As BIM continues to emerge rapidly as a paradigm-changing technology and green building remains a key buzzword within the construction industry, developers are exploring new ways to use advanced modelling software to facilitate the design and incorporation of efficiency features into their latest projects.

The first stage of the Gran Rubina Tower complex in the Indonesian capital of Jakarta exemplifies the use of BIM software in the service of sustainability and green construction.

The 22-storey, 180,000 square metre office complex, one of few greenfield high-rise developments left in Jakarta, is expected to consume a stunning 30 per cent less energy than other skyscrapers in the region following its completion in 2018.

AG5, a Danish architecture firm spearheading efforts to bring integrated energy design to Indonesia, said BIM software played a critical role in the development of the Gran Rubina’s sustainability features.

Brian Sheldon

Brian Sheldon

“In terms of the sustainability and energy efficiency aspect of the project, what’s unique about it are strategies we’ve devised for minimising direct solar exposure,” said Brian Sheldon, partner and architect with AG5. “The use of BIM was one of the keys to the solar studies for the project and subsequent building designs.”

Bentley’s BIM software, which AG5 has employed since its inception in 2005, was used to conduct solar exposure studies at varying levels of detail in order to give the designers a better idea of how sunlight would impact the site under a range of different conditions.

This enabled AG5 to determine the optimum alignment of the buildings in order to reduce their solar heat gain, as well as refine the design of the solar shading. Features such as deep horizontal bands,  vertical class louvers, sky gardens and double-glazed windows were incorporated to further reduce solar exposure by providing the buildings with a screened facade.

These elegant yet simple methods for reducing solar exposure should have a dramatic impact on the energy efficiency of the office development, given that air-conditioning comprises one of the main usages of electricity by buildings in the balmy climes of South-east Asia.

Sheldon said the adaptability of BIM also greatly facilitated co-operation between AG5 and its Indonesian partners, who continue to be largely reliant on AutoCAD.

“The use of Bentley was one of the keys to our collaboration with our local Indonesian partner Pandega Desain Weharima (PDW) because of its interoperability,” he said. “The software enabled some of our teams to use Bentley 3D, while other teams, particularly at the detailing level, continued to use AutoCAD.”

Fergus Dunn, Building & Construction Industry Solutions director of Bentley Systems, sees South-east Asia as a key market for both BIM and green building.

“We view the region as a major growth area for our company, in terms of both sustainable design and pushing towards a BIM paradigm,” he said. “A number of countries in region are adopting a more concerted approach to this issue, with Singapore taking the lead, and Malaysia now hot on its heels.”