Improving the quality of nearly-Zero Energy Buildings

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The BIMplement project, funded under Horizon 2020 Energy Efficiency, is using Building Information Modeling (BIM) to achieve a higher quality of nearly-Zero Energy Buildings (nZEB). Narjisse Ben Moussa, project coordinator, tells us more about it in this interview. 

Could you describe the project and its objectives?

The overall objective of BIMplement is to improve the quality of nZEB construction and renovation. More concretely, we are mapping the skills to be developed or acquired in the new ZEB and BIM technology, especially for construction companies and designers, designing and implementing training programs. We are particularly focused on two main problematics that are strictly linked with the developing of quality nZEB, which are ventilation and air tightness.

The project also aims through this to reduce the gap between design and actual performance in nZEB, both in terms of energy efficiency and indoor environmental quality. 

What are the main challenges and achievements?

We had one big challenge related to the training of blue collars. Their training and upskilling on nZEB was one crucial element of the project, but the approval of these trainings requires quite a long decision-making process. BIM is a 3D model, different from the 2D ones that are generally used on site. So we needed to convinced all involved stakeholders of the importance and added value of BIM, as well as of its implementation program, which requires much more effort and time that we initially planned in the project. But it was a success and we achieved these results.

Another added value of BIMplement is that it addresses the whole value chain of the building sector and construction process, from design to implementation, and this helps achieving goals and meet the standards of nZEB. 

How do you think Horizon 2020 funding will help you in the development of your project?

The funding has been necessary for us to implement the project. Being involved and funded by a European program, allowed us not only to work with other European partners and develop BIMplement in different contexts, but also to showcase local projects. Also, the EU funding is often seen as neutral funding (not from one of the national players). This means that it opens doors for cooperation at a national and EU level.

What is in your opinion the golden tip for potential beneficiaries, the key to success to get funding?

Our key success in getting funding is developing proposals with ‘the end goal’ in mind. And then crafting a ‘fit’ and ‘balanced’ consortium around it.

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