Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 14

Search results for: DesignBuilder

14 Analyzing the Effect of Materials’ Selection on Energy Saving and Carbon Footprint: A Case Study Simulation of Concrete Structure Building

Authors: M. Kouhirostamkolaei, M. Kouhirostami, M. Sam, J. Woo, A. T. Asutosh, J. Li, C. Kibert


Construction is one of the most energy consumed activities in the urban environment that results in a significant amount of greenhouse gas emissions around the world. Thus, the impact of the construction industry on global warming is undeniable. Thus, reducing building energy consumption and mitigating carbon production can slow the rate of global warming. The purpose of this study is to determine the amount of energy consumption and carbon dioxide production during the operation phase and the impact of using new shells on energy saving and carbon footprint. Therefore, a residential building with a re-enforced concrete structure is selected in Babolsar, Iran. DesignBuilder software has been used for one year of building operation to calculate the amount of carbon dioxide production and energy consumption in the operation phase of the building. The primary results show the building use 61750 kWh of energy each year. Computer simulation analyzes the effect of changing building shells -using XPS polystyrene and new electrochromic windows- as well as changing the type of lighting on energy consumption reduction and subsequent carbon dioxide production. The results show that the amount of energy and carbon production during building operation has been reduced by approximately 70% by applying the proposed changes. The changes reduce CO2e to 11345 kg CO2/yr. The result of this study helps designers and engineers to consider material selection’s process as one of the most important stages of design for improving energy performance of buildings.

Keywords: construction materials, green construction, energy simulation, carbon footprint, energy saving, concrete structure, designbuilder

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13 Numerical Simulation of a Combined Impact of Cooling and Ventilation on the Indoor Environmental Quality

Authors: Matjaz Prek


Impact of three different combinations of cooling and ventilation systems on the indoor environmental quality (IEQ) has been studied. Comparison of chilled ceiling cooling in combination with displacement ventilation, cooling with fan coil unit and cooling with flat wall displacement outlets was performed. All three combinations were evaluated from the standpoint of whole-body and local thermal comfort criteria as well as from the standpoint of ventilation effectiveness. The comparison was made on the basis of numerical simulation with DesignBuilder and Fluent. Numerical simulations were carried out in two steps. Firstly the DesignBuilder software environment was used to model the buildings thermal performance and evaluation of the interaction between the environment and the building. Heat gains of the building and of the individual space, as well as the heat loss on the boundary surfaces in the room, were calculated. In the second step Fluent software environment was used to simulate the response of the indoor environment, evaluating the interaction between building and human, using the simulation results obtained in the first step. Among the systems presented, the ceiling cooling system in combination with displacement ventilation was found to be the most suitable as it offers a high level of thermal comfort with adequate ventilation efficiency. Fan coil cooling has proved inadequate from the standpoint of thermal comfort whereas flat wall displacement outlets were inadequate from the standpoint of ventilation effectiveness. The study showed the need in evaluating indoor environment not solely from the energy use point of view, but from the point of view of indoor environmental quality as well.

Keywords: cooling, ventilation, thermal comfort, ventilation effectiveness, indoor environmental quality, IEQ, computational fluid dynamics

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12 Investigating and Comparing the Performance of Baseboard and Panel Radiators by Calculating the Thermal Comfort Coefficient

Authors: Mohammad Erfan Doraki, Mohammad Salehi


In this study, to evaluate the performance of Baseboard and Panel radiators with thermal comfort coefficient, A room with specific dimensions was modeled with Ansys fluent and DesignBuilder, then calculated the speed and temperature parameters in different parts of the room in two modes of using Panel and Baseboard radiators and it turned out that use of Baseboard radiators has a more uniform temperature and speed distribution, but in a Panel radiator, the room is warmer. Then, by calculating the thermal comfort indices, It was shown that using a Panel radiator is a more favorable environment and using a Baseboard radiator is a more uniform environment in terms of thermal comfort.

Keywords: Radiator, Baseboard, optimal, comfort coefficient, heat

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11 A Comparison between Modelled and Actual Thermal Performance of Load Bearing Rammed Earth Walls in Egypt

Authors: H. Hafez, A. Mekkawy, R. Rostom


Around 10% of the world’s CO₂ emissions could be attributed to the operational energy of buildings; that is why more research is directed towards the use of rammed earth walls which is claimed to have enhanced thermal properties compared to conventional building materials. The objective of this paper is to outline how the thermal performance of rammed earth walls compares to conventional reinforced concrete skeleton and red brick in-fill walls. For this sake, the indoor temperature and relative humidity of a classroom built with rammed earth walls and a vaulted red brick roof in the area of Behbeit, Giza, Egypt were measured hourly over 6 months using smart sensors. These parameters for the rammed earth walls were later also compared against the values obtained using a 'DesignBuilder v5' model to verify the model assumptions. The thermal insulation of rammed earth walls was found to be 30% better than this of the redbrick infill, and the recorded data were found to be almost 90% similar to the modelled values.

