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Building performance simulation in the early design stage: An introduction to integrated dynamic models

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Building performance simulation in the early design stage: An introduction to integrated dynamic models

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... Researchers exploited information from the BIM model to create energy simulation model [54]. BIM information is translated using pre-defined rules to create BEM that minimises the modelling efforts. ...
... However, the energy performance prediction at early stages has several impediments such as expensive modelling efforts, uncertain building characteristics, and high computational time [52,54,135,150]. Moreover, it requires a solution, which is embedded in a modelling tool to reduce remodelling efforts and enables the assessment of several options within a few minutes [151]. ...
... However, the energy-efficient design is not intuitive, and energy simulation must be an integral part of the design process. Researchers have previously developed methods to integrate architectural modelling and energy simulation tool [54,56,143,182,183]. Dynamic energy simulation tool such as EnergyPlus [54] or Modellica [182,184] have been integrated into an architectural modelling tool. ...
Thesis
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Buildings represent one-third of energy consumption that concerns the global community. During the early design stages, designers have an opportunity to improve the energy performance of buildings efficiently. However, they need information to assess the effect of their design decisions on the energy performance. The doctoral research developed methods to support energy-related design decisions at the early stages using machine learning (ML) and building information modelling (BIM) by providing relevant information. The flexible representation of design at the early stages is a prime challenge to assess energy performance and the effect of design decisions on it. This challenge is addressed using a probabilistic approach that requires simulating several hundred models. Dynamic energy simulation tools are computationally expensive, prompting the development of quick metamodels using ML approaches. Further, a BIM integrated approach is developed to reuse the existing information and reduce the modelling efforts. The building design progresses by developing information through several levels of development (LOD). While focussing on energy efficiency, it is apt to reduce uncertainty in energy predictions through these LODs. Thus, the research identified design information in the order of its potential to cause uncertainty in the energy predictions. It has been found that geometrical parameters cause the maximum uncertainty in the energy predictions, followed by technical specifications such as U-values and window parameters such as window-to-wall ratio. These results form the basis for design information required in a multi-LOD context. The research further developed metamodels using ML for quick energy predictions, primarily, focussing on evolving building geometry, making it difficult to develop an ML model for early stage energy predictions. It extended the component based ML (CBML) approach and proposed using a convolutional neural network (CNN) approach to develop ML models. An approach of collecting diverse samples is developed to train CBML components and improve their generalisation. A CNN approach is used to capture the building geometry information from an image instead of simple parameters such as relative compactness. The developed model has improved prediction accuracy as the proposed CNN model architecture allows learning the interactions between the building’s geometry and its energy performance. There exists a prediction gap between ML predictions and dynamic simulations. A small prediction gap is allowed if it does not affect the comparative assessment of designs under the uncertain conditions of early design stages. Through a test case, the research demonstrated that the developed ML models are suitable to perform a comparative assessment of designs quickly. The aptness of ML models to provide quick comparative assessment of designs allows developing a BIM integrated solution and glean relevant information for supporting design interventions. In the final phase, a cloud based service was developed: p-energyanalysis.de. It implements the developed ML models in a graphical user interface for practical applications. The tool provides information for design space exploration, energy analysis of options and their comparative assessment, sensitivity analysis, and tracks progress. Contrary to generic engineering knowledge, the developed tool extracts context-specific energy performance information. This information is more relevant as it captures the effect of changing design scenario on the energy-efficiency. The thesis facilitates the performance-oriented building design by providing relevant information using ML and BIM. The developed methods focus on informed design making from an energy perspective that can be extended to other performance evaluations. Besides developing ML models for energy prediction, this research integrates these models with BIM to extract useful information for supporting design interventions. The developed holistic approach provides a quick context-specific assessment of design interventions that enables the designer to make informed decisions.
... Interoperability and data exchange problems between the different tools used in the design and analysis of sustainable buildings constitute the first primary limitation type (Attia et al., 2013;Jones et al., 2013;Negendahl, 2015;Choi and Park, 2016;Dogan, Reinhart and Michalatos, 2016). Fundamental differences in modeling capabilities between design, BES, and daylight simulation programs create a tool "gap" that frustrates architects in the design and optimization of energyefficient and comfortable buildings. ...
... Considering the requirements specified for BES selection, this dissertation uses EnergyPlus as the main BES program. Despite some hurdles (see chapter 3 and 5), EnergyPlus fulfills all conditions: (i) it is capable of modeling all heat transfer modes accurately, (ii) there are several modern and well-designed interfaces that support its use through design tools such as CAD and BIM programs (e.g., OpenStudio, Archsim, Honeybee), (iii) detailed simulations such as CFD and daylighting simulation generated by other software can complement EnergyPlus analysis, (iv) several works in early-stage design use this software to predict the thermal and energy behavior of buildings, e.g., the investigations of Anton and Tănase (2016), , Qingsong and Fukuda (2016), Negendahl (2015), Asl et al. (2014), and Caldas and Santos (2012). ...
... The first form consists of Graphical User Interfaces (GUI) that enable both modeling inputs and collect and visualize simulation results. The second is the use of domain-programming languages that enable parametric modeling for building performance simulation in what is referred to in the literature as Integrated Dynamic Models (IDM) (Negendahl, 2015). ...
Thesis
Full-text available
The resources involved in the construction and operation of buildings represent nearly 40% of the global emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG), making the building sector one of the primary contributors to global warming. This reality has led to the creation of many prescriptive regulatory and voluntary programs that aim to mitigate the environmental impact of the building sector while ensuring high standards for Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ), particularly those regarding the thermal and visual comfort of building occupants. Thus, the design of high-performance buildings, i.e., resource- and energy-efficient buildings that yield high levels of IEQ, is a pressing need. This scenario pushes architects to simulate their projects’ environmental performance to better support design tasks in a process referred to as performance-based design. This dissertation studies the integration of daylighting and Building Energy Simulation (BES) tools into performance-based design supported by computational design (CD) methods, particularly parametric design and Building Performance Optimization (BPO). The assumption is that the early integration of parametric, BES, and daylighting simulation tools can be highly effective in the design, analysis, and optimization of high-performance buildings. However, the research argues that the current daylighting and Building Energy Simulation (BES) tools pose critical challenges to that desirable integration, thus hindering the deployment of efficient exploratory design methods such as Parametric Design and Analysis (PDA) and BPO. These challenges arise from limitations regarding (i) tool interoperability, (ii) computationally expensive simulation processes, and (iii) problem and performance goal definition in BPO. The primary objective of the dissertation is to improve the use of daylighting and BES tools in PDA and BPO. To that end, the research proposes and validates five modeling strategies that directly tackle the limitations mentioned above. The strategies are the following: (i) Strategy A: Automatically generate valid building geometry for BES; (ii) Strategy B: Automatically simplify building geometry for BES; (iii) Strategy C: Abstract Complex Fenestration Systems (CFS) for BES; (iv) Strategy D: Assess glare potential of indoor spaces using a time and spatial sampling technique; and (v) Strategy E: Painting with Light - a novel method for spatially specifying daylight goals in BPO. The research work shows that the strategies address the research problem and current limitations by (i) improving the interoperability between design and BES and daylighting simulation tools (Strategies A, B, and C); (ii) producing quick and adequate feedback on the daylight, thermal, and energy behavior of buildings (Strategies B, C, and D); and (iii) facilitating the spatial definition of performance goals in daylighting BPO workflows (Strategy E). These three important merits of the proposed strategies effectively contribute to improving the efficiency of using daylight and BES tools in the design, analysis, and optimization of high-performance buildings. Finally, the dissertation discusses the merits and limitations of each strategy, provides useful guidelines and recommendations for their use in building design, and suggests future directions for further research.
... Furthermore, a designer should focus on the energy performance from the early design stage as the decisions made at the early stage affect the performance with a lesser cost of changes [7,8]. However, the energy performance prediction, at the early stage, has several impediments such as expensive modelling efforts, uncertain building characteristics, and high computational time [9][10][11][12][13][14]. Moreover, it requires a solution, which is embedded in a modelling tool to reduce remodelling efforts and enables the assessment of several options within a few minutes [15]. ...
... However, the energy-efficient design is not intuitive, and energy simulation must be an integral part of the design process. Researchers have previously developed methods to integrate architectural modelling and energy simulation tool [1,11,[54][55][56]. Dynamic energy simulation tool such as En-ergyPlus [11] or Modelica [54,57] have been integrated into an architectural modelling tool. ...
... Researchers have previously developed methods to integrate architectural modelling and energy simulation tool [1,11,[54][55][56]. Dynamic energy simulation tool such as En-ergyPlus [11] or Modelica [54,57] have been integrated into an architectural modelling tool. This integration was focussed on minimising remodelling efforts by extracting information from the BIM model to develop BEM [58][59][60]. ...
