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The concept of sustainable green buildings is old but it has gained huge momentum in the modern world. The modern researchers have found out the ill effects of conventional process of development of buildings. Even after the construction of buildings it has been found that they are supposed to take up huge resources of energy that can disrupt and tilt the balance of the global energy situation. Given the crisis of the global energy resources it can be thus stated that architects need to find out techniques that can be used in the construction of greener buildings of the future. Given the development of the economy more and more companies are coming up in the global business environment and there is demand for construction of high rises. Therefore, it will be useful for the architects to develop buildings that will be sustainable in the future and will also use up less resources of energy.
For this purpose the use of the BIM technique is essential. The BIM technique makes use of modern technologies and provides information to the various stakeholders of the business at every stage of development. In addition to this, the BIM process makes the optimum use of the resources available to the developers of the buildings. Thus the buildings can be developed at a lower cost. The various stakeholders of the business are able to analyze the progress of the construction of the buildings and are also able to analyze the "What if" scenario. The Revit Parametric building modeler (RPBM) is one of the essential tools used in the process of BIM and enables the developers to recognize the inherent problems in the buildings. Therefore, the information can be used by the developers to efficiently use life cycle costing, day lighting, visualization, energy analysis etc. The developers of the buildings are supplied with diagrams at each stages of development and thus they are able to know about the progress made by the buildings. As the buildings are able to use these aspects effectively, they are able to reduce energy emissions to a large extent. Thus, it provides for a better future in the construction industry. (Building Information Modeling for sustainable design, n.d.; Hergunsel, 2011).
The paper will look specifically into the construction industry of Saudi Arabia. The country is one of the most aggressively developing countries of the Middle West and has been able to attract companies from all over the globe. The development of the economy of the country has been a boon to the construction industry and the region has seen the construction of many high rises over the years. The public sector has been the main catalyst for the growth in the construction industry as the sector has awarded contracts of the value $71.2bn in 2011 alone. It is expected that the industry will grow at the rate of 4.5% from 2013 to 2017. The industry is projected to reach $43.8bn in 2013. (Saudi Arabia's construction sector to grow 4.5% from 2013 to 2017, 5th July, 2012; Construction industry in Saudi Arabia to reach $43.8b by 2013, 20th February, 2012). Thus, it provides a huge opportunity for the construction industry of the country in the coming years. However, it also poses a threat for the country in terms of the environmental balance and quality of life of the citizens in the country. Thus, in this aspect it is apparent that in the coming days the Government must look to oblige to the international standards of LEED in developing sustainable buildings. As of now the country has not been using the BIM technique in the development of sustainable buildings and has been more involved in the conventional construction industry. However, with the boom in the current construction industry, the Government finds a unique opportunity to promote the use of green buildings. The Government has been passing regulations for promoting the construction of green buildings and has also been looking to promote the LEED system. The country has realized the benefits of developing sustainable buildings and using BIM. Therefore, it can be assumed that in the future, the construction industry in the country will be more likely to use this technique and making the buildings more sustainable. (Tassabehji, 28th March, 2011).
The next part of the paper deals with the choice of the methodology for the research. It has been stated earlier in the paper that it is expected in the future the BIM techniques will be more prevalent in Saudi Arabia. However, for this, it is important to know about the construction industry in Saudi Arabia and their ability to implement the technique in the country. In addition to this, it will also be essential to know about the usefulness of sustainable buildings in a country like Saudi Arabia.
Therefore, to find out the above aspects, it is desirable for the paper to construct a valid methodology. The careful choice of the methodology helps in the development of the research. The choice of the methodology depends on the aims and objectives of the paper. (Silverman, 2009: 10). The main aim of the research is to dwell on the use of the BIM techniques in the Saudi construction industry. This underlines the fact that the research deals with the relationship of knower and the known. (Cohen et al 2007).Essentially the job in the research will be "to make sense of or interpret the meanings data present to the world". (Creswell 2009).
As it has been stated earlier that the aims and objectives of the paper shape the choice of the methodology for the paper it will be essential to dwell on the aims and objectives of the paper in this space. These are as follows:
Understand the key criteria for sustainable buildings design.
Understand how to apply BIM applications in sustainable buildings.
Outline the benefits of bringing BIM in sustainable buildings design.
Determine the use of BIM in achieving the most sustainable solutions in green building.
Identifying the future recommendations of using BIM in green Buildings based on the present study.
Choice of methodology
In the case of the various researches done in global academic field two varieties are prevalent- qualitative and quantitative. In the case of the qualitative research the subjective views and opinions are to be considered while in the case of the quantitative analysis the relationship between the different variables and data is to be analyzed.
The aims and objectives of the paper underline the fact that the research will analyze the views of the respondents in the research. The fact that BIM is in its primitive stage in the Saudi construction industry makes it apparent that the data for these objectives in the perspectives of the research aims will not be available. There are various ways to perform qualitative research like survey, questionnaire, case study etc. Given the needs of the research, interviews with professionals related to the industry will be appropriate. Therefore, the study will analyze the responses of the questionnaires to find out the prospects of BIM in the construction industry in Saudi Arabia. However, it is essential to analyze the developments of the BIM technique in other parts of the world. Therefore, the research will analyze case studies regarding the development of the green buildings in other parts of the world and the use of the BIM. This will help to find out the benefits of the technique and will also offer a perspective on the use of the technique in the country.
The research will take the help of the questionnaire and surveys to find out the prospects of the Saudi construction industry in the use of the BIM technique. There are various ways of developing questions for the survey. The development of the questions will be related to the aims and objectives of the research. It has to be stated here that the responses for the research will require personal opinions of the respondents as well as the generation of data. Therefore, the use of the semi structured questions will be essential given the nature of the research. (Arksey and Knight, 1999, 33-36). The use of the questionnaire is the best way to conduct a primary research and the study will do the same. (Webb & Roe, 2007: 93).
