Paper Conference

Proceedings of eSim 2022: 12th Conference of IBPSA-Canada


The applicability of simplified whole-building energy model for energy-efficiency retrofit analysis

Yasaman Dadras, Miroslava Kavgic
University of Ottawa, Canada

Abstract: Energy-efficiency upgrades of existing buildings represent an opportunity to achieve substantial greenhouse gas reductions and improve indoor environmental quality. Building energy modelling can enable better-informed design solutions and compliance with energy codes. However, it requires experience in energy modelling and knowledge of building physics and energy systems. This study investigates the capabilities of the simplified whole-building energy models to provide reliable predictions. Thus, we first developed and calibrated a detailed energy model of the existing low-rise commercial office building. Then, we reduced the complexity of the calibrated model regarding thermal zoning, envelope constructions, and energy systems. Next, scenarios with different energy retrofit solutions were applied, and discrepancies in the models' predictions were analyzed. The results show that while simplified models might predict total energy savings, certain simplifications may introduce inaccuracy in predicting cooling energy loads.
Keywords: Model simplification, Energy-efficiency retrofit, Whole-building energy modeling, Commercial buildings