Article
The energy-efficient building design requires building performance simulation (BPS) to compare multiple design options for their energy performance. However, at the early stage, BPS is often ignored, due to uncertainty, lack of details, and computational time. This article studies probabilistic and deterministic approaches to treat uncertainty; detailed and simplified zoning for creating zones; and dynamic simulation and machine learning for making energy predictions. A state-of-the-art approach, such as dynamic simulation, provide a reliable estimate of energy demand, but computationally expensive. Reducing computational time requires the use of an alternative approach, such as a machine learning (ML) model. However, an alternative approach will cause a prediction gap, and its effect on comparing options needs to be investigated. A plugin for Building information modelling (BIM) modelling tool has been developed to perform BPS using various approaches. These approaches have been tested for an office building with five design options. A method using the probabilistic approach to treat uncertainty, detailed zoning to create zones, and EnergyPlus to predict energy is treated as the reference method. The deterministic or ML approach has a small prediction gap, and the comparison results are similar to the reference method. The simplified model approach has a large prediction gap and only makes only 40% comparison results are similar to the reference method. These findings are useful to develop a BIM integrated tool to compare options at the early design stage and ascertain which approach should be adopted in a time-constraint situation.
... Within the building industry, Visual Programming Languages (VPL's) have been used as the middleware or 'glue' between different models and tools (Negendahl, 2015;Sandberg et al., 2019) to enable a so called distributed integration approach (Negendahl, 2015). Negendahl (Negendahl, 2015) discusses the integration between geometric modelling and analysis from both the human and model domains. ...
... Within the building industry, Visual Programming Languages (VPL's) have been used as the middleware or 'glue' between different models and tools (Negendahl, 2015;Sandberg et al., 2019) to enable a so called distributed integration approach (Negendahl, 2015). Negendahl (Negendahl, 2015) discusses the integration between geometric modelling and analysis from both the human and model domains. ...
... Within the building industry, Visual Programming Languages (VPL's) have been used as the middleware or 'glue' between different models and tools (Negendahl, 2015;Sandberg et al., 2019) to enable a so called distributed integration approach (Negendahl, 2015). Negendahl (Negendahl, 2015) discusses the integration between geometric modelling and analysis from both the human and model domains. Three model integration approaches are presented: combined model method (one main tool controlling sub-tools), central model method (each tool shares one common model), and distributed model method (tools are integrated using a middleware). ...
Article
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One challenge with design automation is system transparency with adjustable granularity because of the many different forms of representation from multiple disciplines. Previous research has focused on visualization through the generation of graphs, packaging into electronic books, and model highlighting. The research presented in this paper focuses instead on a visual programming approach, commonly applied in the building industry, where design assets and external references are wrapped into visual components and managed on a canvas with information input/output relations displayed. This entails additional documentation efforts, but the visualization is arguably more useful as groups and levels of granularity are adjusted by the engineers themselves as a part of the development work. To explore visual programming and its potential benefits as a way of enabling transparency with adjustable granularity of DA systems within mechanical manufacturing industry, an existing textual design automation system was transformed into a visual one using Grasshopper® (a visual programming environment) and discussed with respect to DA system transparency, feature-based CAD, and DA system development.
... The early design phase, in particular, is characterized by the variability in the building parameters, often presenting multidisciplinary and contrasting objectives, thus shaping a vast design space. The decisions taken in this phase are the ones that most strongly impact the building performance [1][2][3]. A significant number of variables, ranging from the climatic conditions of the location where the building is inserted to the thermal properties of the construction materials used, affect the thermal performance of buildings [2]. ...
... The decisions taken in this phase are the ones that most strongly impact the building performance [1][2][3]. A significant number of variables, ranging from the climatic conditions of the location where the building is inserted to the thermal properties of the construction materials used, affect the thermal performance of buildings [2]. Given the magnitude of the problem, the development of computational tools is considered essential to support the design process [4]. ...
Article
Full interoperability between BIM and energy simulation tools has not yet been achieved. Performance prediction metamodels can help to overcome this issue and serve as an investigation tool in the early design stage. This paper describes the development and validation of a tool to integrate building information models (BIMs) and a previously developed metamodel to predict the thermal load of dwellings through gbXML. The results obtained show the feasibility of developing the proposed tool. However, inconsistencies between gbXML files from different BIM authoring tools were observed. There was a need for manual adjustments to the building information models before export to gbXML. This finding reinforces the need for the standardized implementation of exportation tools for open interoperability formats by software manufacturers. It also indicates the possibility for the future use of this tool to support the Brazilian energy labeling certification process and assist building designers in the early design stage.
... Different disciplines play a role in the building design process (e.g., architects, energy modelers, HVAC engineers). Practitioners can work under different collaborative approaches, for example, the engineer can assist the architect, the practitioner can be both engineer and architect, or they can be partners [30]. As a result, there is a synergy between practitioners with different skills, knowledge, and expertise levels [29], where not necessarily all of them are familiar with the resources and limitations of BPS tools and how to interpret their outputs [31]. ...
... Furthermore, modelling requirements are different depending on the design stage and type of simulation to be performed [32]. Thus, BPS tools need to produce initial results from a rough building representation and limited input data at early design phases as well as allow for detailing building components in more advanced design phases [30]. ...
Article
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Occupant behaviour is an important source of uncertainty in building energy performance simulations. This has led to the development and integration of different modelling approaches that represent the complex, stochastic nature of human-building interaction. Yet, several barriers prevent their wide use in simulation-aided building design. The procedures and practical solutions for integrating occupant behaviour models are segmented through the literature. Accordingly, this paper examines the state-of-the-art in the application of occupant behaviour models. Based on the PRISMA methodology, the literature is critically analysed to: i) identify and map the barriers between theory and application; ii) propose a simulation framework establishing the steps for integrating occupant behaviour models into building performance simulations; iii) synthetise practical solutions and highlight remaining challenges towards a simulation framework adequately integrating occupant behaviour. The paper stresses the added value within the decision-making process at different building design stages. Furthermore, key elements for identifying the appropriated modelling approach for each occupant behaviour aspect are presented considering factors such as type of behaviour, building type, and spatial and temporal scale. Ultimately, this critical review establishes guidelines for the integration of occupant behaviour into building design practice and defines a research pathway for bridging the gap between the OB research field and the simulation-aided building design practice.
... Usually, building design solutions reach the construction drawing stage before professionals, such as HVAC engineers, perform performance simulations. However, many academics have noted the greater benefits of performance optimization during the early stages of design [8,9]. There is an urgent need for an automated approach to strengthen the link between building design and performance optimization. ...
... Many scholars believe that external shading facilities play an obvious role in improving indoor comfort and reducing building energy consumption [8,9] and have conducted in-depth studies on how to rationally utilize the effects of solar radiant heat gain [10], as well as reduce the adverse factors caused by thermal radiation. Rana Abdollahi Rizi et al. [11] studied the lighting performance of a typical building in Malaysia and found that simple improvements to window glass and shading facilities could significantly improve the lighting quality of the tropical region and enhance visual comfort. ...
Article
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The relationship between environmental factors and the indoor physical environment is very close, and external shading is considered an effective way to adjust the interaction between the indoor and outdoor environment. However, determining how to set up an external shading system remains a notable issue. In the early design stage, architects have adopted the process of designing the form and function first and then checking whether those characteristics meet the energy-saving specifications. However, this process involves a great deal of repetitive and inefficient work and cannot meet the requirements of energy savings and emission reductions in a global context. Therefore, it is particularly important to seek a design method that combines energy-saving design with form-based design. This paper takes a construction project in Northwest China as its research object. In this study, typical parametric models for external shading are designed. Furthermore, indoor performance objectives based on light environment analysis are proposed, and Ladybug Tools and the genetic algorithm (GA) are used for optimization and verification. The optimization results show that the adaptive shading system can significantly reduce the total cooling energy consumption per unit area in summer by 20% and 15%, respectively. The comfort level throughout the year improved by 14.8% (air conditioning on) and 4.7% (air conditioning off). This study proposes a fast and effective shading parametric design method for architects in the early stage, improving the efficiency and accuracy of performance-based design.
... For example, most of them do not allow any classification and geometric errors in building elements and spaces essential to BEM. However, in the current practice, an architectural BIM is generally created by architects without the expertise of BEM [8,19]. The corresponding IFC model often contains numerous quality issues (e.g., geometric clashes and gaps) that make it not suitable to be directly processed by those algorithms [9]. ...
... Manually correcting this issue in the IFC instance file is laborious and requires the knowledge of IFC schema. For the second requirement, a BIM model is often created by architects without domain knowledge of BEM [8,18,19]. The corresponding IFC model usually contains numerous geometric issues (e.g., geometric gaps and clashes among building elements and spaces) that affect the generation of SBs [8]. ...
Article
Automatically extracting information needed for building energy modeling (BEM) from an IFC BIM can significantly improve efficiency and accuracy in preparing BEM inputs. Second-level space boundaries (SBs) define geometric data required for BEM, but they are often missing or incorrectly defined in IFC models. To address limitations in existing algorithms when generating second-level SBs of complex buildings, this study presents a novel approach that computes geometric and semantic information of second-level SBs using multiple geometry representations of building elements and spaces in an IFC model. Advantages of the approach include: it has relatively loose requirements on the quality of input IFC models; it can process building objects with common curved shapes; it improves computing efficiency when processing large-scale building models by employing three types of geometric representations. The approach was evaluated with two large-scale real-world building models, and the results show that second-level SBs are generated accurately and highly efficiently.
... Modelling efforts to translate design information to create an energy model is a significant barrier to performance-oriented design at the early stages. Extracting design information from building information modelling (BIM) tools to create an energy model presents a promising prospect to reduce the modelling efforts [36,37]. However, this approach has been applied only to predict deterministic energy demand using simulation tools such as EnergyPlus [38] and Modelica [39,40]. ...
