Cobuilder Bulgaria has been granted funding from Norway for developing a unique BIM-enabled software for green building through the “Green Industry Innovation” programme

Cobuilder Bulgaria is finded by Norway Grants for the development of BIM-enabled green products selection tool

The Bulgarian branch of Cobuilder in a consortium with the Norwegian software start-up Catenda has been awarded funding through the state owned organisation “Innovation Norway” and its “Green Industry Innovation” programme under the Norway Grants assistance for the financial period 2009-2014. The main purpose of the programme is to enhance the “greening” of the European economy by supporting green innovation, technology development and entrepreneurship.

What is BIM?

As unfamiliar as it may seem, the term BIM (Building Information Modelling) is getting widely popular in the construction sector. The reason for this is that BIM technologies are a leap into the future through their ability to ensure accurate, easily-accessible and reliable information at any stage of a building’s life cycle. Going beyond 3D modelling, BIM is also a process of creating and distributing data within all the stages of the building process from brief and design to demolition. BIM creates a common data environment for all the actors within the construction supply chain as well as constant access to the same accurate information, regardless of their specific role and the software they use.

BIM is the route to green building

Having briefly explained BIM, Cobuilder’s project “Green Construction Products into BIM”, receiving financial aid from Norway, is oriented towards the use of BIM for a greener, more sustainable construction industry. How is this relevant to the sector? Each construction product has an environmental impact. Moreover, for the production, transportation and installation of each product there is an energy consumption that further influences the total impact of each building or structure on the environment. Often times “green” building suffers from lack of transparency in all communications between the involved parties. This leads to cases in which due to miscommunication and lack of cooperation contractors select and use cheaper products with inferior environmental properties instead of the green products previously specified within the design stage, where environmental impact is considered and accounted for.

The main objective of the “Green Construction Products into BIM” project is developing software solutions that enable the selection of environmentally-friendly products based on their environmental properties or characteristics. The functionalities that Cobuilder develops will help all actors within the construction supply chain take advantage of the technical specifications and environmental properties of each product in a digital format, thus helping the selection process and ensuring what is specified actually gets built. Furthermore, Cobuilder’s project will facilitate the integration of these data into BIM in order to track the movement of all products from design to operation.

A unique innovation opportunity

“The construction industry, one of the biggest business-to-business segments in any part of the world, is going through a rapid and deep digital revolution. With the aid of “Green Industry Innovation” our company has a unique opportunity to develop expert green construction industry solutions and contribute to a better, greener built environment” – states Bistra Papazova, CEO of Cobuilder Bulgaria.

Cobuilder’s software solutions ensure the integration of data between all the parties involved in a construction project. They enable effective and consistent data exchange with high levels of transparency that ensures everybody knows what products, with what technical and environmental properties, go into a building.

The project duration is until April 2016, while the first results of it will be presented in the autumn of 2015.

The following publication is supported by a grant from Norway through the Norwegian Financial Mechanism 2009-2014, in the frame of Programme Area BG 10 – Green Industry Innovation

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