustainability options in the world, LEED certification is a huge asset in today’s eco-interested economy. With multiple levels each demonstrating a deeper level of sustainability, LEED certification is a rigorous process that requires constant maintenance. One great benefit of 6D Sustainability BIM is the option to easily monitor factors of importance to LEED certification, such as energy efficiency and heating/cooling efficiency.


Solar Analysis

A solar shading analysis will determine if any portion of the building will be affected by cast shadows during any portion of the day, at any time of the year.


Determining the shading effect of surrounding structures or landscapes on solar panel arrays can be a challenging problem that is dependent on many parameters, including the time of year, the time of day, and the tilt, angle, and dimensions of the panels. A high-quality 3D computer model which analyzes and simulates the shading effect of environmental structures is useful to increase photovoltaic energy performance and lower energy costs from inappropriate panel inclinations and orientation.


3D solar shading analysis offers thermal management insight to determine design strategies for building materials, openings, thermal mass, and facade design, along with the other efficient avenues to harnessing the sun’s light and energy. Passive heat gain or heat reduction options can then be specified.


The output of a 3D solar shading analysis can be used to model different shading scenarios across a range of complex situations. Shadow visualization software applications can animate the cast shadows from surrounding objects as they would appear on the building structure throughout the day. This type of visualization is instrumental in solar collector placements and finding the best position to optimize photovoltaic potential. Industry standard mathematical models can enhance presentations by quantifying design decisions concerning site selection, system layouts, energy calculations, and economic analysis. Work with an outsourced engineering firm experienced in 3D CAD modeling and solar system design application that can guide your project throug a variety of analytical tools and visualization models that calculate or simulate sun and shadows


Achieving Energy Savings

Some elements for a hybrid A&E sustainable design which will use both passive and active energy systems, include:

regional climate analysis, sun and shadow studies, 3D solar shading analysis and simulation, building envelope thermal modeling, high-efficiency BIM-designed mechanical, electrical and plumbing system, photovoltaic active systems, water efficiency

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