... BIM integration is vital to reduce remodelling efforts and obtain BPS results for continuously evolving design. However, current BIM-BPS integration solutions use a deterministic approach and dynamic simulations unsuitable for the early design stage [37,43]. These solutions lack in capturing the flexible nature of early design stages. ...
Article
Global energy concerns necessitate designing energy-efficient buildings. Many important decisions affecting energy performance are made at early stages with little information. Dynamic simulations support informed decision-making; however, uncertainty, high computational time, and expensive modelling efforts impair their use at early stages. This article develops an approach using building information modelling and machine learning that provides quick energy performance information. This approach has been implemented into a web tool, p-energyanalysis.de. It allows design space exploration, assesses the energy performance of design options, compares multiple options, performs sensitivity analysis, and tracks changes. Twenty-one participants (researchers and architects) used it as a support tool for designing an energy-efficient building. Their feedbacks are discussed as part of the tool development. The study found that the tool supports early-stage design decisions by quickly providing relevant information. The limitations, such as the bias in the results towards training data population and implementation issues, are also discussed.
... Thus, the administration needs to access information from various sources, given the changing requirements of the project by the owner that need to be carefully managed. However, there are no unified standards about how BIM projects will be managed, and how work processes will collaborate, in addition to the lack of modelling competency among parties involved (Negendahl, 2015;Gijezen et al., 2010). To realise the full benefits of BIM, it needs to be measured over the project lifecycle to ensure efficiency and continual improvement (Eadie et al., 2013;Ya'acob et al., 2018;Zou et al., 2019). ...
Article
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Purpose Building information modelling (BIM) technology adoption is growing rapidly because of its perceived benefits. The purpose of this paper is to assess the perceptions of the users of BIM regarding the likelihood of managerial risks emergence that might influence the successful application of BIM, to facilitate the successful implementation of BIM in the construction industry. Design/methodology/approach Emerging managerial BIM risks were extracted from the literature. The primary data were collected via a questionnaire survey. The analysis of the results was driven by univariate and inferential statistics (analysis of variance ) to assess the emergence of managerial risks. Findings The study confirmed the nine most likely managerial risks that might emerge from BIM adoption, which are lack of understanding of the expectations from BIM modelling, lack of experienced and skilled personnel, lack of clarity on integration of BIM with the current business practice, conflict because of dissimilar expectations from BIM, lack of collaborative work processes and standards, lack of understanding of BIM processes, lack of understanding modelling behaviours, lack of expertise within the project team, lack of expertise within the organizations and lack of criteria for BIM project implementation. Research limitations/implications The results will intensify the discussion about BIM risks, risk allocation and other aspects that are related to BIM methodology. The compiled list of managerial risks will help stakeholders in assessing financial implications that may result from BIM application. The list of risks could be used in pricing consultancy and construction services. More importantly, the list might be useful in developing an international standard for BIM risk management. The results showed that BIM success depends on the close collaboration, at the outset of the project, with contractors, consultants, designers and client. Originality/value Important managerial risks have been identified in the adoption of BIM. It renders a new understanding of the risks that might influence the successful application of BIM.
... While the Combined Model allows modelling and simulations to be undertaken in the same environment, the Distributed Model offers a variety of performance analyses, such as middleware plug-ins like those developed for the Grasshopper (GH) algorithmic modelling tool. Building Information Modelling (BIM) is associated with the Central Model, in which building information data is centralized, and the same model can be used by a range of different analyses (Negendahl, 2015). ...
Article
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Building performance can be defined as the ability of buildings to satisfactorily execute certain tasks and functions (Li et al., 2020).Performance in architectural design is related to building behaviour, which can be computed by models based on physical phenomena. Performance issues can be evaluated from a range of perspectives associated with the different problems that arise (Mahdavi, 1999). Buildings must, therefore, accommodate certain performance criteria. These criteria cover technical matters (e.g., health, safety and security), functional concerns (e.g., efficiency and workflow), as well as behavioural, psychological, cultural, and aesthetic dimensions. Performance analysis usually requires engineering or other expert knowledge to apply performance algorithms and interpret the results. © 2021, Metu Journal of the Faculty of Architecture. All Rights Reserved.
... BIM models are capable of storing vast amounts of information and can therefore be used as databases for external tools with automatic access to the information [48,109]. On the other hand, the direct implementation of visual programming turns BIM tools into easily programmable tools [146], that simulate the most efficient combination of materials and solutions [21,129], taking advantage of the parametric nature of BIM models [50,154,155], the simplification of model conversion [123,216], the energy evaluation of buildings [130] and optimisation of systems [77], including sewage, as per Marzouk and Othman [135]. Also, through Monte Carlo simulation and genetic algorithms [134], it is also possible to economically analyse BIM models with higher accuracy. ...
Article
The Architecture, Engineering, Construction, and Operations (AECO) sector is responsible for a great proportion of the global energy consumption and associated environmental impacts. On this front, and from a sustainability improvement perspective, the use of Building Information Modelling (BIM) capabilities could represent an opportunity to improve these impacts in all steps of a building’s life. The main purpose of the current paper is to identify the areas in which BIM technology can or already is playing a role in improving building efficiency, helping AECO sector stakeholders in reducing environmental impacts. In the current paper, the impact of using BIM to enhance the building energy efficiency is explored through a scientometric analysis and a systematic literature review. There is a high interest among the scientific community in these fields, given the recent rise in publications and citation numbers. Moreover, there is a lack of interoperability between BIM and energy analysis tools, a high potential for integrating BIM with other technologies, such as thermography, Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and monitoring, and a very positive impact from the use of BIM in the optimisation of construction solutions which allow energy savings in the AECO sector.
... The early building design stage, which determines the direction of the design, is a process in which the designer generates an initial building concept based on the design task by comprehensively considering design conditions and performance objectives and incorporating subjective intention (Negendahl, 2015;Singh et al., 2020). This stage consists of three tasks: 1) generating as many alternative concepts as possible as potential options, 2) evaluating various aspects of the performance of the concepts using quantifiable indicators, and 3) continuously selecting and iteratively optimizing the concepts to make progressive improvements (Ascione et al., 2015). ...
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Large-space buildings feature a sizable interface for receiving solar radiation, and optimizing their shape in the early design stage can effectively increase their solar energy harvest while considering both energy efficiency and space utilization. A large-space building shape optimization method was developed based on the “modeling-calculation-optimization” process to transform the “black box” mode in traditional design into a “white box” mode. First, a two-level node control system containing core space variables and envelope variables is employed to construct a parametric model of the shape of a large-space building. Second, three key indicators, i.e., annual solar radiation, surface coefficient, and space efficiency, are used to representatively quantify the performance in terms of sunlight capture, energy efficiency, and space utilization. Finally, a multi-objective genetic algorithm is applied to iteratively optimize the building shape, and the Pareto Frontier formed by the optimization results provides the designer with sufficient alternatives and can be used to assess the performance of different shapes. Further comparative analysis of the optimization results can reveal the typical shape characteristics of the optimized solutions and potentially determine the key variables affecting building performance. In a case study of six large-space buildings with typical shapes, the solar radiation of the optimized building shape solutions was 13.58–39.74% higher than that of reference buildings 1 and 3; compared with reference buildings 2 and 4, the optimized solutions also achieved an optimal balance of the three key indicators. The results show that the optimization method can effectively improve the comprehensive performance of buildings.
... These tools differ in accuracy but it has been shown that they can all be valuable in the energy evaluation process [27]. However, it has been demonstrated that those tools and methods used in the early design stages, which need to be flexible and allow for easy changes, do not provide robust feedback as simplifications and databases can condition the results and so they need interpretation [28]. Despite this limitation, it is possible to define a minimum set of parameters that yield results that are close to reality with a minimum deviation [29]. ...
Article
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One of the main strategies to reduce countries’ energy bills is to invest in efficient buildings. To achieve this objective, the European Union Member States have developed different methodologies to evaluate building energy performance, which are often supported by simulation tools. These tools are based on calculation engines that use databases and simplifications to attempt to bring their results close to real building performance and are mostly designed to be used at the end of the process, neglecting their role in project decision-making processes. To compensate for this situation and to obtain the most accurate results, the methodologies recommend previous work during the building design phase to adopt passive design solutions that learn from experience and aim to adapt the building design to the local climate. However, these design solutions are difficult to adopt while working with medium to large public buildings and are often not properly understood by the simulation tools. In addition, new BIM methodologies are being implemented, starting to enable proper interaction between the designer and the results, and opening up the option of introducing other types of calculations, such as building comfort, in the calculation process. Among the group of countries with limited simulation tools that are starting to be substituted is Spain, which recently launched its first BIM-based energy simulation tool. This tool aims to compensate for the limitations of the former simulation tools and opens up the option of performing comfort calculations by sharing information with other programs. The objective of this research is to evaluate, from different perspectives, the performance of this new simulation tool on three buildings at the University of Alicante. These were chosen as university campuses are responsible for large groups of buildings and belong to the group of stakeholders interested in obtaining efficient and comfortable buildings. These case studies are defined by their extreme adaptation to design recommendations for mild-warm weather. At the end of the process, the difference is measured between simulation and real building performance. The results obtained show that simulation still differs greatly from real building performance from the energy performance point of view, while the comfort evaluation shows results that are closer to the reality of the buildings.
