Paper Conference

Proceedings of BSA Conference 2015: Second Conference of IBPSA-Italy


Energy simulation in early stage building design: simplified models and impact on results

Marco Picco, Marco Marengo

Abstract: The paper stems from the benefits of the application of energy analysis in the early-stage building design combined with the difficulties that prevent this integration due to the complexity of the needed simulations. The most common solution to overtake this obstacle is to simplify the building energy model, but not enough attention is paid to understand or predict the consequences of this action. The paper focuses on discussing the difference in results evaluated comparing the simulation of a detailed building model, based on all information available on the building during operation, and a simplified one, suitable for the application in early stage design. This result is achieved by defining a methodology, which consists in developing a simplification protocol and applying it to a suitable number of case studies starting from a detailed model and ending in the simplified one after the application of said protocol. The protocol is based on the use of EnergyPlus software both to develop a detailed model of the building, under various system hypothesis, and the simplified models. Three different case studies, featuring large non-residential buildings each with specific peculiarities, are discussed in this paper and simulated under three different system hypotheses each, resulting in nine different simplified models. Simulations are performed for the duration of a solar year, the differences registered between a fully simplified model and the corresponding detailed models are discussed both in term of total energy needs and peak loads, both for heating and cooling. Lastly, based on the results of the case studies, the possibility of integrating the presented simplification protocol into a simplified simulation tool is evaluated, discussing the possible advantages said tool would bring to the integration of energy simulation in early stage building design.
Pages: 119 - 126