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The CRC for Low Carbon Living (CRCLCL) recently held a special symposium discussing exciting new research into Precinct Information Modelling (PIM) — a type of 3D digital prototyping that promises to be a game changer for planning future city precincts.

PIM is not a software tool — rather, it is an open-source, public information modelling standard that, by its nature, cannot be commercialised. It 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,” explained CRCLCL project leader Jim Plume.

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.

According to Plume, adapting this current technology within an open-source PIM structure could 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,” he said. “The next step is for industry and the community to start using PIM.”

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