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

Nastaran Shahmansouri, Rhys Goldstein, Farhad Javid, Alex Tessier, Simon Breslav, Azam Khan

Building Performance Analysis Conference and SimBuild co-organized by ASHRAE and IBPSA-USA
2020

Abstract

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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