Integrated approach for sustainability assessment in power plant projects using Building Information Modeling

Author's Department

Environmental Engineering Program

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Ali Azzam, Mohamed El Zayat, Mohamed Marzouk

Document Type

Research Article

Publication Title

Energy for Sustainable Development

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This research proposes a framework for sustainability assessment for power plant projects. The proposed framework integrates sustainability and Building Information Modeling (BIM) to achieve enhanced results concerning sustainability assessment in the power plants sector. International and regional sustainability rating systems as well as design guidelines are studied to develop a new sustainability assessment system dedicated to power plant projects. A total of 54 criteria, clustered in eight categories, are considered in the rating system. These categories are: 1) Nature and Urban 2) Site, 3) Energy, 4) Water, 5) Materials and Resources, 6) Emissions and Environment, 7) Operation and Management, and 8) Culture and economy. The sustainability levels are ranked in six levels: Non-Sustainable, Improved, Enhanced, Superior, Conserving, Restorative. The Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP) is implemented to set the weights of the criteria that are considered in the proposed sustainability system. BIM is utilized to develop a plugin for the proposed rating system to determine the level of sustainability of power plant projects. The developed plugin invests the BIM model attributes to provide the stakeholder with an instantaneous sustainability metric tool that saves time and reduces the possible errors. A case study of a 100 MW power plant is presented to test the effectiveness of the developed approach in the sustainability assessment.

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