Keywords: rammed earth, thermal insulation, indoor air quality, design builder

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10 Architecture Performance-Related Design Based on Graphic Parameterization

Authors: Wenzhe Li, Xiaoyu Ying, Grace Ding


Architecture plane form is an important consideration in the design of green buildings due to its significant impact on energy performance. The most effective method to consider energy performance in the early design stages is parametric modelling. This paper presents a methodology to program plane forms using MATLAB language, generating 16 kinds of plane forms by changing four designed parameters. DesignBuilder (an energy consumption simulation software) was proposed to simulate the energy consumption of the generated planes. A regression mathematical model was established to study the relationship between the plane forms and their energy consumption. The main finding of the study suggested that there was a cubic function relationship between the depth-ratio of U-shaped buildings and energy consumption, and there is also a cubic function relationship between the width-ratio and energy consumption. In the design, the depth-ratio of U-shaped buildings should not be less than 2.5, and the width-ratio should not be less than 2.

Keywords: graphic parameterization, green building design, mathematical model, plane form

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9 Dynamic Modeling of Energy Systems Adapted to Low Energy Buildings in Lebanon

Authors: Nadine Yehya, Chantal Maatouk


Low energy buildings have been developed to achieve global climate commitments in reducing energy consumption. They comprise energy efficient buildings, zero energy buildings, positive buildings and passive house buildings. The reduced energy demands in Low Energy buildings call for advanced building energy modeling that focuses on studying active building systems such as heating, cooling and ventilation, improvement of systems performances, and development of control systems. Modeling and building simulation have expanded to cover different modeling approach i.e.: detailed physical model, dynamic empirical models, and hybrid approaches, which are adopted by various simulation tools. This paper uses DesignBuilder with EnergyPlus simulation engine in order to; First, study the impact of efficiency measures on building energy behavior by comparing Low energy residential model to a conventional one in Beirut-Lebanon. Second, choose the appropriate energy systems for the studied case characterized by an important cooling demand. Third, study dynamic modeling of Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) system in EnergyPlus that is chosen due to its advantages over other systems and its availability in the Lebanese market. Finally, simulation of different energy systems models with different modeling approaches is necessary to confront the different modeling approaches and to investigate the interaction between energy systems and building envelope that affects the total energy consumption of Low Energy buildings.

Keywords: physical model, variable refrigerant flow heat pump, dynamic modeling, EnergyPlus, the modeling approach

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8 Applicability of Overhangs for Energy Saving in Existing High-Rise Housing in Different Climates

Authors: Qiong He, S. Thomas Ng


Upgrading the thermal performance of building envelope of existing residential buildings is an effective way to reduce heat gain or heat loss. Overhang device is a common solution for building envelope improvement as it can cut down solar heat gain and thereby can reduce the energy used for space cooling in summer time. Despite that, overhang can increase the demand for indoor heating in winter due to its function of lowering the solar heat gain. Obviously, overhang has different impacts on energy use in different climatic zones which have different energy demand. To evaluate the impact of overhang device on building energy performance under different climates of China, an energy analysis model is built up in a computer-based simulation program known as DesignBuilder based on the data of a typical high-rise residential building. The energy simulation results show that single overhang is able to cut down around 5% of the energy consumption of the case building in the stand-alone situation or about 2% when the building is surrounded by other buildings in regions which predominantly rely on space cooling though it has no contribution to energy reduction in cold region. In regions with cold summer and cold winter, adding overhang over windows can cut down around 4% and 1.8% energy use with and without adjoining buildings, respectively. The results indicate that overhang might not an effective shading device to reduce the energy consumption in the mixed climate or cold regions.

