ARCH 692B: Building Science Thesis

Streamlining Sustainable Design in Building Information Modeling: BIM-based PV Design and Analysis Tools

The current BIM-based PV system design process largely depends on transferring the architectural model to the PV special simulation software. However, some critical geometric information is lost during this process, and it is a one-way process with no information flow back. Furthermore, the current process takes time and effort on remodeling and transforming data between two platforms, which is not very suitable for early design phase which is characterized by quick and iterative processes. An automatic PV system design and management tool was developed, which fully integrates the existing and future information of PV systems in a building information modeling (BIM) platform. The proposed tool, PV for Early Design Phase (PV Link) first analyzes the solar radiation on a selected building façade. Then, it automatically selects the PV panel based on the solar analysis and user options with variables like PV size, roof geometry, and rooftop equipment. Finally, the solar radiation on each panel and the electricity produced is calculated and results shown in a building information model (BIM).