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Towards Voxel-Based Algorithms for Building Performance Simulation

Rhys Goldstein, Simon Breslav, Azam Khan

IBPSA-Canada eSim Conference
2014

Towards Voxel-Based Algorithms for Building Performance Simulation (1:53 min.)

Video title (x:xx min.)

Abstract

This paper explores the design, coupling, and application of algorithms relying on grid-based or voxel-based representations of buildings. Such algorithms may encourage the adoption of building performance simulation in design practice by avoiding the time-consuming and somewhat arbitrary process of manually partitioning a building’s interior into polyhedral spaces. They also support detailed visualizations that may open up new possibilities for design tools. This paper presents two grid-based methods: a hierarchical path-finding algorithm to support detailed simulations of individual occupants, and a very simple heat transfer algorithm to motivate future alternatives to zone models. The coupling of the pathfinding and heat transfer algorithms demonstrates the need for a simulation framework supporting different time advancement patterns. The coupled model is applied to simulate a building with individual occupants that move between rooms and open windows in response to temperature changes.

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Building Simulation

Buildings are the largest consumers of energy responsible for 48% of all Green House Gas (GHG) emissions. Due to the complexity and multidisciplinary aspects of architectural design, construction, urban design, and building occupant behavior, simulation has gained attention as a means of addressing this enormous challenge. The idea is to model a building’s many interacting subsystems, including its occupants, electrical equipment, and indoor and outdoor climate. With simulation results in hand, an architect is better able to predict the energy demand associated with various designs, and choose from among the more sustainable options.

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