BIM – A booster for energy transition and BIPV adoption

Alamy, Philippe and Nguyen, Van Khai and Saretta, Erika and Bonomo, Pierluigi and Romàn Medina, Eduardo and Vega de Seoane, Josè Maria and Alonso, Pablo (2019) BIM – A booster for energy transition and BIPV adoption. In: Conference Proceedings of the 36th European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference and Exhibition 36th EU PVSEC, Marseille.

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Building-Integrated PhotoVoltaic (BIPV) has the potential to significantly contribute to the achievement of the demanding energy efficiency targets set by the EU. However, its market uptake has been hindered in the past years by the difficulties of the industry in providing holistic solutions complying with key demands from decision makers and end-users. Practically, among the most important technological challenges toward energy-efficient buildings are twofold: (i) bioclimatic design, considering eco-friendly sources as well as renewable and durable materials, and (ii) Building Information Modelling (BIM) methodology for the whole architecture, engineering and construction (AEC), involving design, production and process innovation respectively. The fragmentation of the value chain, especially in BIPV where building and electro-technical sectors need to work in a coordinated way, is a real threat to the competitiveness of the sector. In fact, a considerable share of cost for BIPV systems is not only related to the product (module, BOS, etc.), manufacturing and operation but also to inefficiencies along some project stages. So far, BIPV is still not supported by a completely digitized process which could ensure clear structures, efficient processes, lower costs, less time and higher quality across the entire lifecycle. Overcoming these challenges can be achieved by the implementation of BIM into the BIPV value-chain, in order to introduce an integrated process supported by digital and interoperable environments connected, from pre-design to manufacturing, as a key to address growing technical complexity and manufacturing flexibility. Digitalization can overcome the construction processes fragmentation and communication problems between stakeholders, to reduce on-site time for installation and improve building affordability throughout its lifecycle. Within this context, two European H2020 projects, PVSITES ( and BIPVBOOST (, address the need for a software solution within a digital environment for the joint modelling, performance simulation and information management of BIPV and building energy systems.

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