In The Netherlands there is a large stock of poorly insulated buildings built in a time when insulation from the cold was more of an issue than today’s energy conservation issues. While the heat is literally escaping through the building’s envelope, owners and users of these buildings are seeking means to reduce the energy costs of these ‘gas guzzlers’. With the use of BIM (software to
create a 3D Building Information Model), PERSPECTIVE Alkmaar together with Evanston Consulting has recently developed an Energy Information Tool which can help owners of buildings make better decisions about where to invest in energy saving measures. It is commonly known (triasenergetica) that energy saving in buildings starts by improving the skin of the building. The second stage is to make the plant as sustainable as possible. And if no alternative is available the third stage is using fossil energy. Basically the tool was developed to evaluate conceptual models for new buildings. It became almost immediately evident that the tool could also be very valuable in reducing the energy consumption of existing buildings.
We used an existing 4 storey nursing home built in the seventies as a trial project testing the EIM-tool. This nursing home, called Buytenhaghe, was modeled in Autodesk Revit. The building model was further populated with extra data concerning energy consumption such as insulation values, orientation etc. This information rich building model database was then coupled with a complex set of detailed physical and financial factors which then resulted in a long term energy cost prediction.
By adjusting the characteristics of elements in the building mode we could see in detail what the financial effects would be off these adjustments. For example just by adding insulation to the ground floor slab has a tremendous impact.
We also looked at how the addition of energy saving techniques such as solar panels, solar boilers and heat pumps affected the costs. The model simply reports the feasibility of these kinds of sustainable energy measures by showing graphs and the return on investment.

In the development of BIM this additional EIM-tool proves again that we are just at the beginning of the possibilities of a Building
Information Model. With more than a decade experience PERSPECTIVE Alkmaar has taken a next step in the application of BIM. It has been proven that big savings can be achieved both financially and
Interested in whether it can help you reduce your continuously rising energy spending? Email: or alkmaar@ perspective-architecturalgroup.