Building Information Modeling (BIM) for green buildings: A critical review and future directions

Yujie Lu, Zhilei Wu, Ruidong Chang, Yongkui Li*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

358 Citations (Scopus)
730 Downloads (Pure)


Although a large number of studies on Building Information Modeling (BIM) have been conducted in the past decade, a lack of consensus remains among researchers and practitioners regarding the applications of BIM for the development of green buildings, the activity of making buildings in a way that protects the natural environment. As the usefulness of BIM has been widely recognized in the building and construction industry, there is an urgent need to establish an up-to-date synthesis on the nexus between BIM and green buildings. After an in-depth review of hundreds of journal articles published from 1999 to 2016 and 12 widely used types of BIM software, this study provides a holistic understanding and critical reflection on the nexus between BIM and green buildings, which is systematically illustrated by a "Green BIM Triangle" taxonomy. The proposed taxonomy indicates that the nexus between BIM and green buildings needs to be understood based on three dimensions, namely project phases, green attributes and BIM attributes. Following the proposed taxonomy, this paper systematically illustrated 1) the applications of BIM in supporting the design, construction, operation, and retrofitting processes of green buildings; 2) the various functions of BIM for green building analyses such as energy, emissions, and ventilation analysis; 3) the applications of BIM in supporting green building assessments (GBA); and 4) research gaps and future research directions in this area. Through critical review and synthesis of BIM and green buildings based on evidence from both academic research and industrial practices, this paper provides important guidance for building researchers and practitioners to better align BIM development with green building development in the future.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)134-148
Number of pages15
JournalAutomation in Construction
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2017
Externally publishedYes


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