A path to BIM-based LCA for whole-buildings
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This paper explores the possibility of creating a Building Information Modeling (BIM) solution capable of generating a whole-building Life Cycle Inventory (LCI) for Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) using the Industry Foundation Classes (IFC) data model as a platform. This is accomplished by outlining the theoretical, methodological, and technical bases for creating such a tool. A process has been proposed to formally link LCA and BIM databases in order to allow for automated file transfers, improve the consistency of LCIs, and provide an initial bridge between the two fields. Using a methodology developed by the building SMART alliance, an Information Delivery Manual (IDM) for LCA has been created. This document, which includes Process Maps, Exchange Requirements and Functional Parts, can be used to supply solution providers with a technical understanding of the information and properties that must be exchanged to conduct an LCA study. This work acts as a proof-of-concept for BIM-based LCA, and speaks to the feasibility of a solution that would allow for the use of a BIM as the sole data source for an LCI file that is able to be directly transferred into LCA software.