Paper Conference

Proceedings of eSim 2020: 11th Conference of IBPSA-Canada


Uncertainties of Building Energy Simulation and the Implications for the British Columbia Energy Step Code

Sepehr Foroushani
City of Richmond, Canada

Abstract: As performance-based building energy codes proliferate, building energy simulation (BES) becomes an essential tool to verify and document code compliance. Accordingly, uncertainty in BES results becomes increasingly important to various stakeholders, including local governments. The British Columbia Energy Step Code (ESC) is one of the latest performance-based codes in North America. The December 2019 revision to the Code has introduced relative thermal performance targets for the building envelope which are measured in comparison to a “reference” building. In this paper the uncertainty of typical building energy simulations using the HOT2000 simulation tool is studied. Using computational experiments based on two scenarios for the uncertainty of model inputs, it is shown that the relative thermal performance metric of ESC can have uncertainties larger than some of the relative performance targets of the Code, prohibiting reliable assessment of compliance.