Keywords: overhang, energy analysis, computer-based simulation, design builder, high-rise residential building, climate, BIM model

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7 Life Cycle Assessment of Residential Buildings: A Case Study in Canada

Authors: Venkatesh Kumar, Kasun Hewage, Rehan Sadiq


Residential buildings consume significant amounts of energy and produce a large amount of emissions and waste. However, there is a substantial potential for energy savings in this sector which needs to be evaluated over the life cycle of residential buildings. Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) methodology has been employed to study the primary energy uses and associated environmental impacts of different phases (i.e., product, construction, use, end of life, and beyond building life) for residential buildings. Four different alternatives of residential buildings in Vancouver (BC, Canada) with a 50-year lifespan have been evaluated, including High Rise Apartment (HRA), Low Rise Apartment (LRA), Single family Attached House (SAH), and Single family Detached House (SDH). Life cycle performance of the buildings is evaluated for embodied energy, embodied environmental impacts, operational energy, operational environmental impacts, total life-cycle energy, and total life cycle environmental impacts. Estimation of operational energy and LCA are performed using DesignBuilder software and Athena Impact estimator software respectively. The study results revealed that over the life span of the buildings, the relationship between the energy use and the environmental impacts are identical. LRA is found to be the best alternative in terms of embodied energy use and embodied environmental impacts; while, HRA showed the best life-cycle performance in terms of minimum energy use and environmental impacts. Sensitivity analysis has also been carried out to study the influence of building service lifespan over 50, 75, and 100 years on the relative significance of embodied energy and total life cycle energy. The life-cycle energy requirements for SDH is found to be a significant component among the four types of residential buildings. The overall disclose that the primary operations of these buildings accounts for 90% of the total life cycle energy which far outweighs minor differences in embodied effects between the buildings.

Keywords: building simulation, environmental impacts, life cycle assessment, life cycle energy analysis, residential buildings

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6 Efficiency Validation of Hybrid Cooling Application in Hot and Humid Climate Houses of KSA

Authors: Jamil Hijazi, Stirling Howieson


Reducing energy consumption and CO2 emissions are probably the greatest challenge now facing mankind. From considerations surrounding global warming and CO2 production, it has to be recognized that oil is a finite resource and the KSA like many other oil-rich countries will have to start to consider a horizon where hydro-carbons are not the dominant energy resource. The employment of hybrid ground-cooling pipes in combination with the black body solar collection and radiant night cooling systems may have the potential to displace a significant proportion of oil currently used to run conventional air conditioning plant. This paper presents an investigation into the viability of such hybrid systems with the specific aim of reducing cooling load and carbon emissions while providing all year-round thermal comfort in a typical Saudi Arabian urban housing block. Soil temperatures were measured in the city of Jeddah. A parametric study then was carried out by computational simulation software (DesignBuilder) that utilized the field measurements and predicted the cooling energy consumption of both a base case and an ideal scenario (typical block retro-fitted with insulation, solar shading, ground pipes integrated with hypocaust floor slabs/stack ventilation and radiant cooling pipes embed in floor). Initial simulation results suggest that careful ‘ecological design’ combined with hybrid radiant and ground pipe cooling techniques can displace air conditioning systems, producing significant cost and carbon savings (both capital and running) without appreciable deprivation of amenity.

Keywords: cooling load, energy efficiency, ground pipe cooling, hybrid cooling strategy, hydronic radiant systems, low carbon emission, passive designs, thermal comfort

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5 The Role of Building Services in Energy Conservation into Residential Buildings

Authors: Osama Ahmed Ibrahim Masoud, Mohamed Ibrahim Mohamed Abdelhadi, Ahmed Mohamed Seddik Hassan


The problem of study focuses on thermal comfort realization in a residential building during hot and dry climate periods consumes a major electrical energy for air conditioning operation. Thermal comfort realization in a residential building during such climate becomes more difficult regarding the phenomena of climate change, and the use of building and construction materials which have the feature of heat conduction as (bricks-reinforced concrete) and the global energy crises. For that, this study aims to how to realize internal thermal comfort through how to make the best use of building services (temporarily used service spaces) for reducing the electrical energy transfer and saving self-shading. In addition, the possibility of reduction traditional energy (fossil fuel) consumed in cooling through the use of building services for reducing the internal thermal comfort and the relationship between them. This study is based on measuring the consumed electrical energy rate in cooling (by using Design-Builder program) for a residential building (the place of study is: Egypt- Suez Canal- Suez City), this design model has lots of alternatives designs for the place of building services (center of building- the eastern front- southeastern front- the southern front- the south-west front, the western front). The building services are placed on the fronts with different rates for determining the best rate on fronts which realizes thermal comfort with the lowest of energy consumption used in cooling. Findings of the study indicate to that the best position for building services is on the west front then the south-west front, and the more the building services increase, the more energy consumption used in cooling of residential building decreases. Recommendations indicate to the need to study the building services positions in the new projects progress to select the best alternatives to realize ‘Energy conservation’ used in cooling or heating into the buildings in general, residential buildings particularly.