... Digital prototyping involves the use of computer-aided design (CAD), computer-automated design (CAutoD) and computer-aided engineering (CAE) software to create, modify and analyze digital models. Some of the benefits that digital prototyping tools have over physical model making include increased productivity, increased design quality and simulation possibilities (e.g., see Colln et al., 2012;Islamoglu & Deger, 2015;Negendahl, 2015). Design research has mainly analyzed the impact of digital prototypes on design processes and design outcomes. ...
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Increasing the range of methods available for researching design cognition provides new opportunities for studying the phenomena of interest. Here we propose an approach for observing design activities, using Virtual Reality (VR) design-build-test games with built-in physics simulation. To illustrate this, we report on two exploratory design workshops where two groups of participants worked to solve a technical design problem using such a platform. Participants were asked to sketch ideas to solve the problem, and then to design, test and iterate some of their developed design concepts in a VR game. Researchers were able to obtain continuous and multifaceted recordings of participants’ behavior during the various design activities. This included on-screen design activities, verbal utterances, physical gestures, digital models of design outputs, and records of the test outcomes. Our experiences with the workshops are discussed with respect to the opportunities that similar VR game platforms offer for design cognition research, both in general and specifically in terms of ideation, prototyping, problem reframing, intrinsic motivation and demonstrated vulnerability. VR game platforms not only offer a valuable addition to existing research options, but additionally offer a basis for developing training interventions in design education and practice.
... The plugin middleware can also select the specific data needed from the model for the data exchange with the LCA tool. Popular plugin solutions in the building sector are visual programming languages (VPL) [46], such as Grasshopper [47] and Dynamo [48], which make programming more available to architects and engineers. Plugin solutions can work alone without external dependencies, or as a bridge to an external LCA-tool. ...
Article
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The climate debate necessitates reducing greenhouse gas emissions from buildings. A common and standardized method of assessing this is life cycles assessment (LCA); however, time and costs are a barrier. Large efficiency potentials are associated with using data from building information models (BIM) for the LCA, but development is still at an early stage. This study investigates the industry practice and needs for BIM–LCA, and if these are met through a prototype for the Danish context, using IFC and a 3D view. Eight qualitative in-depth interviews were conducted with medium and large architect, engineering, and contractor companies, covering a large part of the Danish AEC industry. The companies used a quantity take-off approach, and a few were developing plug-in approaches. Challenges included the lack of quality in the models, thus most companies supplemented model data with other data sources. Features they found valuable for BIM–LCA included visual interface, transparency of data, automation, design evaluation, and flexibility. The 3D view of the prototype met some of the needs, however, there were mixed responses on the use of IFC, due to different workflow needs in the companies. Future BIM–LCA development should include considerations on the lack of quality in models and should support different workflows.
... Building performance simulation (BPS), also denoted Building Energy Simulation (BES), is increasingly used to design buildings because of its emphasis on sustainability [15]. The requirement of building design are comprised of qualitative elements (social impact, esthetics, special planning, etc.) and quantitative elements (cost, yearly-consumed energy, amount of daylight, etc.). ...
Thesis
Performing global approach studies on buildings, which take into consideration both the envelope and the connected systems, lead to the complexity of models under study. Simulation of such models may lead to high computational time expenses. Usually, simplified or surrogate models instead of detailed ones are used to avoid this issue. A global approach based on the reduction of input data profiles rather than the model itself is a current case of interest. The approach evaluates annual performances of a model starting from a short simulation sequence of typical selected days instead of complete data profiles.After presenting and analyzing the methods used in the literature for typical day selection, the thesis presents a new iterative approach with an embedded grouping algorithm. The new algorithm, called TypSS (Typical Short Sequence) Algorithm, creates and enhances iteratively a short simulation sequence of typical days based on target criteria reflecting the annual performances of a model. The algorithm was applied on a detailed building model and led to much faster simulations while obtaining results of high correlation with the reference ones. Results were also compared to an iterative and a clustering approach used for day selection and its potential was noticed. The approach also showed its efficiency when generalized, and a sensitivity analysis on its input parameters was performed to evaluate its sensitivity to initial inputs imposed by operators.Finally, the reduced sequence was used in a heavy multi-objective optimization study by NSGA-II. An adaptive strategy for optimization employing reduced sequences named OptiTypSS was introduced comparing the obtained results to an adaptive metamodel based approach. The method succeeded in obtaining optimal results very close to the ones from a reference full year simulation requiring less heavy simulations (30 for the metamodel approach while 9 for OptiTypSS). On the other hand computational time taken by the proposed strategy was higher than the one of metamodel due to the time consumed in the day selection process which could be enhanced in future work.
... Although it is feasible to define the internal or external property for all BIM objects, in current practice, such property information is often inaccurate, incomplete, or even missing completely from a BIM model. This is largely because BIM models are initially created by architects who have no need for it, as they do not perform engineering tasks (e.g., OTTV calculation and energy simulation) that require objects' internal or external property information (Negendahl, 2015). In the rare cases where architects are contractually bound to define such a property for BIM objects, they have to do it manually. ...
Article
The internal or external attribute of building information modeling (BIM) objects is vital information for many BIM-based engineering analyses such as building energy analysis and cost estimation. Unfortunately, such information is often inaccurate, incomplete, or missing entirely in most BIM models. Manually checking, correcting, or inputting this data for large-scale BIM models can be time-consuming, laborious, and error-prone. This study proposes a two-stage ray tracing algorithm to automatically identify external BIM objects, based on the idea that external objects of a building can be viewed from somewhere outside the building. The first-stage ray tracing samples viewpoints from the six faces of an offset axis-aligned bounding box (AABB) of the building and emits a ray for each viewpoint to detect relevant external objects. The second-stage ray tracing recursively searches for any remaining external objects from the view of the external objects that have been detected in the previous round of ray tracing. Both stages are carefully designed for efficiency. Furthermore, a two-tier AABB tree is introduced to spatially index building objects on both model and object levels to accelerate relevant geometry operations. The proposed algorithm is validated with one synthetic and two large-scale real-world building models. The results show that all the external objects in the three models are accurately and efficiently identified, and the two-tier spatial indexing and other acceleration techniques improve the algorithm's efficiency significantly.
... Conventionally, performance-driven optimization processes, regarding energy or structural efficiency, is implemented after the conceptual design phase by design programming tools' experts, despite numerous unified tools for simultaneous designing and BPS implementation. Architects and designers still prefer design tools such as ArchiCad, Sketchup, Revit, Rhino, and Maya, as they support the concept of a sketch and the freedoms associated with design tools (Negendahl, 2015). To integrate architects' preferences in Performance-driven architectural design, Shi and Yang selected Rhinoceros and Grasshopper (graphical algorithm editor) as a suitable platform for architects and established three performance simulation programs, namely Ecotect, Radiance, and EnergyPlus, in Rhino. ...
Article
The application of shape-based design in the generative design systems has been studied in numerous literature as a mean for description or analyzing a style, regional architecture, or a specific design. In addition to analyzing and extracting a shape grammar of a traditional structure, they can generate novel designs based upon the shape rules. The problem that makes these form-based approaches somewhat inapplicable is the complexity and multiplicity of structural grammars and the lack of flexibility of the system to evaluate and optimize new samples. This research proposes a generative evolutionary hybrid approach to address this shortcoming. The use of generative evolutionary methods can provide a new insight into the process of analyzing traditional structures and designing new ones based on these structures. The research methodology is based upon library studies with analytical-descriptive approach to search for the related literature review. Also, with the consideration of Kashan’s traditional houses as a case study, it applies the shape grammar method for analyzing configuration characteristics of traditional houses and genetic algorithm for optimizing the new generated forms. The results of the study indicate the effectiveness of generative evolutionary methods in improving and accelerating the process of analyzing the characteristics of traditional structures as well as producing a variety of new designs that can preserve the spatial essence of traditional structures.
... Conventionally, performance-driven optimization processes, regarding energy or structural efficiency, is implemented after the conceptual design phase by design programming tools' experts, despite numerous unified tools for simultaneous designing and BPS implementation. Architects and designers still prefer design tools such as ArchiCad, Sketchup, Revit, Rhino, and Maya, as they support the concept of a sketch and the freedoms associated with design tools (Negendahl, 2015). To integrate architects' preferences in Performance-driven architectural design, Shi and Yang selected Rhinoceros and Grasshopper (graphical algorithm editor) as a suitable platform for architects and established three performance simulation programs, namely Ecotect, Radiance, and EnergyPlus, in Rhino. ...
Article
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Since the emergence and application of evolutionary optimization approaches in architecture in the early twentieth century, a wide range of studies have attempted to integrate evolutionary strategies with the design process. The extensiveness and dispersion of research in this field and the growing application of the generative evolutionary techniques in solving design problems necessitate analytical classification of pertinent literature review. Based on the descriptive-analytical review of the literature on generative evolutionary strategies in architecture, this paper proposes a research model for an integrated generative design framework to enhance future application of this approach in the conceptual design stage. Therefore, first, selected 140 journal articles, with key-words exploration method, between 2014 and 2020 is analyzed to categorize the applied techniques, identify the gap, and address the issue of selecting the appropriate evolutionary approach in the early stage of design. Literature analysis is classified into seven topics, each demonstrating shortcomings of related studies in four categories of form finding, Spatial Programming, Performance-based optimization, and Multi-objective optimization. The research results indicate a growing interest in applying hybrid methods, multi-objective optimization problems, the need for an integrative generative evolutionary framework in the early design phase, and a conceptual design tools with Co-simulation possibility.
