Document Type

Conference Paper

Publication Date




Publication Title

Energy Procedia





Conference Name

The 8th International Conference on Applied Energy - ICAE2016


This paper aims to propose a modeling method for algae powered neighborhoods through GIS-BIM integration. In the first part of the paper, the applicability of different types of algae systems in an urban neighborhood are studied. The various systems of algae provide different strengths and weakness that affect their performance and suitability for given urban scenarios. Through extensive literature review, the variables that affect the performance of the micro-algae in the built environment are identified, with a focus on flat-panel photo bio-reactors and tubular photobioreactors. A previous GIS model for data management, performance analysis and design of the algae systems is reviewed [1], which shows its limitations in managing fine-grained structures and functions of algae systems. A bottom-up BIM approach to deal with these limitations is further explored. The algae-embedded built environment can be modeled in the parametric 3D BIM and Rhinoceros with a set of building parameters for the roof, façade, window to wall ratio, etc. Subsequently, solar exposure on building surfaces, the use of the buildings and their respective façade types would be studied. Parametric 3D models of the buildings allows for faster design modification and the creation of multiple design options. These models can be used to perform energy analysis using the parametric energy analysis tool to check for building energy use intensity (EUI). The bottom-up approach explored in this research design aims to facilitate visualization and analysis of the built environment and gauge the productivity of microalgae. Finally, a platform for BIM –GIS integration and its possibility is explored in this paper. © 2017 The Authors.


This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (

Original Publication Citation

Dutt, F., Quan, S. J., Woodworth, E., Castro-Lacouture, D., Stuart, B. J., & Yang, P. P.-J. (2017). Modeling algae powered neighborhood through GIS and BIM integration. Energy Procedia, 105, 3830-3836. doi: