A team from the Dept. of Civil & Mineral Engineering, UofT is supporting UPDC (University Planning, Design, and Construction) in achieving the goals set by the GCWood program for the post-construction LCA (life cycle cost assessment) of the UofT Academic Tower. On one side, before construction starts, team members, acting as experienced engineers, help UofT fulfill the conditions of GCWood funding. On the other hand, in the post-construction stage, acting as researchers, the team members will establish a digitized platform for tracking and managing life cycle costs. The specific goals of this work are:
(a) Create 3D, 4D, and 5D BIM (Building Information Model) for the construction and post-construction stages, which are needed to capture the building and LCA data in a digital format
(b) Creating an IoT (Internet of Things) architecture to collect real-time performance data
(a) Enumerating and estimating the costs and factors that relate to optimizing LCA including analysis of costs and their relationship to building elements and the boundary conditions.
(b) Building a simulation model to study LCA risks and control uncertainties.
3. Knowledge management:
(a) Reengineering business processes to support digitized management of MT-specific O&M tasks.
(b) Develop a social BIM portal to streamline data flows and support knowledge exchange.
By investigating LCA at this level of depth, the outcomes of this work help establish benchmarks and best practices for planning and managing LCA in other (institutional) facilities in Ontario. Uniquely, in addition to reports and journal papers, the professional engineering analysis and the outcomes of the research work will be packaged in the form of digitized tools. So, instead of just reading a report, future stakeholders of mass timber structures will be able to use open-source code to study and optimize LCA through apps and software tools that are specific to mass timber. For example, collating all the experience gained in developing BIM for the project in developing an MVD (Model View Definition). MVD is an OpenBIM template that encapsulates all the data required to conduct an analysis. Using an MVD, the owner of a new mass timber structure can automatically check if the design submitted by an engineering/architectural consultant includes all the information needed to conduct LCA—is the design submitted by a consultant mature enough and LCA-savvy to support effective analysis of LCA? Similarly, an IDS (Information Delivery Specifications) file will be generated for use in future projects. IDS files enumerate the code-compliance and technical specifications of building elements that are needed to assure optimal LCA—how the elements of the building should be configured to optimize LCA?