BIM and Thermographic Sensing: Reflecting the As-is Building Condition in Energy Analysis

  • Ham, Youngjib (OHL School of Construction, College of Engineering and Computing, Florida International University) ;
  • Golparvar-Fard, Mani (Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)
  • Published : 2015.12.01


This paper presents an automated computer vision-based system to update BIM data by leveraging multi-modal visual data collected from existing buildings under inspection. Currently, visual inspections are conducted for building envelopes or mechanical systems, and auditors analyze energy-related contextual information to examine if their performance is maintained as expected by the design. By translating 3D surface thermal profiles into energy performance metrics such as actual R-values at point-level and by mapping such properties to the associated BIM elements using XML Document Object Model (DOM), the proposed method shortens the energy performance modeling gap between the architectural information in the as-designed BIM and the as-is building condition, which improve the reliability of building energy analysis. Several case studies were conducted to experimentally evaluate their impact on BIM-based energy analysis to calculate energy load. The experimental results on existing buildings show that (1) the point-level thermography-based thermal resistance measurement can be automatically matched with the associated BIM elements; and (2) their corresponding thermal properties are automatically updated in gbXML schema. This paper provides practitioners with insight to uncover the fundamentals of how multi-modal visual data can be used to improve the accuracy of building energy modeling for retrofit analysis. Open research challenges and lessons learned from real-world case studies are discussed in detail.



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