... Introdução O setor da construção civil tem ocasionado, nas últimas décadas, amplos impactos com relação ao consumo de energia elétrica em âmbito mundial, com uma representatividade de 31% dos gastos em relação às demais atividades produtivas, associado à expectativa de crescimento de 0,9% ao ano até 2040 (INTERNATIONAL..., 2019). Diante desse cenário, é inquestionável a urgência de novas abordagens relativas a métodos e técnicas para a elaboração de projetos, com ênfase na eficiência energética (NEGENDAHL, 2015). Contudo, apesar dos avanços significativos da tecnologia digital, a utilização de ferramentas computacionais que permitam a aplicação de procedimentos de parametrização, simulação e otimização como aporte na concepção de edifícios de alto desempenho energético ainda passa por um longo processo de inserção na realidade profissional, tanto dos arquitetos como dos engenheiros. ...
Article
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Progress in digital technology over the past decades has enabled the emergence of new methods and techniques for design development with an emphasis on energy efficiency. The aim of this paper was to propose a performative design method for office buildings associating parametric modelling, optimisation-based simulation, evaluation and classification of energy performance. In order to do that, the Rhinoceros/Grashopper, Opossum and Honeybee softwares were used, respectively. The digital design models by Oxman (2006) were used as reference to structure experiments from case studies of office buildings located in Vitória, ES, Brazil. The parameters of the INMETRO standard for Energy Efficiency Class for Commercial, Service and Public Buildings (INI-C) guided the evaluations. The methodresulted in a 31% improvement in the total consumption of primary energy and a 54% reduction in the demand for refrigeration in buildings. The estimate of the influencedemonstrated significant impacts from the alteration of the type of glass, percentage of façade opening and the configuration of shaders. The studyshowedthat,despite the particularities, there is potential for applying the method in the initial stages of design development.
... Decisions in the early design stage are essential to reducing buildings' life cycle environmental impacts and cost [14]. The studies reviewed are all concerned with multiobjective optimization processes that target building performance in the early design stage. ...
Article
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The main considerations in the early stage of architectural design are usually related to form and function. At the same time, with the growing concern regarding energy saving and carbon emission reduction, the parameters for the construction and physical quality of buildings are receiving more attention at the conceptual and schematic design stages. Diverse design options can emerge with the large number of variables to be considered in these stages. Moreover, the combined efforts to reduce buildings’ life cycle environmental impacts and cost, as well as the non-linear and often tradeoff relationship between the two objectives, make finding optimal design solutions for buildings’ life cycle performance complicated. Previous studies have established workflows to optimize buildings’ life cycle energy consumption, GWP, and/or cost; however, architectural design diversity has not been sufficiently discussed at the same time. In this study, a parametric optimization design process is established, aiming at minimizing the building’s operational energy consumption, life cycle environmental impacts, and life cycle cost. The setting of variables, as well as the workflows of the optimization process, is discussed from the perspective of both life cycle performance and architectural design diversity. A small-scale exhibition hall in China’s cold climate zone is selected as a case study. To approach the best design process applicable to this case, the optimal solution sets from different workflows under different variable settings are compared. The results show that by setting geometric and material variables in different steps in the entire optimization process, the resulting solutions can be a balance of architectural design and performance. In this case study, optimizing all of the design variables in one-step turned out to provide the best balance between design diversity and life cycle performance in the early design stage.
... Moreover, Solmaz (2019) presented significant features, limitations, and developments in building performance simulation (BPS) tools and evaluated their feasibility in building design. Negendahl (2015) provided a detailed review of the ways architects applied BPS in the early design stage and strategies for combining geometrical and analytical models for BPS. Attia et al. (2012) summarized the main criteria for selecting BPS tools and assessing their performance through literature reviews and questionnaire surveys. ...
Article
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The transformation of urban and building design into green development is conducive to alleviating resource and environmental problems. Building design largely determines pollutant emissions and energy consumption throughout the building life cycle. Full consideration of the impact of urban geometries on the microclimate will help construct livable and healthy cities. Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations significantly improve the efficiency of assessing the microclimate and the performance of design schemes. The integration of CFD into design platforms by plug-ins marks a landmark development for the interaction of computer-aided design (CAD) and CFD, allowing architects to perform CFD simulations in their familiar design environments. This review provides a systematic overview of the classification and comprehensive comparison of CFD plug-ins in Autodesk Revit, Rhinoceros/Grasshopper, and SketchUp. The applications of CFD plug-ins in urban and building design are reviewed according to three types: single-objective, multi-objective, and coupling simulations. Two primary roles of CFD plug-ins integrated into the design process, including providing various micro-scale numerical simulations and optimizing the original design via feedback results, are analyzed. The issues of mesh generation, boundary conditions, turbulence models, and simulation accuracy during CFD plug-in applications are discussed. Finally, the limitations and future possibilities of CFD plug-ins are proposed.
... Li et al., 2017;H. Liu et al., 2015;Negendahl, 2015; Jaehyun Park & Cai, 2017; Pieter Pauwels et al., 2017;Pinheiro et al., 2018;Redmond et al., 2012;Sacks et al., 2017;Santos et al., 2017; Vanlande et al., 2008; C. Wang et al., 2015; H. Wang & Zhai, 2016; Yalcinkaya & Singh, 2015; Zhong et al., 2017) R11 Mobile computing (BIM cloud, multi scale) 8 7% (Anil et al., 2013; Davies & Harty, 2013; Han & Golparvar-Fard, 2015, 2017; X. Li et al., 2017; Santos et al., 2017; X. Wang et al., 2014; Yalcinkaya & Singh, 2015) % in 119 articles JOURNALMODERNPM.COM BIM CRITICAL SUCCESS FACTORS IN DIFFERENT LIFE-CYCLE PHASES FIGURE 11: BIM MACRO-CATEGORIES AND MESO-CATEGORIES NETWORK (NOTE: APPLYING UCINET SOFTWARE) FIGURE 12: BIM MACRO, MESO, AND MICRO-CATEGORIES CODE TREE (NOTE: APPLYING UCINET SOFTWARE) ...
Article
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This study aims to draw the scenario of the BIM research field and investigates the relationship of BIM categories (technology, process, and people) with critical success factors, stratified in four life cycle phases (Design, Pre-Construction, Construction, and Operation). The research design is a literature review (SLR) performed through bibliometrics and content analysis. The findings showed the theme evolution based on two motor themes that stood out, artificial intelligence and construction supply chain; three niche themes emerged, data exchange, lean construction, and smart contracts. Finally, we verified the lack of studies focusing on enhancing BIM research related to the Process and People BIM categories once the Technology category has been more studied in the field.
... • valutare in modo affidabile i fenomeni termo-fisici che si verificano nell'edificio [8][9][10]; ...
Chapter
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Il presente documento descrive le attività di ricerca svolte all’interno dell’Accordo di collaborazione “Confronto delle nuove metodologie di calcolo rispetto a quelle previste dalle normative attuali (UNI TS 11300)” Responsabile scientifico ENEA: Domenico Palladino Responsabile scientifico Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II – Dipartimento di Ingegneria Industriale: Annamaria Buonomano
... The data obtained can be so implemented in informative systems integrated in BIM [16], where the architectonic components can change their meaning according to the datasets acquired during the survey phase and the archival documents collected. Data can be managed and evaluated by means of platforms integrated in modeling environments through modalities like Open Database Connectivity (ODBC), proprietary interfaces [17,18], applications of visual programming language-VPL (e.g., Dynamo Studio Autodesk ® and Graphisoft Grasshopper ® ) [19], in cloud platforms for real-time monitoring. ...
... The concept of sustainability states that there should be a dynamic balance between these dimensions. In this context, the design phase of buildings is the phase in which the greatest influence can be exerted on the building quality and also on the fulfillment of sustainability aspects [85][86][87]. This early phase is characterized by a high variability of design parameters, often with trade-offs, and subsequently forms an enormous design freedom for planners [88]. ...
Article
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In current complex building designs, sustainability assessments are often performed after project completion, with limited impact on building performance which results in missed goals in terms of quality, cost, and time. We address this problem by proposing a hierarchical reference-based know-why model to answer the research question "what is a suitable decision support model to successfully integrate the sustainability requirements in the early design phase of buildings?". The model presents a process that incorporates a life-cycle perspective and calculates design alternatives based on a defined reference and the DGNB building certification system. The results show that criteria synergies and trade-offs can be identified, leading to improved design by engineers and better building performance. Our findings pave the way for full integration of the model into building information modeling, combined with artificial intelligence. This can help manage the complexity of the sustainable design process on the path to carbon-neutral buildings.
... Before getting into the specific artifacts of tools and processes regarding data exchange methods and their effectiveness, it is useful to identify fundamental characteristics of approaches that facilitate user interaction with pieces of software. According to Negendahl, there are three types of models for data integration; central, combined and distributed [26]. The central approach requires a data schema that operates in between software and the information is exchanged via that schema. ...
