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Paper w78_2007_107:
Interactive visualisation as a tool for interpreting building thermal simulation results

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Yaqub Rafiq, Martin Beck, Pieter De Wilde

Interactive visualisation as a tool for interpreting building thermal simulation results

Abstract:During building design there is a growing need to reduce energy usage whilst maintaining the comfort of the occupants. The latter is referred to as ‘thermal comfort’ and can be measured by the extent that the internal tem-perature of the building does not exceed a specified comfort level. Traditionally these two measures of building per-formance are seen as a trade off. Moreover, energy efficient building design is a complex process involving a large number of design variables each of which differentially affect both energy usage and thermal comfort. There is a vast search space to be traversed to find an optimal set of potentially good designs. This coupled with computationally ex-pensive building performance simulation software leads to a problem which is potentially intractable. In the past the authors have used the Interactive Visualisation Clustered Genetic Algorithms (IVCGA) to address some of the com-plexities of multi-disciplinary building design problems. The aim of this paper is to apply the IVCGA to allow the build-ing designer (physicist) to: Firstly discover a set of potential design solutions which meet the design objectives of mini-mal energy usage and maximal thermal comfort individually; Secondly discover a set of potential design solutions which are common to all objectives (mutually inclusive region); Thirdly present a means to understand the impact that particular design variables have upon each objective.

Keywords:genetic algorithms, visualisation, design, thermal simulation

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