Improving the usability of energy simulation applications in processing common building performance inquiries

N. Ghiassi, F Shayeganfar,U. Pont, A. Mahdavi, S. Fenz, J. Heurix, A. Anjomshoaa, T. Neubauer, A. Tjoa:
"Improving the usability of energy simulation applications in processing common building performance inquiries";
Vortrag: Simulace Budov a Techniky Prostredi - 7. narodni konference s mezinarodni ucasti, Brno, Tschechien; 08.11.2012 - 09.11.2012; in:"Simulace Budov a Techniky Prostredi", O. Sikula, J. Hirs (Hrg.); Ceska Technika - nakladatelstvi CVUT, 1 (2012), ISBN: 978-80-260-3392-9; Paper-Nr. 121, 6 S.

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Building performance simulation tools must be supplied with large amounts of information. Conventional approaches to gathering such information are often cumbersome and time-consuming. Hence, opportunities for in-depth simulation-supported exploration of design and retrofit options may not be optimally exploited. Thus, efforts are necessary to support users, especially within the design community, in data acquisition for (and communication to) building simulation models. In this context, the present paper reports on a two-fold approach:
First, we revisited the requirments in view of necessary building representations (building models) for most common and typical inquiries especially in early stages of design decision making that could be supported by performance simulation. Toward this end, we considered the potential of a previously developed building model (Shared Object Model as deployed in the SEMPER project). Parallel to this step, we explored the types of data input required by two types of existing building performance assessment tools: One tool is an energy simulation application, whereas the second is a calculation tool for the generation of energy certificates for buildings. These two activities resulted in a general building representation detailed enough to address a large set of common early-design performance inquiries. The representation is obviously less broad - and in certain areas less detailed - than the universal Industry Foundation Classes (IFC) model, but is structurally compatible with the IFC model and can be mapped into it.
Second, the data input process was aided with a number of measures. For example, recurrent data input instances were captured in terms of default data sets. Such sets include common construction types, frequently used occupancy-related input data (presence, schedules, set-points, etc.), weather conditions, and HVAC system types. Such preprocessed data stes have been shown to simplify and expedite the task of pouplating data models for building performance simulation.