“BUILDING INFORMATION MODELING FOR AFFORDABLE HOUSING: SMART TECHNOLOGIES FOR SMART BUILDINGS”

Solution proposed by: 
Prof. Stefano Della Torre (BuildingSmart Italian Chapter President), Prof. Gianni Utica, PhD Candidate Stefania Masseroni, PhD Candidate Lidia Pinti
In a Nutshell:
How can we achieve urban and housing affordability? Million of people cannot approach good housing solutions and the use of Building Information Modeling (BIM) tools can support the international community for future challenges. It can change the way we plan, build and manage our cities, optimizing costs throughout the whole project life cycle.
Where and When: 
BIM is a worldwide tool, emerging as a standard methodology in private and public sector. From the nineties USA are leaders in BIM practice. From 2014 in Europe, after the European Union Public Procurement Directive (EUPPD), the BIM methodology is emerging and overflowing rapidly. Now developing countries are beginning to raise on the scene.
Challenges: 
Cities are becoming bigger, population is growing fast and housing affordability is becoming an increasing issue. To keep a good quality of life is possible to plan new urban environment in a better way in order to create new jobs opportunities. How to increase affordability? Affordable means economically sustainable, on one side making houses more economically accessible for people, and on the other making little but guaranteed profits for contractors. In the next 20 years, urban dwellers will be doubled in number, and more than 60 percent of the built environment needed has yet to be built.
Innovation: 
Thanks to the countless possibilities of any kind of simulation, by using Building Information Modeling tools we can foresee design clashes and prevent problems (before they present during the construction). In public sector, it means saving public funds. In the private field it increases the housing affordability taking costs under control from the design stage to the building end of life. The application of this methodology implies a change of attitude in construction industry, it encourages the training of a working group including all the stakeholders of the whole design process from the earliest design stages.
Concept: 
The idea is to develop a pilot BIM modular project in collaboration with FIABCI. The main concept is that the base-module can be employed worldwide with local construction technologies in order to preserve place identity. The aim is soft, materials, labor and maintenance costs optimization in order to increase the housing solutions for people not able to approach good housing solutions and finally promote Real Estate private sector investments in affordable housing. In a graph showing time and costs throughout the projects phases from planning and design to the building end of life, it is evident that the maintenance stage represents the main part of the building life cycle (both in terms of time and costs), remarkably higher than in the other stages. From the very early stages of the project it is possible to control the maintenance costs and develop a LCC analysis. This is the reason why the use of BIM tools supports more efficiently the project instead of using traditional building processes.
Description: 
BIM methodology treats the construction industry in global terms: it is a collaborative work platform that uses modern digital technologies to efficiently manage planning, building and facility management phases. The main concept of BIM is interoperability. The possibility of data exchange between different BIM platforms allows a central model to be always updated with all information provided by different actors: Structure Design, MEP Design, Architectural Design, Energetic Design, Facility Management, and so on. By contrast, using traditional design processes data loss happens, because of a non-shared model, every time a team switches the project. For sure the transition from traditional design processes towards BIM tools is a change of attitude that involves all the stakeholders concerning the whole building stages. In BIM acronym the most important letter is the “I” of “information” that adds to the geometric 3D model a set of data that will be updated throughout the building life cycle. In addition, a BIM model allows, through a correct representation of the virtual reality, to simulate and represent every single element of the building. The use of BIM in construction industry allows all the actors involved in building life cycle process to share the same set of information and to exchange data through the model. The BIM model simplify the understanding of all the building characteristic, overcoming the possible problems related to the construction and management phases using clashes simulation and code compliance checking. Once the project is built, thanks to the information associated to any kind of element in the model, the updated facility data are useful for a correct maintenance management. Furthermore, the application of a BIM model in order to contain and to store all the useful information for the building life cycle, allows monitoring a historic database that refers maintenance operations, already realized or planned, with its relative documentation.
Impacts: 
The use of BIM has positive results on the nine principles for a new urban paradigm. The city we need is socially inclusive, eliminating physical forms of exclusion. Well planned, walkable, transit-friendly, BIM linked with GIS allows urban planning analysis considering walking and biking distances from homes, offices and public services. Regenerative city, BIM applied on energy analysis simulates energy efficient buildings. Economically vibrant and inclusive, optimizing costs and including all the stakeholders involved in the building process. Singular identity and sense of place, reproducing the reality in which the project is included as a virtual environment and simulating the interaction between the context and the future building. Safe and healthy city, BIM creates site safety plans. Affordable and equitable, making Life Cycle Cost Analysis (LCC). Managed at a metropolitan level, BIM applied on infrastructure simulates flows.

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