Planning, design and operation optimization of energy-efficient building projects and existing buildings through modeling and simulation-based building information models

Project duration:

07/2013 to 06/2016

Project funding:

Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi)

Project consortium:

  • Institute of Energy Efficiency and Sustainable Building (E3D), RWTH Aachen (coordination)
  • Institute for Energy Efficient Buildings and Indoor Climate, RWTH Aachen (EBC)
  • Fraunhofer Institute for Building Physics (IBP)
  • Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems (ISE)
  • Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)
  • Berlin University of the Arts (UDK)
  • AEC3 Germany GmbH (AEC3)


The joint project EnEff-BIM addresses IT-methods for the planning, design and operation optimization of energy-efficient building projects and existing buildings – focusing on the development and testing of such methods, as well as on making them available to planners. The modeling, simulation and operation optimization is based on open building information models (BIM), with the aim to achieve a seamless data exchange in the field of technical planning – based on a 3D digital model and using the format of the Industry Foundation Classes, IFC. Instead of trying to establish a single software solution, the aim is to build up on the object-oriented modeling approach Modelica. The project aims to develop a universal digital format to enable data exchange in the field of building and system simulations, to extend an existing BIM-scheme for the description of TGA elements, and to demonstrate its implementation drawing on selected elements. The task of extending the format will be addressed in cooperation with buildingSMART as well as normative bodies of the VDI and the DIN. The key aspect is the development of an open, non-proprietary product interface that covers submodels from BIM, from Modelica, and from other established simulation tools, based on the Functional Mock-up Interface standard (FMI). Practicable methods for the purposes of uncertainty analysis and sensitivity analysis in building simulations will help to develop adequate digital planning tools for operation optimization. Practical demonstrations will provide feedback for the development process.

The research project is linked to the international EBC Annex 60 Project “Computational Tools for Building and Community Energy Systems” under the auspices of the International Energy Agency (IEA).