The construction sector is one of the most relevant areas when it comes to saving energy and reducing emissions. In this industry, large international companies coexist with SMEs, which account for 92 percent of the market. Although they represent 9 percent of the GDP of the European Union, digitalization in this sector exists only to a limited extent.
In this context, the EU-funded project BIM4REN aims at the development and demonstration of user-friendly Building Information Modeling (BIM) tools and services in the field of building refurbishment and renewal. The project brings together 23 stakeholders from research institutes, universities, and small and large industrial companies in the construction sector.
For the majority of European SMEs in the construction sector, BIM is still only used to a limited extent for cost and training reasons. The project "BIM-based tools and technologies for a fast and efficient refurbishment of residential buildings – BIM4REN" aims to counteract this trend and to introduce innovative and user-friendly BIM tools that enable cross-industrial sector work between SMEs.
As part of BIM4REN, Fraunhofer ISE aims to develop two different tools that use information from simple BIM models and from measurement data to support the decisions making in refurbishment projects of building owners, operators, and planners.
The first tool will evaluate the current energy performance of existing building services systems, such as boilers or heat pumps. The solution’s core consists of diagnostic procedures that automatically identify anomalies in the operation of the systems. Using the results obtained, those involved in the renovation project can decide whether only control changes in the system or the replacement of the components are necessary.
The second one offers building owners, operators, and planners a quick assessment of the potential for heat supply using heat pumps in the renovated buildings. Based on the distinctive buildings’ data (geometry, U-values, user, etc.) before and after the renovation, the tool will determine the heating load and demand. It calculates different variants of heat pump systems (e.g., outside air and ground as heat sources) and compares them with a reference system (gas boiler), taking into account data on the heating system. It uses CO2,äqu emissions, and operating costs as assessment parameters.