Special Issue "Selected Papers from BS2019 – Building Simulation"

A special issue of Energies (ISSN 1996-1073). This special issue belongs to the section "Energy and Buildings".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 May 2020).

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Vincenzo Corrado
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Energy, Politecnico di Torino, C.so Duca degli Abruzzi 24, Torino 10129, Italy
Interests: heat transfer; energy efficiency in building; renewable energy technologies
Prof. Dr. Enrico Fabrizio
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Dipartimento Energia (DENERG), Politecnico di Torino, Corso Duca degli Abruzzi 24, 10129 Torino, Italy
Interests: energy simulation of buildings; sustainable buildings; ZEBs
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The Building Simulation Conference is the premier international event in the field of building performance simulation. The 17th Building Simulation Conference is held in Rome in 2019 and is dedicated to the latest advancements on the building simulation, validation, interpretation of results and teaching.

The role of building simulation is of the foremost importance to meet the requirements of energy efficient and high performance design of buildings, to evaluate the level of sustainability of buildings and settlements and to carry out some post-construction activities in continuous commissioning or energy refurbishment contexts. Applications of building simulation are not limited to the design calculations (e.g. thermal loads), but include the prediction of the building performance in actual operating conditions, as well as the forecast of thermal and visual comfort conditions.

At the same time, even though spreading in the professional practice, the research challenges of building simulation are continuously expanding since the complexity of models and optimization techniques require more computational power and new simulation tool.

Among the topics of the BS 2019 Conference, this special issue addresses the following ones:

  • Commissioning and control
  • Developments in simulation
  • Education
  • Simulation of Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC)
  • Simulation of the human behaviour
  • New software development
  • Optimization
  • Simulation to support regulations
  • Simulation vs reality
  • Validation, calibration and uncertainty
  • Zero Energy Buildings (ZEB)

Submissions are invited from the conference papers that will be accepted and presented at the Conference. The selection of conference papers to be invited to contribute to this special issue will be done from the Scientific Committee of the Conference.

Prof. Dr. Vincenzo Corrado
Prof. Dr. Enrico Fabrizio
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Energies is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • building simulation
  • validation
  • calibration
  • energy efficiency in buildings
  • districts
  • load profiles
  • real time simulation
  • education
  • HVAC
  • human behaviour
  • optimization

