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Title: Automated Translation and Thermal Zoning of Digital Building Models for Energy Analysis

Building energy simulation is valuable during the early stages of design, when decisions can have the greatest impact on energy performance. However, preparing digital design models for building energy simulation typically requires tedious manual alteration. This paper describes a series of five automated steps to translate geometric data from an unzoned CAD model into a multi-zone building energy model. First, CAD input is interpreted as geometric surfaces with materials. Second, surface pairs defining walls of various thicknesses are identified. Third, normal directions of unpaired surfaces are determined. Fourth, space boundaries are defined. Fifth, optionally, settings from previous simulations are applied, and spaces are aggregated into a smaller number of thermal zones. Building energy models created quickly using this method can offer guidance throughout the design process.
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  1. Cornell University
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Conference: 13th International Conference of the International Building Performance Simulation Association
Research Org:
Cornell University, Ithaca, NY
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE National Energy Technology Lab; USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Building Technologies Office (EE-5B)
Contributing Orgs:
Program of Computer Graphics, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, USA
Country of Publication:
United States
97 MATHEMATICS AND COMPUTING; building performance simulation; whole building energy analysis; automation; model translation; space boundaries; thermal zones; early stage design