Conference Paper
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In light of the rising energy consumption awareness in the Architecture, Engineering and Construction (AEC) industry and the built environment, retrofitting design offers benefits towards achieving higher sustainability and performance standards. Building retrofitting opens up opportunities for the AEC industry to modify existing infrastructure towards more efficient solutions regarding energy performance. Technological advancements in building performance, design and data management provide a promising potential in promoting our objectives for energy efficiency, by allowing for the integration and analysis of sophisticated data structures and more seamless collaboration between different stakeholders. However, despite the abundance of tools and available data, professional practice is in search of an integrated approach to maximize the benefits of the available technologies at hand and improve decision-making processes. This paper analyses the literature related to the level of 'real-world' data integration, representation and exchange methods, and how these define user comprehension in the context of energy retrofitting. Finally, it proposes a framework for integrating existing building envelope data to a Linked Building Data (LBD) model, taking advantage of methods for structuring building data as Resource Description Framework (RDF) graphs and linking them into a semantic BIM model.
... The specialist mode of working within the AECO industry has been necessary due to the persistent problem of a lack of accurate and accessible means of exchanging data between software platforms. This requires specialist knowledge to translate design models into compatible representations for Building Performance Simulation (BPS) and to calibrate analytical models manually (Negendahl, 2015), (Gao, Koch, and Wu, 2019). The outcomes of these models become, in essence, trapped within their bespoke, analytical environment and are functionally inaccessible. ...
Conference Paper
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While the Architecture Engineering Construction and Owner-operated (AECO) industry has been successful in digitizing data concerning buildings through Building Information Modeling (BIM) applications, transforming these data into usable digital services (digitalizing) has not been fully addressed. The Semantic Web allows for the creation of abstraction layers that enable building data as a service. This paper proposes Semantic Web ontologies for representing buildings, the relationships between their elements and analytical data, along with attendant annotation systems. This method enables bi-directional exchanges between heterogeneous platforms, introducing flexibility in representing, sharing and re-using data. The work demonstrates a framework for the digitalization of building data and a service-oriented model, improving stakeholder collaboration.
... Most of energy simulation tools support the final design stage but have a lack of iterative design. According to comparison analyses, building simulation tools provide a wide variety of features and different levels of integration with other engineering software [51]- [53]. Nevertheless, these tools remain largely identical. ...
Article
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Energy consumption in the building sector accounts for a large percentage of global energy consumption. For this reason, it is essential to take action to minimize this destructive consumption and promote energy conservation practices within the building sector. A Zero Energy Building (ZEB) concept has been proven as a viable technique for improving energy effciency in various climatic conditions. This concept can minimize the environmental impact of buildings and helping to advance sustainable development in the construction industry.Worldwide, the ZEB is of the utmost importance to meet sustainability development goals in the built environment. The building sector in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) consumes about 75% of total electrical energy. KSA has experienced an unprecedented energy consumption in the last decade. This is due to the country's rapid population growth and urbanization, which in turn put more pressures on the kingdom's natural resources. However, KSA is committed to promote energy effciency and renewable energy technologies to achieve the goals of sustainability development, as part of its Vision 2030. This paper therefore explores various green building solutions, especially in hot-arid regions, with the aim of reaching ZEB, and at the same time minimizing potential adverse environmental impacts. In order to verify proposed solutions, energy simulation software (Integrated Environmental Solution-IES) is used, along with reviews of related work. The major finding of this paper reveals that several green building concepts are crucial to the design and operation of a building in hot dry region, including thermal mass; daylight; natural ventilation; cavity wall; double-glazing and solar panels (PV). Bear in mind that the operation of a building has to be powered by a Building Management System (BMS). This paper also proposes an auxiliary holistic framework that explains how green practices such as Zero Energy Buildings (ZEBs) can be achievable in Saudi Arabia with no harm to its local environment.
... Most of energy simulation tools support the final design stage but have a lack of iterative design. According to comparison analyses, building simulation tools provide a wide variety of features and different levels of integration with other engineering software [51]- [53]. Nevertheless, these tools remain largely identical. ...
Article
Full-text available
Energy consumption in the building sector accounts for a large percentage of global energy consumption. For this reason, it is essential to take action to minimize this destructive consumption and promote energy conservation practices within the building sector. A Zero Energy Building (ZEB) concept has been proven as a viable technique for improving energy efficiency in various climatic conditions. This concept can minimize the environmental impact of buildings and helping to advance sustainable development in the construction industry. Worldwide, the ZEB is of the utmost importance to meet sustainability development goals in the built environment. The building sector in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) consumes about 75% of total electrical energy. KSA has experienced an unprecedented energy consumption in the last decade. This is due to the country’s rapid population growth and urbanization, which in turn put more pressures on the kingdom’s natural resources. However, KSA is committed to promote energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies to achieve the goals of sustainability development, as part of its Vision 2030. This paper therefore explores various green building solutions, especially in hot-arid regions, with the aim of reaching ZEB, and at the same time minimizing potential adverse environmental impacts. In order to verify proposed solutions, energy simulation software (Integrated Environmental Solution-IES) is used, along with reviews of related work. The major finding of this paper reveals that several green building concepts are crucial to the design and operation of a building in hot dry region, including thermal mass; daylight; natural ventilation; cavity wall; double-glazing and solar panels (PV). Bear in mind that the operation of a building has to be powered by a Building Management System (BMS). This paper also proposes an auxiliary holistic framework that explains how green practices such as Zero Energy Buildings (ZEBs) can be achievable in Saudi Arabia with no harm to its local environment.
... To expand the possibilities in simulation design, a rapid and accurate transfer of relevant data from the design model to the simulation software is essential. Today, there are generally three approaches to data transfer from design to BPS tool; full-automatic transfer, manual transfer, or a combination of the two, in the following referred to as semi-automatic transfer [4]. ...
Article
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The architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) industry experiences a growing need for building performance simulations (BPS) as facilitators in the design process. However, inconsistent modelling practice and varying quality of export/import functions entail error-prone interoperability with IFC and gbXML data formats. Consequently, repeated manual modelling is still necessary. This paper presents a coupling module enabling a semi-automated extract of geometry data from the BIM software Revit and a further translation to a BPS input file using Revit Application Programming Interface (API) and visual programming in Dynamo. The module is tested with three test cases which shows promising results for fast and structured semi-automatic geometry modelling designed to fit today’s practice.
... The usage of Grasshopper along with a 3d program in the early stage of the design process is very important because nonprogrammers can deal with it easily [18]. Grasshopper [19] with its user-friendly graphical user interface (GUI) is used to develop the thermal EPBFM optimization method that can evaluate the thermal energy performance of numerous architectural form design alternatives in the early stage of the design process. ...
Conference Paper
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manavmahan.singh@kuleuven.be 2,3,4 {patricia.schneider|hannes.harter|w. lang}@tum.de 5 geyer@tu-berlin.de The reduction of energy consumption of buildings requires consideration in early design phases. However, modelling and computation time required for dynamic energy simulations makes them inappropriate in the early phases. This paper presents a performance prediction approach for these phases that is embedded in a multi-level-of-development modelling approach. First, parametric pre-trained modular deep learning components are embedded in the building elements. The energy performance is predicted by composing these components. Second, embodied energy assessment is performed by extracting the information from a database. A calculation module queries the database and calculates the embodied energy. Both, embodied and operational, energy are assembled to predict lifecycle energy demand. The method has been implemented prototypically in a digital modelling environment Revit. A case study serves to demonstrate the application process, the user interaction and the information flows. It shows energy prediction in early design phases to enhance the environmental performance of the building.
Article
A global movement towards the creation of “green” buildings is currently underway. Although driven primarily by an external environmental agenda such as energy or carbon, there is growing recognition that greener buildings could affect the Indoor Environment Quality (IEQ). However, localised green building codes, especially in the developing world, often do not systematically recognise IEQ or health as crucial issues, which therefore remain understudied. Since the developing world alone is expected to nearly double current global built floor space by 2050, it is crucial that green buildings perform holistically to be effective. Here, we follow 120 employees of a single organisation as they transition from four conventional office buildings to the first green building (GB), designed to the local Jordanian Green Building Guide. We ask if the move has a positive effect on occupant perception of IEQ, thermal comfort and prevalence of Sick Building Syndrome (SBS), using a repeated-measures protocol. Statistically significant differences in thermal conditions, positively biased towards the GB, were observed across the move, and this enhanced occupant thermal comfort. Surprisingly, no significant improvement in occupant perception of air quality, visual and acoustic comfort was detected after moving to the GB, while odour, mental concentration, and glare were perceived to be poor in the GB and associated with an increase in the prevalence of SBS symptoms. Hence, our results support the growing concern that green buildings may create unintended consequences in terms of occupant comfort and health in the pursuit of a better thermal environment and energy efficiency.
