Paper Conference

Proceedings of Building Simulation 2017: 15th Conference of IBPSA


Teaching Building Simulation to HVAC Engineering Bachelor Students

Gerhard Zweifel
Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts Engineering and Architecture Department Horw, Switzerland

Abstract: Teaching building simulation in a bachelor program at a university of applied sciences to students with a strong professional rather than a deep scientific background is a challenge. Over the time of 20 years, a method has been developed, with the aim of leading the students to a general understanding of the capabilities and the value of building simulation as a means of integrated design, rather than trying to make them expert users in the short time available. From experience it can be stated that, for this type of students, extensive and deep scientific introductions do not lead to much success. However, to overcome the lack of scientific background, an introductory exercise in deriving a dynamic mathematical model for a limited physical phenomenon has proved to be a good step to get a sufficient understanding of dynamic effects. Where earlier tools needed more introduction in the handling of the software, contemporary tools - especially the tool used in this case, one of the world's leading equation based simulation tools - support this with a built in tutorial and process guide, which the students then use to get familiar with the software. A two step approach for the optimisation of a given 4-5 zone commercial building is chosen to provoke the students putting in their professional know-how and their curiosity. The model, with purposeful non-optimalities, is handed out to the students and analysed. The task is to optimise the building in respect of its overall primary energy consumption. The contribution shows the procedure in detail. Also the challenge of having mechanical and electrical engineers together is discussed. In follow-up modules some of the students use the same software to make their first BIM experience and especially, the more interested students can chose a second course going more in depth of advanced mode simulation, modelling, controls, optimisation etc. At the final stage, a specialisation is offered in the frame of the MSc program.
Pages: 1732 - 1739