Comparison Basis of Building Information Modeling Workflows for Energy Analysis

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Conference Proceeding

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Energy prediction methods and tools play a crucial role in the lifecycle of energy-efficient buildings. Such tools and methods could be leveraged at different stages of a project by different actors including but not limited to: 1) owners and facility managers for evaluating cost of ownership, 2) architects and engineers for selecting the best-fit system for target energy performance, and 3) construction managers for making more informed value-engineering decisions. There are two major approaches for energy modeling: forward modeling and inverse modeling. The former approach is the most common approach used in industry due to its quick analysis process. In this approach, provides a prediction of energy use by building system design parameters and environmental drivers using energy models. On contrary, inverse modeling approach is used to select building parameters such as energy conservation measures from energy use and drivers by developing statistical models with the use of available data. However, the gap between predicted and actual is larger compared to the forward modeling approach due to the differences in detailing and interoperability issue between the design authoring and analysis tools. Even though some energy analysis tools include an authoring module, the modeling details are limited. There is a variety of design authoring and energy simulation tools that could communicate with each other using open file formats such as industry foundation classes (IFC). This paper investigated two different energy analysis workflows and selection of parameters to compare them with the metered data available for an educational facility building located in 5A climate region. These two workflows include: 1) creating a physical model in a BIM authoring tool and transferring the model to an energy analysis model by means of IFC file format, 2) creating an energy model directly in an energy analysis tool. In the light of this case study, this research contributes to the body of knowledge by providing 1) justification of testing criteria for the selection of simulation tool, workflow, and level of development (LOD) for models, 2) parameters for modeling, and 3) metered conditions for the basecase to compare with two different energy analysis building information modeling (BIM) workflow by using same design authoring and energy simulation tools.

Publication Title

Congress on Computing in Civil Engineering, Proceedings



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