Proceedings of BSO Conference 2022: 6th Conference of IBPSA-England
Developing an Open Access Plugin for Urban Building Energy Modelling in QGIS
Shyam Amrith 1, Arygios Oraiopoulos 1, Ivan Korolija 2, Pamela Jane Fennell 11 Energy Institute, University College London, London, UK 2 Institute for Environmental Design and Engineering, University College London, London, UKAbstract: Urban Building Energy Modelling has gained in- creased recognition over the past years, with many research teams developing custom modelling suites that can be used for numerous applications. How- ever, in many cases the licensing costs, lack of trans- parency, the reduced capabilities of selected compu- tational methods as well as the necessity for advanced computing skills, have restricted the wider uptake and utilisation of various developed programmes, es- pecially in regions of the Global South and more specifically in low- and middle-income countries in South America and Southern Asia.
This work presents the first stages in the development of a freely available, open-source tool, able to per- form dynamic thermal simulations of a large number of buildings, using a state of the art modelling engine within a user-friendly interface. The novel SimStock plugin for QGIS is able to run multiple EnergyPlus simulations through a customised Python script, for large numbers of buildings, by supporting the view- ing, editing and analysis of input and output data in a geospatial format. A key feature of the tool is its ability to work with differing levels of detail in the re- quired input data and therefore overcome a significant barrier to access for UBEMs in the Global South.
This paper outlines the approach and the key com- ponents of the tool and further presents its applica- tion on two case studies, a densely populated building block in Lima, Peru, and a residential area in the city of Ahmedabad in India. By bringing the latest devel- opments in UBEM to the context of the Global South, this work contributes to the continuous efforts for im- proving the aspects of inclusiveness, transparency and reproducibility in this field. Keywords: Open-Source Modelling, UBEM, EnergyPlusPaper:bso2022_71