Article
As early-stage design decisions are critical to building energy efficiency, performance-oriented design supporting methods have been intensively investigated using various cutting-edge technologies. However, applying such methods in real design scenarios is rather limited, causing their actual effectiveness remains questionable. To address this problem, a design experiment is reported in this paper, where 41 designers conducted the early-stage design of an office building, first without, and then with the help of MOOSAS, a user-friendly tool providing rapid predictions of building energy efficiency. The results showed that after the use of MOOSAS, the energy efficiency of the design outcomes improved significantly, with the mean energy use intensity decreasing by 10%. Moreover, participants reached new design possibilities with higher energy efficiency during their design explorations, and had a better chance to choose the "optimal" or "near-optimal" design from their intermediate options. Other positive changes in the design process included a greater variety of design explorations, the achievement of an upward trend in energy efficiency, and more comprehensive coverage of the early-stage design subthemes. The questionnaire following the experiment showed that 76% of the participants regarded MOOSAS as effective or even very effective, whereas 56% claimed to use MOOSAS voluntarily in the future. It is further implied that a more hands-on educational approach in building science courses could be advantageous, while forming a culture of regarding building performance as architects' responsibility and using the supporting tools in the pre-design stage may benefit the design practice.
Article
The direction towards high-performance buildings soars the complexity of the design process. Therefore, Building Performance Simulation (BPS) tools are used to aid designers to realize the implications of early design decisions. Coupling BPS tools and geometrical tools featured with Building Information Modeling (BIM) has recently received much attention. Yet, Computer-Aided Drafting (CAD-based) geometrical tools are still the preferred choice for a large portion of designers. Therefore, this paper aims to develop a Performance-based Design Framework (PbDF) to aid designers in obtaining an optimal design solution compatible with BIM software based on a quantitative decision that satisfies both daylighting, energy, and cost of buildings at the early stage of design. The PbDF included 3 D modeling, daylight and energy simulations, cost calculations, decision-making using Technique for Order by Similarity to Ideal Solution (TOPSIS), and BIM generation. The framework was tested through two stages and validated by face validity approach. The test results demonstrated that the proposed framework can assist designers to efficiently propose high-performance designs and send them to BIM software to complete the rest of the tasks required for design and construction. The PbDF was accepted as reasonable for its intended purpose by people who are knowledgeable about the performance-based design.
Article
The complexity of building design keeps increasing, while the energy-saving and emission reduction standards are becoming evermore stringent. Key variables such as building’s geometric form and envelope construction have sophisticated and nonlinear relationship with its life cycleenvironmental impacts and costs, making it difficult to find the best values with conventional design methods. In this regard, a parametric optimization design method is established to reduce the building's operational energy consumption, life cycle primary energy consumption, GWP, and costs from the early stages of architectural design. A museum building in China’s cold region is selected for case study. Optimal solution sets under different processes and variable settings are compared. The results show that the process of solving geometric and material parameters in one step can obtain a better life-cycle performance and cost with a variety of solutions, thereby effectively assisting architects in making design decisions.
Article
Building form and fenestration design decisions made in the early stages of design have considerable impact on the annual daylight performance of office buildings. Annual daylight performance needs to be evaluated at the conceptual design stage to support the building form and fenestration design decision-making process. However, the simulation modeling and ray-trace calculation required for annual daylight prediction are extremely time consuming, with an adverse impact on its feasibility in the early design stages. Machine learning-based models have received much attention to reduce the daylight simulation time; however, the generalization capability of these models is limited. This study develops an artificial neural network-based modeling approach to predict annual daylight performance in the early stages of the design process. A workflow to develop an annual daylight prediction model with higher generalization capability is proposed, through feature selection, feature engineering, and hyperparameter optimization, with an accompanying tool to integrate the machine learning model into the early design environment. The developed prediction model was validated against Radiance simulation results with a high accuracy setting and attained R² scores of 0.988 and 0.996, MAE scores of 1.58 and 1.37, MAPE scores of 2.10% and 2.36% for UDI and DA300, respectively, while being 250 times faster. The proposed modeling approach can be extended by adding more types of parametric room modules.
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Wczesna faza projektowania jest najważniejszą fazą zrównoważonego projektowania architektonicznego. Potrzebne jest opracowanie szybkich strategii oceny wczesnych decyzji projektowych. Za-stosowanie uproszczonej metody analizy cyklu życia pozwala na szybkie podejmowanie decyzji. W badaniach uwzględniono fazę materiałów (A1-A3) i faza użytkowania (B6) ponieważ zwykle stanowią one większość emisji CO 2 w cyklu życia. Poprzez generowanie różnorodnych form budynku oparte na modelu parametrycznym, możliwe jest zastosowanie algorytmu genetycznego który w ko-lejnych generacjach dobiera parametry skutkujące w najniższym śladzie węglowym. Metoda została wykorzystana do oceny najlepszych proporcji kształtu budynku, optymalnego poziomu izolacji oraz wielkości i położenia okna dla budynku wielorodzinnego dla jak najniższego śladu węglowego. Wyniki pokazują, że nie powinniśmy skupiać się na wyłącznie na emisjach pochodzących z etapu użytkowania, ale musimy wziąć pod uwagę oba z nich w holistycznym procesie decyzyjnym.
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Information management technologies have shown a great potential in the field of Cultural Heritage (CH). Enriching three-dimensional digital models with heterogeneous data sets appears to be very important for heritage preservation. The present research, concerning the Baths of Diocletian (Rome), pursues the aim of showing how the A-BIM approach (Archaeological Building Information Modeling) can be useful during the entire preservation process: from the survey site and the collection of archive information of an archeological, to the creation of a three-dimensional model with three different levels of detail (low, medium, high), capable of conveying information that can be accessed easily and integrated along with the evolution of the architectural asset, thus helping both the management and the conservation procedures.
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Informed decision-making is the basis for the design of Net Zero Energy Buildings (NZEBs). This thesis investigates the use of building performance simulation tools as a method of informing the design decision of NZEBs. The aim of this study was to develop a design decision-making tool, ZEBO, for zero energy residential buildings in hot climates and to evaluate the effect of a simulation-based decision aid, on informed decision-making using sensitivity analysis. An assessment of the role of the BPS tools used in informing the decision-making was ascertained through cases studies, usability testing, and several self-reported metrics. The thesis provides results that shed light on the effectiveness of sensitivity analysis as an approach for informing the design decisions of NZEBs.
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As the title ‘Function Follows Performance in Evolutionary Computational Processing’ suggests, this paper explores the potentials of employing multiple design and evaluation criteria within one processing model in order to account for a number of performative parameters desired within varied architectural projects. At the core lies the formulation of a methodology that is based upon the idea of human and computational selection in accordance with pre-defined performance criteria that can be adapted to different requirements by the mere change of parameter input in order to reach location specific design solutions.
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This thesis reports on four years of research with the aim to contribute to the implementation of low-energy office buildings with high quality of indoor environment and good total economy. Focus has been on the design decisions made in the early stages of the building design process. The objective is to contribute to a development where simulations of building energy performance and indoor environment is used for generating an input to the overall building design process prior to any actual form giving of the building. This input should be considered as one of several similar inputs from other building design disciplines (structural, fire, architecture etc.) to the integrated building design process. The research therefore revolves around the hypothesis that parametric analyses on the energy performance, indoor environment and total economy of rooms with respect to geometry and characteristics of building elements and services can be used to generate a useful input to the early stage of an integrated building design process. To pursue a corroboration of this hypothesis, a method for making informed decisions when establishing the input to the overall building design process is proposed. The method relies on the use of building simulation to illustrate how design parameters will affect the energy performance and the quality of the indoor environment prior to any actual design decision. The method is made operational in a simple building simulation tool capable of performing integrated performance predictions of energy consumption, thermal indoor environment, indoor air quality, and daylight levels. The tool has been tested extensively throughout the four year period of this project. The feedback from these tests has been used to develop the operability and usability of the tool. The end result is a tool which, with minor reservations, has proved to be operational and useful in the design of low-energy office buildings with good indoor environment.
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This paper describes ThermalOpt—a methodology for automated BIM-based multidisciplinary thermal simulation intended for use in multidisciplinary design optimization (MDO) environments. ThermalOpt mitigates several technical barriers to BIM-based multidisciplinary thermal simulation found in practice today while integrating and automating commercially available technologies into a workflow from a parametric BIM model (Digital Project) to an energy simulation engine (EnergyPlus) and a daylighting simulation engine (Radiance) using a middleware based on the open data model Industry Foundation Classes (IFC). Details are discussed including methods for: automatically converting architectural models into multiple consistent thermal analytical models; integration/coordination of analysis inputs and outputs between multiple thermal analyses; reducing simulation times; and generating consistent annual metrics for energy and daylighting performance. We explain how ThermalOpt can improve design process speed, accuracy, and consistency, and can enable designers to explore orders of magnitude larger design spaces using MDO environments to better understand the complex tradeoffs required to achieve zero energy buildings.
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This paper discusses an experience of teaching building simulation to students in a small class of a Masters program in an architecture school. This was a course in assessing building performance using an hourly thermal simulation program. Students were required to use the program to assess the comfort and energy performance of the building they were designing. This paper addresses several key problems based on the experience: students' prior knowledge in the area of thermal performance of buildings, the need for a highly graphical interface and less numerical input, and the students' willingness to use the simulation results in the design process.
