3D precinct information modelling (PIM) could be a “game-changer” in the planning of future sustainable cities, according to new research from the CRC for Low Carbon Living.

PIM is an extension of building information modelling (BIM), widely used in the building design, construction and facility management professions. PIM is not a software tool but rather an open-source, public information modelling standard designed to provide a framework for representing the data required to achieve carbon neutrality of urban assets that make up a precinct.

“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,” CRLCL project leader Jim Plume said. “The next step is for industry and the community to start using PIM.”

Information in a PIM model is not only a resource for industry, but can help communities contribute to the planning process and outcome.

“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,” Plume said.

“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.”

The research was discussed last week at a special industry symposium: Using Precinct Information Modelling to Support Carbon Management.