Keywords: residential buildings, energy conservation, thermal comfort, building services, temporary used service spaces, DesignBuilder

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4 Methodological Approach for Historical Building Retrofit Based on Energy and Cost Analysis in the Different Climatic Zones

Authors: Selin Guleroglu, Ilker Kahraman, E. Selahattin Umdu


In today’s world, the building sector has a significant impact on primary energy consumption and CO₂ emissions. While new buildings must have high energy performance as indicated by the Energy Performance Directive in Buildings (EPBD), published by the European Union (EU), the energy performance of the existing buildings must also be enhanced with cost-efficient methods. Turkey has a high historical building density similar to south European countries, and the high energy consumption is the main contributor in the energy consumptioın of Turkey, which is rather higher than European counterparts. Historic buildings spread around Turkey for four main climate zones covering very similar climate characteristics to both the north and south European countries. The case study building is determined as the most common building type in Turkey. This study aims to investigate energy retrofit measures covering but not limited to passive and active measures to improve the energy performance of the historical buildings located in different climatic zones within the limits of preservation of the historical value of the building as a crucial constraint. Passive measures include wall, window, and roof construction elements, and active measures HVAC systems in retrofit scenarios. The proposed methodology can help to reach up to 30% energy saving based on primary energy consumption. DesignBuilder, an energy simulation tool, is used to determine the energy performance of buildings with suggested retrofit measures, and the Net Present Value (NPV) method is used for cost analysis of them. Finally, the most efficient energy retrofit measures for all buildings are determined by analyzing primary energy consumption and the cost performance of them. Results show that heat insulation, glazing type, and HVAC system has an important role in energy saving. Also, it found that these parameters have a different positive or negative effect on building energy consumption in different climate zones. For instance, low e glazing has a positive impact on the energy performance of the building in the first zone, while it has a negative effect on the building in the forth zone. Another important result is applying heat insulation has minimum impact on building energy performance compared to other zones.

Keywords: energy performance, climatic zones, historic building, energy retrofit measures, NPV

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3 Use of Shipping Containers as Office Buildings in Brazil: Thermal and Energy Performance for Different Constructive Options and Climate Zones

Authors: Lucas Caldas, Pablo Paulse, Karla Hora


Shipping containers are present in different Brazilian cities, firstly used for transportation purposes, but which become waste materials and an environmental burden in their end-of-life cycle. In the last decade, in Brazil, some buildings made partly or totally from shipping containers started to appear, most of them for commercial and office uses. Although the use of a reused container for buildings seems a sustainable solution, it is very important to measure the thermal and energy aspects when they are used as such. In this context, this study aims to evaluate the thermal and energy performance of an office building totally made from a 12-meter-long, High Cube 40’ shipping container in different Brazilian Bioclimatic Zones. Four different constructive solutions, mostly used in Brazil were chosen: (1) container without any covering; (2) with internally insulated drywall; (3) with external fiber cement boards; (4) with both drywall and fiber cement boards. For this, the DesignBuilder with EnergyPlus was used for the computational simulation in 8760 hours. The EnergyPlus Weather File (EPW) data of six Brazilian capital cities were considered: Curitiba, Sao Paulo, Brasilia, Campo Grande, Teresina and Rio de Janeiro. Air conditioning appliance (split) was adopted for the conditioned area and the cooling setpoint was fixed at 25°C. The coefficient of performance (CoP) of air conditioning equipment was set as 3.3. Three kinds of solar absorptances were verified: 0.3, 0.6 and 0.9 of exterior layer. The building in Teresina presented the highest level of energy consumption, while the one in Curitiba presented the lowest, with a wide range of differences in results. The constructive option of external fiber cement and drywall presented the best results, although the differences were not significant compared to the solution using just drywall. The choice of absorptance showed a great impact in energy consumption, mainly compared to the case of containers without any covering and for use in the hottest cities: Teresina, Rio de Janeiro, and Campo Grande. This study brings as the main contribution the discussion of constructive aspects for design guidelines for more energy-efficient container buildings, considering local climate differences, and helps the dissemination of this cleaner constructive practice in the Brazilian building sector.

