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Improving non-geometric data available to simulation programs

Hand, J. and Crawley, D.B. and Donn, Michael and Lawrie, Linda K. (2008) Improving non-geometric data available to simulation programs. Building and Environment, 43 (4). pp. 674-685. ISSN 0360-1323

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Abstract

Building performance simulation tools have significantly improved in quality and depth of analysis capability over the past 35 years. Yet, despite these increased capabilities, simulation programs still depend on user entry for significant data about building components, loads, and other typically scheduled inputs. This often forces users to estimate values or find previously compiled sets of data for these inputs. Often there is little information about how the data were derived, what purposes it is fit for, which standards apply, uncertainty associated with each data field as well as a general description of the data.A similar problem bedeviled access to weather data and Crawley et al. [1999. Improving the weather information available to simulation programs, In: Proceedings of building simulation '99, vol. 2,Kyoto, Japan, 13-15 September 1999. IBPSA, p. 529-36.] described a generalized weather data format developed for use with two energy simulation programs, which has subsequently led to a repository which is accessed by thousands of practitioners each year. This paper describes a generalized format and data documentation for such user inputs - whether it is building envelope components, scheduled loads, or environmental emissions - the widgets upon which all models are dependant. We present several examples including building envelope component, a scheduled occupant load, and environmental emissions and speculate on how such data might be incorporated in existing data schemes and simulation tools.