Published Papers (10 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
A Methodology to Investigate the Deviations between Simple and Detailed Dynamic Methods for the Building Energy Performance Assessment
Energies 2020, 13(23), 6217; https://doi.org/10.3390/en13236217 - 26 Nov 2020
Viewed by 366
Abstract
The research investigates the validity of the simple hourly method, as introduced by the EN ISO 52016-1 standard, for the assessment of the building energy demand for heating and cooling, by comparing it with a detailed dynamic model (EnergyPlus). A new methodology is [...] Read more.
The research investigates the validity of the simple hourly method, as introduced by the EN ISO 52016-1 standard, for the assessment of the building energy demand for heating and cooling, by comparing it with a detailed dynamic model (EnergyPlus). A new methodology is provided to identify and quantify the causes of deviations between the models. It consists in the split of the contributions of the air heat balance (AHB) equation by dynamic driving force, and in the adoption of consistency options of the modeling parameters related to specific physical phenomena. A case study approach is adopted in the article to achieve the research objective. The results show that the deviations in the heating and cooling loads between the two calculation methods can be mainly ascribed to the use of different surface heat transfer coefficients, and to a different modeling of the extra thermal radiation to the sky. Providing a methodology to validate the calculation method, this work is intended to contribute to the enhancement of the use of simple dynamic models and to the improvement of the standardization activity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Selected Papers from BS2019 – Building Simulation)
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Open AccessArticle
Performance Simulation and Analysis of Occupancy-Based Control for Office Buildings with Variable-Air-Volume Systems
Energies 2020, 13(15), 3756; https://doi.org/10.3390/en13153756 - 22 Jul 2020
Viewed by 637
Abstract
Variable-air-volume (VAV) systems are used in many office buildings. The minimum airflow rate setting of VAV terminal boxes has a significant impact on both energy consumption and indoor air quality. Conventional controls usually have the terminal’s minimum airflow rate at a constant (e.g., [...] Read more.
Variable-air-volume (VAV) systems are used in many office buildings. The minimum airflow rate setting of VAV terminal boxes has a significant impact on both energy consumption and indoor air quality. Conventional controls usually have the terminal’s minimum airflow rate at a constant (e.g., 30% or more of the terminal design airflow rate), irrespective of the occupancy status, which may cause problems, such as excessive simultaneous heating and cooling, under ventilation, and thermal comfort issues. This paper examines the potential of energy savings from occupancy-based controls (OBCs). The sensed occupancy information, either occupant presence or people count, is used to determine the airflow rate of terminal boxes, the thermostat setpoints, and the lighting control. Using EnergyPlus, a whole-building energy modeling software, the energy savings of OBC strategies are evaluated for representative existing medium office buildings in the U.S. The simulation results show that the conventional OBC, based on occupant presence sensing, can save 8% of whole-building energy use in Miami (hot climate) for systems without air-side economizer and about 13% in both Baltimore (mixed climate) and Chicago (cold climate). Comparatively, the advanced OBC, based on people counting, can save 8% in Miami to 23% in Baltimore for systems with economizers. The outdoor-air fraction of the supply air from air-handling units significantly affects the potential energy savings from the advanced OBC strategy. In addition to energy savings, the advanced OBC satisfies the zone ventilation during all occupied hours over the whole year. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Selected Papers from BS2019 – Building Simulation)
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Open AccessArticle
Conceptualisation of an IoT Framework for Multi-Person Interaction with Conditioning Systems
Energies 2020, 13(12), 3094; https://doi.org/10.3390/en13123094 - 15 Jun 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 541
Abstract
In this research, we have created a comprehensive Internet of Things (IoT) framework that allows for better communication between users and machines of the building. With this, users are able to express their thermal preferences so that the connected air conditioning machine could [...] Read more.
In this research, we have created a comprehensive Internet of Things (IoT) framework that allows for better communication between users and machines of the building. With this, users are able to express their thermal preferences so that the connected air conditioning machine could adjust automatically to the needs. In addition, people will be able to understand the conditioning operation through representations of augmented reality, closing in this way the loop of communication. The technology is highly interesting as its cost is virtually null in users with a smart-phone and an air conditioning machine connected to the Internet (as is becoming the norm). The paper shows a methodology consisting of interpreting the will of the occupants with respect to thermal comfort by an IoT platform. The paper shows several simulations performed to evaluate what would happen in a scenario of that kind. The results have shown that the IoT platform allows everybody to have their say in the comfort temperature and, more importantly, shows that the regulation following this path has to be done in a way in which over-compensation for cold or hot periods is not generated for the votes of the occupants. Overall, the system seems highly promising, and is capable of minimizing the dissatisfaction of the occupants in short times. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Selected Papers from BS2019 – Building Simulation)
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Open AccessArticle
Optimization of Window Positions for Wind-Driven Natural Ventilation Performance
Energies 2020, 13(10), 2464; https://doi.org/10.3390/en13102464 - 14 May 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 734
Abstract
This paper optimizes opening positions on building facades to maximize the natural ventilation’s potential for ventilation and cooling purposes. The paper demonstrates how to apply computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulation results to architectural design processes, and how the CFD-driven decisions impact ventilation and [...] Read more.
