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Media Release: New 3D modelling an urban-planning game-changer for carbon neutrality

Posted 15 September 2017 - 9:00am

New 3D digital prototyping promises to be a game-changer for planning future city precincts, or engaging the community, to ensure they are both sustainable and carbon neutral.  

The Precinct Information Modelling (PIM) research, funded by the CRC for Low Carbon living (CRCLCL) and involving industry and academic partners, is being discussed today at a special industry symposium: Using Precinct Information Modelling (PIM) to Support Carbon Management.

The concept of PIM is an extension of the currently used Building Information Modelling (BIM), a 3D digital modelling process that is used widely within the building design, construction and facility management professions.

CRLCL Project Leader, Jim Plume said the new research shows that by adapting this current technology within an open source PIM structure, there is enormous potential to make a serious difference in reducing carbon emissions and ensuring future city precincts are sustainable and carbon neutral.

“After three years of research looking at how this data can be structured and operated in an open source model, we are now at the threshold of putting it into practice.  The next step is for industry and the community to start using PIM,” he said.

PIM is not a software tool, it is an open-source, public information modelling standard that, by its nature, cannot be commercialised, but is designed to provide a framework for representing the data required to achieve carbon neutrality of the urban assets that constitute a precinct.

“PIM entails a process that is supported by a digital database technology that can be used by a wide range of industry practitioners responsible for the planning, design, delivery and operational management of the built environment,” Plume explained.

In addition, the same information can become a resource for the community who are interacting with the built environment, allowing them to contribute to the planning process and outcome – so it is not limited to industry alone.

“In a nutshell PIM can lend critical support for the smart cities and communities that are emerging in response to the challenges of rapid urban growth in Australia and urbanisation across the globe,” said Plume.

“I believe PIM will make a major contribution for communities who aspire to having better, liveable, sustainable, resilient and safe cities for all, not just in Australia but across the globe.

“We are actively part of international efforts to use better information access and sharing to address sustainability issues around the world. A key outcome for us would be an opportunity to implement and refine these technologies in selected, strategic precincts in Australia, keeping us abreast of best global practice,” he said.

Overall, the National Position Paper being discussed at today’s Industry forum, describes the development of PIM as an open data model designed to represent a precinct in a format that can be shared across allapplication software tools used in the process of managing the built environment, with a focus on carbon management.

The discussion will be grounded in the context of precinct planning and development, drawing on interactions with a range of CRCLCL projects from the Low Carbon Precincts Program.

Media enquiries: Sharon Kelly
M: +61 414 780 077


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