Paper Conference

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


Pushing the limits of simulation complexity: a building energy performance simulation exhibition center in the U.A.E.

Marcus Jones, Stephan Ledinger

Abstract: An exhibition center in the United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.) is modeled for energy performance analysis within the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program (U.S. Green Building Council 2010), and a similar upcoming certification program specific to the U.A.E., called Estidama (Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council 2010). The simulation tool TRNSYS, version 16, was used to perform the energy analysis (Klein, Duffie, and Beckman 2008). Given the complexity and scope of use of the energy model, an ambitious approach to modeling was taken. The cooling system and building envelope were modeled with hundreds of components organized into macros using an innovative macro connection. A new platform for post-processing the large amount of generated thermo-dynamic data was developed in Matlab (The MathWorks Inc. 2007). The organization scheme, the algorithms and methods employed, and the general experiences from this simulation project are presented. This paper may be of interest to anyone modeling a complex and large system with an ambitious level of detail, as well as those interested in standardization and post-processing for building energy performance simulation. PROJECT OVERVIEW The Sheikh Zayed Desert Learning Center (SZDLC), an exhibition center under construction in the city of Al Ain, United Arab Emirates, is both architecturally complex and ambitious in its sustainability targets. With a goal of LEED Platinum and an equivalent highest rating under the upcoming Estidama certification program for the emi-rate of Abu Dhabi, the expected energy performance is impressive. The SZDLC is part of a larger development program for the Al Ain Wildlife Park and Resort, including a renovated desert safari, new infrastructure, and newly constructed residential areas. The building will house exhibits of desert wildlife and natural history unique to desert environments around the world. As the first phase of the program, the SZDLC is designed to be a flagship project for sustainability in the emirate of Abu Dhabi. The Austrian Institute of Technology is performing the energy analysis of the building to primarily support Energy and Environment Credit 1-Optimize Energy Performance (EA1) within the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design program version 2.2 for new construction. Within LEED credit EA1, the building as it is currently designed is compared with a similar 'Baseline' building which meets only a minimum energy efficiency standard. The percentage of decrease in energy costs between the As-Designed and Baseline simulation are used to determine the number of points achieved for this credit, with a maximum of 10 points for a 42% decrease in primary energy costs. MODELING Simulation tool The simulation platform TRNSYS version 16 was selected to fulfill energy modeling requirements for energy ratings and also provide scientific support to the planning team during the design and operation phases of the building. TRNSYS was selected over other simulation tools because of its flexibility in handling complex and innovative systems and because of familiarity within the simulation team. Envelope The architectural concept of the building (figure 1) was first approximated using Google SketchUp version 6 (fig-ure 2) (Google Inc. 2006). This was a necessary intermediate step before manually inputting surface attributes into the simulation tool, given the complexity of the shape. Unfortunately, the project was initiated before the new interface between SketchUp and version 17 of TRNSYS was released, the SketchUp model was only used to organize the zones and to perform simple calculations. Figure 1: Architectural concept (Chalabi, Chalabi, and Froech 2010) The building model with an overall floor area of more than 13000 m 2 was divided into 18 thermal zones, each of
Pages: 523 - 530