Paper Conference

Proceedings of BauSim Conference 2006: 1st Conference of IBPSA-Germany and Austria


The MIT Design Advisor – a fast, simple building design tool

B.J. Urban, L.R. Glicksman

Abstract: We present a software tool for architects for rapid energy simulation of early-stage building designs. Existing software tools are overly complex for earlystage design. This is problematic because the basic, early decisions can have great impact on building performance. Many energy-saving options can be incorporated at zero to moderate cost if the architect is made aware of the potential savings. After preliminary factors are decided, changing a design can be expensive or in some cases impossible. Our tool is targeted for non-technical users and requires no programming experience. The user can describe and simulate a building in minutes by selecting basic parameters (location, orientation, window size & type, insulation, etc.) from a single-page graphical interface. Expected energy consumption and thermal comfort are computed in real-time with integrated heating, cooling, and lighting energy models. Results are presented graphically for easy design comparison. The MIT Design Advisor can be found on the web at
Pages: 203 - 204