Paper Conference

Proceedings of Building Simulation 2011: 12th Conference of IBPSA


Learning by Playing – Teaching Energy Simulation as a Game

Christoph F Reinhart, Timur Dogan, Diego Ibarra, Wasilowski Samuelson

Abstract: Being able to read thermal simulation results and to adapt one’s design accordingly has become an essential skill for graduating and practicing architects. This paper proposes and evaluates an innovative way of how this skill can be taught via a 90-minutes in-class exercise or ‘game’ based on DesignBuilder/EnergyPlus. The game was tested in a class of 47 architecture students who competed to generate the lowest Energy Use Intensity (EUI) for an office building in Boston. Design upgrades were associated with a cost premium and the overall upgrade budget was capped. The EUIs of the ten final submissions were 22 to 31% below the base variant and student essays revealed a clear preference for game-based learning vis-a-vis conventional teaching methods.
Pages: 1242 - 1249