The next step of the process is to decide on the mode of the survey. It has to be stated that the sample study of the research will be based in Saudi Arabia and it will not be possible to get appointments for the survey. Therefore, it will be beneficial for the researcher to conduct the survey through e mails and telephones. The email and telephonic interviews are not able to provide a valid recognition of the research process. However, given the place of the study, the researcher has no other option to complete the research. The researcher has to prepare the questionnaire that is to the point and to not take too much time of the respondent. It has to be stated that the respondents in this regard are busy people and the process has to be completed in an appropriate manner. The next step is to analyze the findings of the study and this will be done by using various statistical tools. The data has to be generated with the use of close ended questions. This will provide a detailed analysis of the study.
The various objectives of the research are to be fulfilled by the various methods of research. This has been dealt in the following table:
How to research
Understand the key criteria for sustainable buildings design
The use of the LEED infrastructure and the rules and regulations of the Saudi construction industry
Use of the literature in the Saudi construction industry about the rules and regulations set out by the SGBC;
Use of the survey to find out the fulfilment criteria of the SGBC;
The findings will give a detailed description of the SGBC and its operation;
Understand how to apply BIM applications in sustainable buildings
The use of the BIM technique in the development of the sustainable buildings
The literature review will find out the benefits of the BIM
The use of the BIM and the benefits of its will be found out
Outline the benefits of bringing BIM in sustainable buildings design
The benefits of BIM and the various techniques of it
The literature review will analyze the various tools of BIM and the benefits
The benefits of BIM and its tolls will be analyzed
Determine the use of BIM in achieving the most sustainable solutions in green building
The tools of BIM and the uses of the tools
The literature review will be analyzing the benefits of the tools of BIM
The benefits will be found out which will give a fair idea of why it needs to be incorporated
Identifying the future recommendations of using BIM in green Buildings based on the present study
The situation of the Saudi construction industry will be analyzed and the scope of BIM will be found out
The survey will find out the present conditions of the industry and will also analyze the use and impacts of BIM on it
The needs of the BIM in the industry will be found out and will help in recommending the future course of actions
The sample size of the research will be 50 and will consist of the professionals in the construction industry in Saudi Arabia. It has to be noted that the professionals related to the industry are the best person to know about the happenings of the industry and thus will be able to provide detailed views relating to the subject matter of the research. This will help the paper to move to a viable conclusion. Before, starting the interview the researcher will have to ask for formal permission from the respondent and his organization telling them about the subject matter of the research.
The data analysis forms a vital part of the research procedure. The data for this research will be generated with the help of the survey that has been proposed in the earlier section of the paper. The survey will be developed with the help of semi structured questions that consist of the close ended as well as open ended questions. The close ended questions will be able to generate data. However, a major part of the research will be the analysis of the open ended questions. Thus, the research will encompass the use of the phenomenological reduction as well as the imaginative variation. The phenomenological reduction analyses the data as are presented. (Moustakas, 1994: 90). The data from the close ended questions will be analysed with the help of this. However, in the case of the open ended questions the imaginative variation will be used where the researcher has to develop various perspectives based on the responses of the questions. (Moustakas, 1994: 98). This will require the development of the analytical perspectives of the researcher in a huge way. It has to be stated that the careful evaluation of the open ended questions will be essential in the fulfilment of the research aims and objectives in the paper. The research will also use case studies to find out the benefits of the sustainable building designs and the use of BIM in other parts of the world. This will also require the use of the imaginative variation perspective of the researcher in a big way.
The results of the survey would give an appropriate analysis of the conditions in Saudi Arabia in respect of the green buildings and the use of BIM techniques. The analysis of the case study will underline the factors of the development of the BIM techniques and its use in the development of the green buildings in various parts of the world. By combining the two analyses the paper will be able to divulge details on the necessity of the BIM techniques and its scope in the present architectural sector in Saudi Arabia. This will help the paper to fulfil the principal aim for the paper.
The research will abide by the principles of the British Educational Research Association (2004). The research will underline the principles of consent, confidentiality, validation of data, voluntary participation. The respondents of the research will be sent emails requesting them time and consent. After the consent of the respondents the survey will be conducted. The names of the participants will not be disclosed under any circumstances. The original data can be accessed by the researcher and the supervisor only. The data will not be censored after the final submission.
1. What are the activities related to your organization?
2. What is the type of ownership in your organization?
3. What type of buildings have you constructed/involved in Saudi Arabia?
4. Which type of building is preferable for the environment?
5. Do you look into the progress of the buildings at every stage of construction?
6. Do you get necessary information about the process of building at every stage of operation?
7. Is it easier for you to plan a building if you get necessary information at every stage of operation?
8. Do you think the construction industry in Saudi Arabia needs sustainable buildings?
9. Have any initiative taken by the construction industry to develop sustainable buildings?
10. What in your opinion is the benefit of sustainable building?
Easier to develop
Lends balance to the environment
Sustainable to the society
11. Do you think the construction industry in Saudi Arabia will be able to implement the technological changes needed for the construction of sustainable buildings?
12. Is there necessary expertise available to implement the changes in the construction industry?
13. What are in your opinion the features of a sustainable building?
14. What are the operational aspects in the development of sustainable buildings?
15. Are you aware of the use of BIM?
16. Has there been any initiative taken by the construction industry/Government to implement BIM in the development of the buildings?
17. Are the buildings in Saudi Arabia compliant to the international LEED standards?
18. What in your opinion is the biggest benefit of BIM?
Information at every stage
Better use of resources
19. Are you aware of CAD and RPBM? If yes what are their benefits?
20. What are in your opinion to be done to implement BIM model in the Saudi construction industry?