Mainmanger shows off automated EPD calculations using the bimsync API

Mainmanger demonstrated their prototype BIM based Environmental Impact calculator at an event in Reykjavik, Island. The tool is one of the deliveries from the SAC – Standards Automatically Consumed project founded by Nordic Innovation. The tool is an implementation of EN 15978 Sustainability of construction works – Assessment of environmental performance of buildings, and combines two Api services provided by Catenda. The first one is the bimsync api providing material and quantity information for all of the objects in the building. The second api provides EPDs – Environmental Product Declaration’s for a range of relevant products. By combining these two services Mainmanger demonstrated how a project owner can simulate different scenarios for how substitution of one product by another influences the environmental impact of the building. Most importantly they demonstrated how such simulations can be done in minutes rather than days or weeks for manual calculations.

Catenda on our side demonstrated how a standard,  in theory any standard, can be provided as a service though an api. By using methodology developed in the bSDD project we analyzed the standard with focus on objects and properties relevant for BIM, and extracted these as well as various calculations offered by the standard. The information was finally turned into services in a REST api.

The exercise exposed that despite being a perfect candidate for automated BIM calculations EN 15978 doesn’t seem to have been created with such use in mind.This becomes very obvious when studying the various EPDs made in accordance with the standard. These are, despite being painfully detailed, lacking structure and information needed to turn them into candidates for automated services.

These and other observations will be part of a separate report from the SAC project. The report will be available for standardization groups wanting to make their Standards more relevant for automated use with regards to buildingSMART and BIM.

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