Why did I seek to put GreenBIM into Room 101?

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Why did I seek to put Green BIM into Room 101 ? Did I not tweet only this week that Green BIM is one of the more important developments in the built environment?

greenBIM 101

The label, or hashtag for GreenBIM is so riddled with issues, I was only able to skim during the 2 mins allowed in the ThinkBIM / Green Vision Room 101 session, and in fact is pre-occupying a lot of thought and space in my forthcoming RIBA book.

However, in 5 bullet points … here goes.

  • BIM (and digital construction) is the most powerful of improvement and collaborative programmes for decades, if not in the history of construction — all BIM should be green — all BIM should be pushing the boundaries doing more good, not happy just to maintain a business as usual, a sustainability status quo or be incrementally less bad.
  • Every BIM is a core enabler in achieving Construction Vision 2025 tough sustainability and carbon targets — requiring net positive approaches. Construction 2025 is not just for GreenBIM’s.
  • One of the fast emerging sectors within the world of sustainability, with a predicted market value in the billions, is the circular economy — every BIM, not just GreenBIM’s should be addressing this concept. In particular, where one building becomes the food, the material farm, for the next building. Am I in danger of creating a new hashtag and meme here: #CEBIM _ Circular Economy BIM anyone?
  • Looking through (BIM) product data sheets we see products and chemicals that are scientifically proven carcinogenic — the formaldehydes, the PVC’s the styrenes — all BIM’s should address these issues on health and wellbeing grounds, not just green BIM. It is estimated to take 8 hours per material on RedList transparency to determine exact ingredients — and ensure no realist profited materials, at present this doesn’t make the material or product specification through BIM a viable option for LBC, well building standard or indeed LEED4 where the RedList thinking is applied
  • Green Vision has embraced Living Building Challenge — where for accredited projects like the Bullit Centre there are no energy performance gaps — this is what a BIM should achieve on every building, green or not, and fast. Lets seek a net-positive performance gap. This is Construction Vision 2025!

Conclusion: My reason for putting GreenBIM into 101 is out of frustration than annoyance. We would all agree that all BIM’s should be green BIMs, so do we need another label, perhaps, perhaps not, but what we do need to do is to take the agenda from ‘GreenBIM’ sessions to all other BIM events, initiates, software, projects, and make every BIM Green.

I also blogged on this very issue back in 2013 — Do we really need ‘Green BIM’?

It was encouraging to see the Circular Economy feature in a number of presentations at the Green BIM event. For more on circular economy and BIM see my take here: RegenerativeBIM … moving the GreenBIM debate

And, by coincidence or serendipity, I had presented to and participated within a panel debate at Runshaw College on Circular Economy the day before:

Source: Why did I seek to put GreenBIM into Room 101?

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Holly Bik

Holly Bik is a Birmingham fellow at the University of Birmingham.