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This research is built upon a previously established multidisciplinary design optimization (MDO) framework and further explores the impact of this framework on the early stages of design. Specifically, this paper addresses the potential of introducing a cloud-based approach to tackle geometrically complex design problems and to facilitate early stage design exploration. To address these interests two experiment sets are presented and then discussed in the context of the application of cloud-based computing. First, is a hypothetical scenario possessing complex geometry to understand how the existing established framework assists in the exploration of complex geometric design problems. Second, is a pedagogical benchmark case allowing for the observation of the human versus automated decision making process. By comparing these processes the impact of the established MDO approach on "designing-in performance" and the potential impact of applying cloud-based computing to the MDO framework can be revealed and discussed.
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This paper examines the current state of the art in lighting simulation related to building science research. Discussion on historical developments and main modelling approaches is followed by describing lighting simulation within the design process, where it is applied beyond presentation renderings. Works are grouped using the main aspects of a program (input, modelling and output). Lighting simulation currently focuses on representing accurately a large number of common situations encountered by building designers and researchers. Existing models apply roughly the same theoretical algorithms and calculation aids, limiting representation of certain physical phenomena. Although some models can be used for element design, they are not practical enough to develop or prototype new, untested elements. Elaborate building components require separate analysis through complex simulation aids. Few tools support the early architectural design process. Simplification applies when integrating lighting simulation to whole-building simulation. Input quality affects accuracy, while output needs careful expert interpretation.
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Highly glazed buildings are often considered to be airy, light and transparent with more access to daylight than traditional buildings, but their energy efficiency is often questioned. This article deals with energy and indoor climate simulations of single skin office buildings in Sweden using a dynamic energy simulation tool. Different building alternatives were studied with 30%, 60% and 100% window area. The following parameters were varied: the building's orientation, the plan type, the control set points and the façade type. The chosen simulation program was shown to be very useful, but some improvements would be of interest. Unless the design of a highly glazed façade is very well done there is a high risk for a poor energy and indoor climate performance of the building. The methods and the results of the parametric studies are discussed.
Thesis
In this thesis I consider the relationship between the design of software and the design of flexible parametric models. There is growing evidence that parametric models employed in practice lack the flexibility to accommodate certain design changes. When a designer attempts to change a model’s geometry (by modifying the model’s underlying functions and parameters) they occasionally end up breaking the model. The designer is then left with a dilemma: spend time building a new model, or abandon the changes and revise the old model. Similar dilemmas exist in software engineering. Despite these shared concerns, Robert Woodbury (2010, 66) states that there is currently “little explicit connection” between the practice of software engineering and the practice of parametric modelling. In this thesis I consider, using a reflective practice methodology, how software engineering may inform parametric modelling. Across three case studies I take aspects of the software engineering body of knowledge (language paradigms; structured programming; and interactive programming) and apply them to the design of parametric models for the Sagrada Família, the Dermoid pavilion, and the Responsive Acoustic Surface. In doing so I establish three new parametric modelling methods. The contribution of this research is to show there are connections between the practice of software engineering and the practice of parametric modelling. These include the following: Shared challenges: Both practices involve unexpected changes occurring within the rigid logic of computation. Shared research methods: Research methods from software engineering apply to the study of parametric modelling. Shared practices: The software engineering body of knowledge seems to offer a proven pathway for improving the practice of parametric modelling. These connections signal that software engineering is an underrepresented and important precedent for architects using parametric models; a finding that has implications for how parametric modelling is taught, how parametric models are integrated with practice, and for how researchers study and discuss parametric modelling.
Thesis
Due to advances in computing and modeling, the Architecture Engineering and Construction (AEC) industry has arrived at an era of digital empiricism. Computational simulation tools are widely used across many engineering disciplines for design, evaluation and analysis. Experts in the field agree that design decisions taken during the early design stages have a significant impact on the real performance of the building. Nevertheless, building performance simulation is still hardly used during conceptual design. The European Commission has targeted a 20% reduction of CO2 emissions, a 20% increase of energy efficiency and a 20% increase in the use of renewable energy by 2020. These ambitious aims have resulted in the recasting of the Energy for Buildings Directive, demanding nearly-zero-net-energy-buildings for new buildings and major refurbishments by 2020. The formulated aim requires for the first time an integrated design of the building’s demand and supply systems. The current research was triggered by the above observation. It uses semistructured interviews and critical reviews of literature and software to establish the reasons that prevent Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) consultants from adopting Building Performance Simulation (BPS) tools and to identify the needs of practitioners during the conceptual design stage. In response to the identified needs, a rapid iterative development process is deployed to produce a prototypical software tool. Finally, the tool is heuristically tested on expert users to evaluate its capability to support the conceptual design process. The results obtained from interviews and reviews highlight that HVAC consultants work with an increasing number of design alternatives to prevent dysfunctional buildings. The complexity of design problems is increasing on the one hand due to the need for an early integration of engineering discipline’s and on the other hand due to the challenges in meeting the even more stringent requirements of new buildings. Furthermore, design teams run the risk of only identifying suboptimal solutions for the design problem when they limit themselves too early to a small number of design alternatives. The use of simulation tools helps facilitate a quick turnaround of performance evaluations for a great number of design alternatives early in the design process. By doing so, performance simulation tools have the potential to supplement design experience and support decision making. However, simulation tools are perceived by many as too detailed to be readily used for conceptual design support. Research findings suggest that tools for the early design stages are required to enable parametric studies and to provide facilities to explore the relationships between potential design decisions and performance aspects. Tools need to be able to dynamically scale the resolution of their interfaces to fit the different levels of information density characteristic of the different design stages. In addition, they need to be flexible enough to facilitate expansion of the system representations with innovative design concepts as the design progresses. Due to the need for parametric studies and the exploration of the relationships between potential design decision and performance aspects, this research explores the extension and application of BPS tools with techniques for uncertainty and sensitivity analysis for conceptual design support. This endeavor (1) the evaluation and selection of an extension strategy, (2) the determination of the format and availability of input to techniques for uncertainty propagation and sensitivity analysis, as well as (3) developing knowledge regarding the extent and content of the design option space. To avoid the need to modify the source code of BPS tools, an external strategy is applied that embeds an existing simulation engine into a shell with extra features for statistical pre and post-processing by Latin Hypercube sampling and regression based sensitivity analysis. With regards to the model resolution, results suggest that it is more beneficial to use detailed models with adaptive interfaces rather than simpler tools. The advantages are twofold. Firstly, the BPS tool can use an existing validated simulation model - rather than a specifically developed abstract model with limited applicability. Secondly, the model is able to provide consistent feedback throughout the lifetime of the building. Within the iterative process, the conceptual design stage has some distinctive tasks, such as to explore the option space and to generate and evaluate design concepts. The option space is multi-dimensional, due to its multi-disciplinary set-up and wide-ranging interests of the participating practitioners. An empirical study as part of the research demonstrates the presence of at least two attributes, four subsystem categories and four relationships. Depending on the experience of the practicing designer, components, attributes and relationships are used to a very different extent. While experienced HVAC consultants seem to work mainly with relationships when compiling a design concept, novice designers prefer to work with components. The sampling based analysis strategy requires knowledge about the uncertainty of the parametric model input in the form of probability distribution functions. On the basis of a survey on internal gains for offices, this thesis concludes that current design guidelines provide useful data in a suitable format. Measurements conducted in an office building in Amsterdam confirm the trend towards decreasing equipment gains and the proportional increase of lighting gains. However, in the absence of data to derive a probability density function, this research suggests the definition of “explanatory” scenarios. It is common practice to use “normative” scenarios as input in building performance studies aiming to prove compliance with building regulations. The use of “exploratory” scenarios is less common. Scenario based load profiles have to meet three characteristics. They have to be: (1) locally representative; (2) up-to date and (3) need to match workplace culture. As part of this thesis explanatory data sets were developed representing climate change scenarios for The Netherlands. The exploratory scenarios facilitate the robustness assessment of the future performance of design alternatives. Tests with the Dutch data sets confirm that neither the current reference data nor the projected reference data provide valid results to predict uncertainty ranges for the peak cooling load as a potential robustness indicator. A simulation based comparative robustness assessment of three HVAC concepts over 15 and 30 years is reported. The results indicate a robust future performance for the floorcooling based design alternative with respect to thermal comfort and cooling energy demand. The software prototype shows that detailed simulation tools with features for uncertainty propagation and sensitivity analysis provide the facilities to explore consequences of potential design decisions on performance aspects. In addition, they enable parametric studies and create the possibility to quantify parameter interactions and their collective impact on the performance aspect. Heuristic usability evaluation of the software prototype confirms the value to design practice. 85% of approached HVAC consultants state that the uncertainty of performance aspects is an important parameter to support conceptual design. Importantly, 80% of the practitioners consider the prototype to have great potential to reduce the number of necessary design iterations. This thesis concludes that simulation tools that quantitatively address uncertainties and sensitivities related to conceptual building design generate value by (1) providing an indication of the accuracy of the performance predictions; (2) allowing the identification of parameters and systems to which performance metrics react sensitively and in-sensitively, respectively; and (3) enabling a robustness assessment of design alternatives.
Chapter
In an architectural conceptual sketching process, where an architect is working with the initial ideas for a design, the process is characterized by three phases: sketching, evaluation and modification. Basically the architect needs to address three areas in the conceptual sketching phase: aesthetical, functional and technical requirements. The aim of the present paper is to address the problem of a vague or not existing link between digital conceptual design tools used by architects and designers and engineering analysis and simulation tools. Based on an analysis of the architectural design process different digital design methods are related to tasks in an integrated design process.