Keywords: bioclimatic zones, Brazil, shipping containers, thermal and energy performance

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2 Dynamic Building Simulation Based Study to Understand Thermal Behavior of High-Rise Structural Timber Buildings

Authors: Timothy O. Adekunle, Sigridur Bjarnadottir


Several studies have investigated thermal behavior of buildings with limited studies focusing on high-rise buildings. Of the limited investigations that have considered thermal performance of high-rise buildings, only a few studies have considered thermal behavior of high-rise structural sustainable buildings. As a result, this study investigates the thermal behavior of a high-rise structural timber building. The study aims to understand the thermal environment of a high-rise structural timber block of apartments located in East London, UK by comparing the indoor environmental conditions at different floors (ground and upper floors) of the building. The environmental variables (temperature and relative humidity) were measured at 15-minute intervals for a few weeks in the summer of 2012 to generate data that was considered for calibration and validation of the simulated results. The study employed mainly dynamic thermal building simulation using DesignBuilder by EnergyPlus and supplemented with environmental monitoring as major techniques for data collection and analysis. The weather file (Test Reference Years- TRYs) for the 2000s from the weather generator carried out by the Prometheus Group was considered for the simulation since the study focuses on investigating thermal behavior of high-rise structural timber buildings in the summertime and not in extreme summertime. In this study, the simulated results (May-September of the 2000s) will be the focus of discussion, but the results will be briefly compared with the environmental monitoring results. The simulated results followed a similar trend with the findings obtained from the short period of the environmental monitoring at the building. The results revealed lower temperatures are often predicted (at least 1.1°C lower) at the ground floor than the predicted temperatures at the upper floors. The simulated results also showed that higher temperatures are predicted in spaces at southeast facing (at least 0.5°C higher) than spaces in other orientations across the floors considered. There is, however, a noticeable difference between the thermal environment of spaces when the results obtained from the environmental monitoring are compared with the simulated results. The field survey revealed higher temperatures were recorded in the living areas (at least 1.0°C higher) while higher temperatures are predicted in bedrooms (at least 0.9°C) than living areas for the simulation. In addition, the simulated results showed spaces on lower floors of high-rise structural timber buildings are predicted to provide more comfortable thermal environment than spaces on upper floors in summer, but this may not be the same in wintertime due to high upward movement of hot air to spaces on upper floors.

Keywords: building simulation, high-rise, structural timber buildings, sustainable, temperatures, thermal behavior

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1 Solar Photovoltaic Driven Air-Conditioning for Commercial Buildings: A Case of Botswana

Authors: Taboka Motlhabane, Pradeep Sahoo


The global demand for cooling has grown exponentially over the past century to meet economic development and social needs, accounting for approximately 10% of the global electricity consumption. As global temperatures continue to rise, the demand for cooling and heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) equipment is set to rise with it. The increased use of HVAC equipment has significantly contributed to the growth of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions which aid the climate crisis- one of the biggest challenges faced by the current generation. The need to address emissions caused directly by HVAC equipment and electricity generated to meet the cooling or heating demand is ever more pressing. Currently, developed countries account for the largest cooling and heating demand, however developing countries are anticipated to experience a huge increase in population growth in 10 years, resulting in a shift in energy demand. Developing countries, which are projected to account for nearly 60% of the world's GDP by 2030, are rapidly building infrastructure and economies to meet their growing needs and meet these projections. Cooling, a very energy-intensive process that can account for 20 % to 75% of a building's energy, depending on the building's use. Solar photovoltaic (PV) driven air-conditioning offers a great cost-effective alternative for adoption in both residential and non-residential buildings to offset grid electricity, particularly in countries with high irradiation, such as Botswana. This research paper explores the potential of a grid-connected solar photovoltaic vapor-compression air-conditioning system for the Peter-Smith herbarium at the Okavango Research Institute (ORI) University of Botswana campus in Maun, Botswana. The herbarium plays a critical role in the collection and preservation of botanical data, dating back over 100 years, with pristine collection from the Okavango Delta, a UNESCO world heritage site and serves as a reference and research site. Due to the herbarium’s specific needs, it operates throughout the day and year in an attempt to maintain a constant herbarium temperature of 16°?. The herbarium model studied simulates a variable-air-volume HVAC system with a system rating of 30 kW. Simulation results show that the HVAC system accounts for 68.9% of the building's total electricity at 296 509.60 kWh annually. To offset the grid electricity, a 175.1 kWp nominal power rated PV system requiring 416 modules to match the required power, covering an area of 928 m2 is used to meet the HVAC system annual needs. An economic assessment using PVsyst found that for an installation priced with average solar PV prices in Botswana totalled to be 787 090.00 BWP, with annual operating costs of 30 500 BWP/year. With self-project financing, the project is estimated to have recouped its initial investment within 6.7 years. At an estimated project lifetime of 20 years, the Net Present Value is projected at 1 565 687.00 BWP with a ROI of 198.9%, with 74 070.67 tons of CO2 saved at the end of the project lifetime. This study investigates the performance of the HVAC system to meet the indoor air comfort requirements, the annual PV system performance, and the building model has been simulated using DesignBuilder Software.

Keywords: vapor compression refrigeration, solar cooling, renewable energy, herbarium

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