June 2009


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Building Information Modeling Continues to Grow in Green Building
Adding Ease to Displaying Building Energy Efficiencies

Sarah Erdman,
Marketing Director,
Quality Automation Graphics


Building information modeling (BIM) is shifting the way buildings are designed, especially in the sustainable building industry. They are being used more often throughout a building’s entire life, from the actual design and construction to the finished building’s operations. This increases productivity, controls costs, and allows functional relationships between a building’s elements.

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Also fueling this growing trend is a building information model’s support of energy efficiency practices and sustainable goals, such as earning LEED certification credits. BIM can help improve a building’s energy analysis by extracting relevant data for review. Using this technology can also help share a building’s energy efficiency information with the public.

Quality Automation Graphics, an industry leader in the design of energy efficiency education, can work with a BIM to provide a cost-effective solution that displays a building’s energy efficiencies in an easy to understand format. The solution is an Energy Efficiency Education Dashboard (EEED), a graphical user interface (GUI) that can “talk” to the building’s automation system to display energy efficiencies in real-time. It can also display other data including green features, historical data and company information.

An example is a new McDonald’s which is being constructed in North Carolina; the owner and operator of the new restaurant, Ric Richards of Richards Advantage, Inc., wishes to display the sustainability practices. The building is registered with the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) as part of the LEED for Retail Pilot program. Details from this building project and over 80 other pilot project teams will be used to create two new LEED for Retail rating systems to be launched later this year.

[an error occurred while processing this directive] McDonalds’ architects, the National Restaurant Designers Division of LMHT Associates, have provided the restaurant’s BIM which will be used to create the EEED’s graphics. Quality Automation Graphics is able to use the BIM and design the EEED which shows a 360 degree tour of the restaurant and its green features. This will be displayed on an interactive touch screen in the restaurant lobby, allowing users to learn more about the building’s economic and environmental benefits.

When creating an EEED using a BIM, the virtual building model and digital representations of the building have already been created. These detailed representations of the building’s actual components allow realistic graphics to be incorporated into the EEED, saving designers the time of creating new graphics. Incorporating these ready-made components simplifies the design process, making it cost effective and efficient for buildings to share sustainability practices with the public. This effort of displaying energy efficiencies is being utilized more and more in the green building industry. Using an Energy Efficiency Education Dashboard can help buildings earn an Innovation in Design LEED certification credit.

If you’re interested in learning more about displaying a building’s energy efficiencies, contact Quality Automation Graphics.

An example of what can be done with a Revit model.

An example of what can be done with a Revit model.



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