HOK Chicago’s Dave Ivey and Colin Rohlfing recently spoke at the BUILDINGChicago/Greening the Heartland Expo & Conference in Chicago. Their panel “Integrating Environmental Analysis Into BIM Workflow: Utilizing the HOK Design Analysis Methodology” focused on HOK’s Design Analysis Methodology that builds environmental analysis, including climate analysis and energy and carbon modeling, into all stages of project design. The panel also included Boyd Black, Assistant Vice President for Capital Project Delivery at the University of Chicago, and Moderator Peter Marchese, Senior Consultant at Microdesk.
Dave discussed the BIM process and how to streamline delivery in order to minimize energy demand, with Colin focusing on how energy analysis improves design and delivers exceptional energy performance results. A significant contribution was Boyd Black’s comment from an owner’s standpoint, as he emphasized the importance of energy modeling in the conceptual and schematic design phases. Dave, Colin, and additional members of HOK Chicago are currently working with Boyd on the new 265,000 square foot Eckhardt Research Center (ERC), currently under construction at the University of Chicago. HOK performed the daylight analysis and massing for ERC and engaged The Weidt Group as third party modelers for energy use and life cycle and cost analysis. The energy modeling utilized on ERC has proved to be a guide for future University of Chicago projects.
“We were doing this energy modeling 4.5 years ago on the Eckhardt Research project. It was probably the first time the University took a very, very serious approach at energy modeling. They had required it before but not at the same level, and not with the same level of expectation. As Colin mentioned, we did decide to put chilled beams in the project, which we thought were going to be unreasonably expensive. They did add a first cost, but through this energy modeling we were able to prove that this first cost was well worth the investment. A lot of the other decisions we were making on that design of [the Eckhardt Research Center] were based on this energy model,” said Boyd.
Boyd further explained how the University of Chicago now requires energy modeling on all major projects and recently required energy modeling on a Design-Build RFP for an 800-bed residence hall.
Additional topics discussed included:
- Workflow and Project Execution Plan (PXP): Establishing workflow processes, policies, and benchmarks early to track results in addition to how BIM can help improve sustainability performance.
- Benefits of Analysis Tools: Pros and cons of energy analysis tools such as IES, Green Building Studio, Energy Plus, Equest, Vasari, and Ecotect, Radiance and Grasshopper and integrating the analysis information back into Revit models.
- Speed to Market: Emphasizing a need for early stage analysis at pre-design and schematic design phases.
- Baku Flame Towers: A prime example of early stage analysis, the Baku Flame Towers went through an iterative modeling process to determine solar control strategies for each exposure and CFD modeling to ensure thermal comfort.
- Façade Optimization: Using Grasshopper, an iterative parametric analysis, to determine the best shape for every exposure on the LG Electronics of New York project.
Overall, the panel was an informative presentation on integrating energy analysis into the design process and a key discussion with Boyd Black on a signature HOK Chicago project.