Design Brief: Building Simulation

January 1, 2002
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Computerized building energy performance simulation is a powerful implement for the virtual toolboxes of architects, engineers, and developers. It provides valuable information that helps designers make better decisions about the characteristics of building envelope components, glazing, lighting, and HVAC systems. By using building simulation, designers and developers can provide more value to the building operators who must eventually pay the utility bills, and they can protect themselves by basing decisions on more specific and richly detailed information.

To make effective use of building simulation, however, it is vital that designers and developers adopt some common-sense practices. These include:

  • Incorporate building simulation into the earliest design phases.
  • Maintain vigilance to avoid mistakes.
  • Don't use simulation when it can't answer the design questions at hand.
  • By observing these guidelines, designers and developers will improve their chances of producing simulation results that are accurate and relevant.

This Design Brief provides the designer with in-depth information on the following topics:

  • What Building Simulation Is
  • How to Use Building Simulation to Greatest Advantage
  • When Not to Use Building Simulation
  • What Building Simulation Tools are Available



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