Paper Conference

Proceedings of SimBuild Conference 2010: 4th conference of IBPSA-USA


Enumerating a Diverse Set of Building Designs Using Discrete Optimization

Elaine T. Hale, Nicholas L. Long
National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Golden, CO

Abstract: Numerical optimization is a powerful method for identifying energy-efficient building designs. Automating the search process facilitates the evaluation of many more options than is possible with one-off parametric simulation runs. However, input data uncertainties and qualitative aspects of building design work against standard optimization formulations that return a single, so-called optimal design. This paper presents a method for harnessing a discrete optimization algorithm to obtain significantly different, economically viable building designs that satisfy an energy efficiency goal. The method is demonstrated using NREL's first-generation building analysis platform, Opt-E-Plus, and two example problems. We discuss the information content of the results, and the computational effort required by the algorithm.
Pages: 77 - 84