This paper optimizes opening positions on building facades to maximize the natural ventilation’s potential for ventilation and cooling purposes. The paper demonstrates how to apply computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulation results to architectural design processes, and how the CFD-driven decisions impact ventilation and cooling: (1) background: A CFD helps predict the natural ventilation’s potential, the integration of CFD results into design decision-making has not been actively practiced; (2) methods: Pressure data on building facades were obtained from CFD simulations and mapped into the 3D modeling environment, which were then used to identify optimal positions of two openings of a zone. The effect of the selected opening positions was validated with building energy simulations; (3) results: The cross-comparison study of different window positions based on different geographical locations quantified the impact on natural ventilation effectiveness; and (4) conclusions: The optimized window position was shown to be effective, and some optimal solutions contradicted the typical cross-ventilation strategy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Selected Papers from BS2019 – Building Simulation)
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Open AccessArticle
Modeling Thermal Interactions between Buildings in an Urban Context
Energies 2020, 13(9), 2382; https://doi.org/10.3390/en13092382 - 09 May 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1212
Abstract
Thermal interactions through longwave radiation exchange between buildings, especially in a dense urban environment, can strongly influence a building’s energy use and environmental impact. However, these interactions are either neglected or oversimplified in urban building energy modeling. We developed a new feature in [...] Read more.
Thermal interactions through longwave radiation exchange between buildings, especially in a dense urban environment, can strongly influence a building’s energy use and environmental impact. However, these interactions are either neglected or oversimplified in urban building energy modeling. We developed a new feature in EnergyPlus to explicitly consider this term in the surface heat balance calculations and developed an algorithm to batch calculating the surrounding surfaces’ view factors using a ray-tracing technique. We conducted a case study with a district in the Chicago downtown area to evaluate the longwave radiant heat exchange effects between urban buildings. Results show that the impact of the longwave radiant effects on annual energy use ranges from 0.1% to 3.3% increase for cooling and 0.3% to 3.6% decrease for heating, varying among individual buildings. At the district level, the total energy demand increases by 1.39% for cooling and decreases 0.45% for heating. We also observe the longwave radiation can increase the exterior surface temperature by up to 10 °C for certain exterior surfaces. These findings justify a detailed and accurate way to consider the thermal interactions between buildings in an urban context to inform urban planning and design. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Selected Papers from BS2019 – Building Simulation)
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Open AccessArticle
Evaluating Building Energy Code Compliance and Savings Potential through Large-Scale Simulation with Models Inferred by Field Data
Energies 2020, 13(9), 2321; https://doi.org/10.3390/en13092321 - 07 May 2020
Viewed by 523
Abstract
Building energy code compliance is the crucial link between the actual energy savings and the efficiency prescribed in energy codes. A research project aiming to identify opportunities to reduce energy consumption in new single-family residential construction by increasing compliance with the building energy [...] Read more.
Building energy code compliance is the crucial link between the actual energy savings and the efficiency prescribed in energy codes. A research project aiming to identify opportunities to reduce energy consumption in new single-family residential construction by increasing compliance with the building energy code was conducted in several states of the United States. The study was comprised of three phases: (1) a baseline study to document typical practice and identify opportunities for improvement based on empirical data gathered from the field; (2) an education and training phase targeting the opportunities identified; and (3) a post-study to assess whether a reduction in average state-wide energy use could be achieved following the education and training phase. We proposed a novel methodology based on large-scale building energy simulation inferred by limited field data to assess the performance of a large population of homes. This paper presents the methodology, findings, and results of this study. The state-wide average energy consumption decreased at Phase III from Phase I for five of the seven states involved in the analysis. The measure-level savings potential analysis shows an overall reduction. Overall, the training and education phase plays a recognizable role in improving compliance with building energy codes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Selected Papers from BS2019 – Building Simulation)
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Open AccessArticle
Reliability-Based Optimization for Energy Refurbishment of a Social Housing Building
Energies 2020, 13(9), 2310; https://doi.org/10.3390/en13092310 - 06 May 2020
Viewed by 727
Abstract
This paper investigates the influence of a stochastic variation of both energy and economic parameters in an optimization loop applied to a refurbished social housing building. Usually, energy and economic optimization procedures rely on the results of an underlying numerical deterministic model which [...] Read more.
