Renovation in focus - New perspectives for sustainable project planning in existing buildings

Despite an improvement in sentiment at the end of 2023, the construction industry remains in crisis mode and faces the task of finding innovative ways to minimise environmental impact while meeting the growing demand for infrastructure. In this context, the conversion of existing structures takes center stage, as it promises not only the sustainable use of existing resources, but also the creation of new perspectives for construction project planning.
The renovation of buildings, given their contribution of 40% to energy consumption and 36% of CO2 emissions in the EU, is the focus of the "Renovation Wave", an initiative of the European Commission as part of the European Green Deal to increase the renovation rate in the building sector and thus reduce CO2 emissions. The strategy outlines the goal of renovating 35 million buildings by 2030, potentially creating up to 160,000 new environmentally friendly jobs in the construction industry.

Infographic - Renovation wave: creating green buildings for tomorrow. Image: © European Union, 2021
This article illustrates the crucial role that the use of advanced 3D technologies plays in sustainable existing project planning and how it can help to meet the current challenges of the construction crisis in a future-oriented and efficient way.
Sustainability as a guiding principle
Sustainable project planning in existing buildings focuses on the reuse and optimisation of existing buildings and infrastructure. Instead of using resources for new construction, conversion focuses on the intelligent use of existing structures. This paradigm shift is not only ecologically responsible, but also makes economic sense.

Digitalisation as a key role

Sustainable development begins in the planning phase. This is where the importance of comprehensive and sustainable project planning for existing buildings comes into play. By using modern planning technologies, such as Building Information Modeling (BIM), existing buildings can be digitally recorded and optimal conversion strategies developed. - digital architectural surveying

Using various scanning methods, existing buildings can be digitised in great detail as point clouds. ELITECAD makes it possible to quickly load and easily edit such point clouds, some of which are huge, so that existing data can be easily used for reconstruction, preservation, refurbishment, conversion or extension, despite their high information content.
3D BIM modeling has established itself as a pioneering technology. In the following, we summarise the main advantages, whereby these relate to the 3D CAD software ELITECAD Architecture.

Advantages of 3D - Building Information Modeling

Precise recording
of the inventory
3D building modeling by importing point clouds enables precise and detailed recording of the existing building condition. The digital representation captures all structural elements for in-depth analysis and planning.
Optimisation of
conversion measures
By simulating various conversion scenarios in the 3D environment, planners can identify the optimum solution. This leads to a more efficient and cost-effective implementation of the conversion measures with shorter decision-making paths.
Early conflict
Visualising all construction elements in a 3D model makes it possible to identify conflicts and planning errors at an early stage. This significantly reduces the risk of unforeseen problems during the implementation phase.
Documentation and
facility management
The digital twin not only serves as a valuable tool during the planning and construction phase, but also for subsequent documentation and facility management. Up-to-date information on the structure of the building is available for maintenance and future conversion projects.
Efficient use
of resources
Identifying potential problems at an early stage allows resources to be used optimally. Construction planners can estimate exactly what quantities of materials will be required. This is particularly important in renovation planning in order to minimise the ecological footprint.
By integrating architectural, structural and installation-related information, 3D planning creates an integral planning environment. Architects, engineers and other project participants can access all relevant data in real time.
Building Information Modeling enables a detailed analysis of the energy performance of buildings. Using simulations, planners can run through various scenarios to find the most energy-efficient solution.
A 3D model as a digital twin makes communication between project participants much easier. The visual representation makes complex technical information easier to understand, which leads to improved collaboration and understanding.

ELITECAD makes renovation projects a pleasure

Renovation planning in ELITECAD
All project statuses are available simultaneously and can be shown or hidden at the touch of a button. Classification takes place at component level without having to use layers, for example.
  • Import of as-built data for precise representation of the building status
  • Management of all project statuses in one model
  • Configure the representation of demolition, existing and new construction from the 3D model to the plans
  • Automatic, standard-compliant representation in plans, views and sections on a component basis
  • Precise mass determination for all project statuses
  • Simulation of project statuses using ELITECAD Time Machine
Want to try out the full functionality for yourself?
ELITECAD Architecture is available for download at any time as a free 30-day trial version.