Investigation of the Potential Benefits of Optimizing Building Element Placement Using Computational Fluid Dynamics

Building Performance Analysis Conference and SimBuild co-organized by ASHRAE and IBPSA-USA



Buildings are responsible for more than one-third of global energy consumption, motivating the use of modeling to improve energy efficiency while maintaining occupant comfort. While conventional energy models are based on well-mixed zones, we explore the potential benefits of using high-fidelity models to optimize the exact placement of building elements. Specifically, we model a single-room environment and apply computational fluid dynamics to compare 36 mechanical configurations of supply and return vents combined with 9 occupant locations. Results indicate the same forced-air cooling input may produce location-specific temperatures and air velocities that vary significantly depending on the configuration of building elements.

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