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Pr. Elisa Sotelino

Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, PUC-Rio, Brazil


Talk Title
Integrating BIM, Lean Construction and Sustainability Concepts targeting the Construction Industry

Talk Abstract

The construction industry is one of the least productive and most wasteful sectors worldwide. There is a pressing need for its evolution in terms of work process methodology, the development of new techniques and the use of emerging technologies. Furthermore, this industry is considered the main villain of sustainable development when compared to all other sectors. In this context, this research aims to identify how Building Information Modeling (BIM) functionalities could interact with Lean Construction to support sustainable development in building design to deliver higher quality projects.

Building Information Modeling is the most prominent information technology for the construction industry. In this methodology, 3D representations of enterprises consist of geometrical and non-geometrical information. This enables the creation of a construction model that contains a lot of useful information in addition to geometry. Lean construction is the term used to define the application of lean thinking principles to the construction environment. It is a conceptual approach to project and construction management and refers to the application and adaptation of the underlying concepts and principles of the Toyota Production System to construction. In its widest sense, green building is about sustainability and it should consider the Triple Bottom Line of financial, social and environmental performance during the process. Viewing a sustainable building as a process is important because green-building success is not just a matter of building with green materials, but the combination of materials and processes to maximize efficiency, durability and savings.
This research seeks to understand how these three concepts can be integrated. To accomplish this, a structured literature research looking for pairwise combination of these topics was carried out. It was found that there have been no studies that clearly correlate them all together, even though pairwise combinations have been somewhat investigated. By deeply studying and analyzing goals and findings of these pairwise concept combination research works, a framework was developed to aid future research on the subject.
To validate some of these interrelationships, a plug-in was implemented on a BIM enabled visualization environment to help the user decide the best design between alternatives, while considering his perspective on what generates value to the project. To illustrate and validate the usability and importance of the plug-in, the design of a warehouse with certain requirements was considered. Four design alternatives were modeled considering different types of superstructures along with the building envelope and varied types of materials. The plug-in then imported an external database and calculated general costs, CO2 emissions and thermal comfort indicators for each model based on data contained on elements and the imported database. Finally, it considered user weightings on each indicator and graphically displayed results indicating which of the options would be the best through a Multiple Attribute Decision Method. It was possible to verify that automated analysis considering indicators can optimize decision making tasks that otherwise would be inefficient and inaccurate. This way, some of the perceived interactions were validated and the importance of integrating these concepts was confirmed

Short Biography

Elisa Sotelino received a BS Degree in Civil Engineering and a MS Degree in Structural Engineering from PUC-Rio in Brazil. In 1984 she began her graduate studies at Brown University where she received a MS in Applied Mathematics and a Ph.D. in Solid Mechanics. During her academic career in the United States, she was a faculty member in two top ten land grand universities, (1990-2004: Associate Professor at Purdue University, 2005-2013: Professor at Virginia Tech). Her research activities in computational mechanics integrate emerging computing technologies and the application of modeling tools to structural and solid mechanics problems. It also covers new methodologies in engineering, such as BIM (Building Information Modeling), Lean Construction and Green Buildings. Additionally, Elisa has been active in service both within the profession as well as within the university setting. She was Associate Editor for the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Journal of Structural Engineering from 2002 to 2009 and Invited Editor of the special issue 15:3 in Parallel Processing and Distributed Computing of the Computer-Aided Civil and Infrastructure Engineering published in 2000. She also chaired the ASCE Technical Committee on Emerging Computing Technology (1999 – 2003), and served as a member on both the advisory board and the scientific committee for the European Community on Computational Methods and Applied Sciences Thematic conferences on Computational Methods in Structural Dynamics and Earthquake Engineering (2007 and 2009). Currently, she is a professor at the Department of Civil Engineering at PUC-Rio and the Coordinator of the Center for Science and Engineering Education (NECE) of the College of Sciences and Engineering (CTC) at PUC-Rio.

Talk Keywords
Sustainability; BIM; lean thinking; design performance; data model; plugin.
Target Audience
Students, Post doctoral researchers, Industry partners, University faculties
Speaker-intro video


The International Conference on Innovative Applied Energy (IAPE’18)