The Value of Simulation Tools in Performance-Based Design
From an occupancy stand-point, performance is synonymous with the efficiency of different aspects of a building design. For example, a building may be evaluated for accommodating the operations it houses or supports. In this regard, we can think of basic items such as capacity, circulation, and ability to support required activities and so on. If a building cannot support the basic use to which it was designed then we cannot begin to talk about other aspects of performance.
Performance that goes beyond the basic use is often environmental in nature. Examples of such performance may include but is not limited to acoustic qualities, energy efficiency, air quality and lighting. Some of these issues are significant in their own right and can affect the basic use of the building including health, safety, public welfare which all impact productivity. Others can result in costly operation of a building while others may unnecessarily contribute to an organization’s carbon footprint which impacts an organization’s corporate responsibility.
The bottom line is that all aspects of building performance should be considered during planning & design and must be in line with organizational objectives. Traditional project delivery operates in such a way that planners and designers rely on assumptions to plan for building performance. These assumptions are often highly influenced by minimum regulatory requirements and do not often result in high performance buildings. The more sophisticated service providers rely on simulation tools to validate their assumptions. Simulations may include time motion analysis, acoustic modeling, energy modeling and much more. These simulation capabilities can be performed using applications that work in tandem with Building Information Modeling (BIM) authoring tools such as Revit, AutoCAD Architecture, Bentley and other industry platforms.
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About the Author:
Mr. Phometsi is an architect, business professional and is President & CEO of Strategic Projects, Inc.