|Dat Tien Doan||Department of Built Environment, Auckland University of Technology, 55 Wellesley St E, Auckland, 1010, New Zealand|
|Ali Ghaffarianhoseini||Department of Built Environment, Auckland University of Technology, 55 Wellesley St E, Auckland, 1010, New Zealand|
|Nicola Naismith||Department of Built Environment, Auckland University of Technology, 55 Wellesley St E, Auckland, 1010, New Zealand|
Neither Building Information Modelling (BIM) nor Green Star certification has yet to be widely adopted in the New Zealand construction industry. This paper, therefore, aims to encourage their development by examining the relationship between BIM adoption and Green Star certification. The qualitative approach using 21 semi-structured interviews with the construction professionals was conducted. The results indicate that despite the absence of a direct link, integrating BIM with Green Star has the potential to accelerate the Green Star uptake in New Zealand. However, BIM and Green Star uptake have two separated processes along with the lack of client demand for either BIM or Green Star projects were identified as the significant barriers to the integration. Among eight solutions recommended from the interviewees, providing education and training in both BIM and Green Star for clients and construction practitioners plays a key role. This research contributes to the current knowledge of BIM and Green Star in New Zealand by providing baseline information to the NZGBC, construction stakeholders, and the government that allows for the formulation of effective strategies to be used to develop both BIM and Green Star.
BIM; Green Star; New Zealand; New Zealand Green Building Council (NZGBC)
The use of Building Information Modelling (BIM) is still in its early stages in the New Zealand construction industry (Ghaffarianhoseini et al., 2017), while Green Star New Zealand, a relatively new system released recently by the New Zealand Green Building Council (NZGBC) to evaluate the sustainability of the projects, boasts a modest number of Green Star certified projects (Doan et al., 2017). However, BIM has rapidly adopted globally due to its widely recognized benefits, which have the potential to transform the industry during the entire lifecycle of projects (Ghaffarianhoseini et al., 2017). Bryde et al (2013) identified numerous benefits of BIM using 35 cases in eight different countries. Meanwhile, the substantial advantages of green building assessments include minimizing the impact of construction projects on the environment (Doan et al., 2017). To encourage the development of both BIM and Green Star in New Zealand, Ghaffarianhoseini et al. (2017) examined the relationship between BIM and Green Star. This research, however, concentrated on the existing literature regarding the development of a BIM-Green Star framework. This paper uses the perspectives of experts in the industry to determine whether a link between BIM and Green Star could be created. The barriers to such a connection are identified and suggestions from experts on how to overcome such problems provided. The NZGBC, construction stakeholders, and the government could use this baseline information to formulate effective strategies for the development of both BIM and Green Star.
To provide “deep, rich observational data” for the research (Sieber, 1973; Onwuegbuzie & Leech, 2005), a qualitative approach was adopted. Semi-structured interviews, allowing respondents the freedom to actively engage in sharing their views on their own terms (Cohen & Crabtree, 2006; Harrell & Bradley, 2009), were conducted with experts in the New Zealand construction industry. Owing to the shortage of specialists in both BIM and Green Star, a combination of two sampling methods was utilized: purposive sampling and snowball sampling. While the first could ensure the characteristics of the participants, potentially informative interviewees could be located using snowball sampling. LinkedIn, a powerful professional networking tool with a large database of business professionals (Albrecht, 2011; Schneiderman, 2016), was used to find initial interviewees that satisfied two criteria: (1) working in the construction for at least five years; and (2) participating in either BIM projects or Green Star projects (including Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM) or Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED)). The initial group of interviewees then suggested potential participants. In total, 22 interviews were carried out, 19 face-to-face and three by telephone. This sample size is considered appropriate for the qualitative approach by many researchers. For example, Galvin (2015) indicated that 12 interviews are sufficed to achieve saturation, while 20 or 15±10 interviewees are adequate based on Crouch and McKenzie (2006) and Kvale and Brinkmann (2009), respectively. Similar sample sizes were used in previous publications in the construction area such as Hurlimann et al. (2018) and Sacilotto and Loosemore (2018). It is noted that interviews #6, #12, #13, and #20 have two interviewees for each based on the request of the corresponding interviewees.
Before conducting the interviews, approval was sought from the Auckland University of Technology Ethics Committee (2018) “to ensure that the privacy, safety, health, social sensitivities and welfare of human participants are adequately protected.”
The demographics of the participants reveal different levels of experience, various types of companies, and participation in a number of either BIM or Green Star projects (see Table 1). This could enhance transferability of the results to readers for their applications, a characteristic that may promote the validity and reliability of the findings (Merriam & Tisdell, 2016). Adequate engagement was also planned and carried out to ensure sufficient time spent on the data collection to achieve saturation (Merriam & Tisdell, 2016). The transcripts were checked to avoid mistakes during the transcribing stage (Creswell, 2014). Finally, multiple sources of data were employed to confirm the findings, known as the triangulation method (Merriam & Tisdell, 2016).
Transcript #9 was removed from the analysis stage due to sound issues detected while recording the data, leaving 21 transcripts to analyze.
This paper examines the relationship between BIM adoption and Green Star certification. The results indicate that despite the absence of a current concrete connection, BIM adoption has the potential to ease Green Star certification. Information on Green Star credits could be linked to the BIM model, requiring only an add-on for the automatic assessment of Green Star certification. However, several challenges remain, including costs, industry capacity, information requirements, lack of knowledge, a lack of client demand, inflexible Green Star submission requirements, and low BIM maturity level or LOD. Solutions, arrived at with the help of the interviewed construction experts, include: (1) integrating BIM process with the Green Star certification process; (2) flexible Green Star submission requirements; (3) executing BIM properly; (4) collaboration among NZGBC and construction stakeholders; (5) providing education and training in both BIM and Green Star for clients and construction practitioners; (6) showcasing benchmark projects that use BIM to enhance Green Star certification; (7) setting up a Green Star materials database for BIM modeling; and (8) mandating BIM. This research contributes to the current knowledge of BIM and Green Star in New Zealand by providing baseline information to the NZGBC, construction stakeholders, and the government that allows for the formulation of effective strategies to be used to develop both BIM and Green Star. Future studies will determine how many Green Star credits that could be achieved by using BIM and how to integrate their processes.
The authors are grateful to all the interviewees who participated in this study. This research is supported by the Vice Chancellor Doctoral Scholarship from Auckland University of Technology, New Zealand.
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