This paper investigates the influence of a stochastic variation of both energy and economic parameters in an optimization loop applied to a refurbished social housing building. Usually, energy and economic optimization procedures rely on the results of an underlying numerical deterministic model which influences both energy gains and economic figures. However, an analyst must always face the random variation of input and parameter data. The unknown data can represent poor initial information or data that can change in a long time; this is the case of fuel cost and economic indexes in particular. This paper deals with both problems for building refurbishment optimization, the former related to the initial state of a building, and the latter to the energy cost variability. Reliability analysis considers a stochastic variation of parameters looking for solutions that incorporate a risk level; in this case, it deals with optimization objectives related to different impacts on economic, environmental and health aspects. The considered building represents a social house, and the energy reduction measures involve the application of internal insulation layers to the walls and the replacement of existing windows with more efficient ones. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Selected Papers from BS2019 – Building Simulation)
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Open AccessArticle
Influence of the Meteorological Record Length on the Generation of Representative Weather Files
Energies 2020, 13(8), 2103; https://doi.org/10.3390/en13082103 - 23 Apr 2020
Viewed by 632
Abstract
Heat and moisture (HM) transfer simulations of building envelopes and whole building energy simulations require adequate weather files. The common approach is to use weather data of reference years constructed from meteorological records. The weather record affects the capability of representing the real [...] Read more.
Heat and moisture (HM) transfer simulations of building envelopes and whole building energy simulations require adequate weather files. The common approach is to use weather data of reference years constructed from meteorological records. The weather record affects the capability of representing the real weather of the resulting reference years. In this paper the problem of the influence of the length of the records on the representativeness of the reference years is addressed and its effects are evaluated also for the applicative case of the moisture accumulation risk analysis with the Glaser Method and with DELPHIN 6, confirming that records shorter than 10 years could lead to less representative reference years. On the other hand, it is shown that reference years obtained from longer periods are not representative of the most recent years, which present higher dry-bulb air temperatures due to a short-term climate change effect observed in all the considered weather records. An alternative representative year (Moisture Representative Year) to be used in building energy simulations with a strong dependence on moisture is presented. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Selected Papers from BS2019 – Building Simulation)
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Open AccessArticle
CFD Study of Diffuse Ceiling Ventilation through Perforated Ceiling Panels
Energies 2020, 13(8), 1995; https://doi.org/10.3390/en13081995 - 17 Apr 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 641
Abstract
Diffuse Ceiling Ventilation (DCV) is a promising concept to address internal air quality and thermal comfort requirements in contemporary buildings. Sound-absorbing perforated ceiling panels are common in office rooms and can be used as air diffusers without modifications. The optimization of such systems [...] Read more.
Diffuse Ceiling Ventilation (DCV) is a promising concept to address internal air quality and thermal comfort requirements in contemporary buildings. Sound-absorbing perforated ceiling panels are common in office rooms and can be used as air diffusers without modifications. The optimization of such systems is not a trivial procedure, and numerical simulation can represent an important tool to carry out this task. Today, most of the numerical studies on DCV are performed using porous medium models and focus on the general system performance rather than on the optimization of the diffuser design. In previous studies, a CFD model was used to optimize the size and distribution of the ceiling perforation. In the study presented in this paper, the results of simulations conducted on a full-scale three-dimensional domain and the performance comparison between a continuous and non-continuous perforation distribution are given. The results show that the non-continuous diffuser design does not disturb the internal comfort and does not introduce a negative effect in the system performance. The different configurations lead to a different air distribution in the room, but in both cases, the velocity magnitude is always well below values leading to draft discomfort. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Selected Papers from BS2019 – Building Simulation)
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Open AccessArticle
A Method to Introduce Building Performance Simulation to Beginners
Energies 2020, 13(8), 1941; https://doi.org/10.3390/en13081941 - 15 Apr 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 595
Abstract
Competence in performing Building Performance Simulations (BPS) is a fundamental asset for an energy specialist. However, teaching BPS to new students can be challenging, often due to the overwhelming capabilities of the software. The consequences for students are frustration and lack of confidence [...] Read more.
Competence in performing Building Performance Simulations (BPS) is a fundamental asset for an energy specialist. However, teaching BPS to new students can be challenging, often due to the overwhelming capabilities of the software. The consequences for students are frustration and lack of confidence using the software, dividing group work based on previous expertise and, most importantly, the inability to predict and critically analyse results due to the superficial understanding of simulations. This paper presents and evaluates a simple method named ‘control method’ which is intended to introduce BPS in classes where students have a limited experience working with BPS, significantly different educational backgrounds, and where the time to teach BPS in class is limited. The method is built around the Structure of Observed Learning Outcomes taxonomy. It aims to provide the students with a basic understanding of the input-output relationship between parameters, prompting the use of BPS independently during their individual study time. The application of the method is evaluated with two survey-based studies. The findings suggest that the method prompts higher level thinking in BPS and collaborative learning in groups. Further investigation is needed to verify if students’ ability to predict results is also increased. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Selected Papers from BS2019 – Building Simulation)
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