Towards the efficient use of simulation in building performance analysis - a user survey


Building performance analysis, in the context of simulation, is the process of using a numerical model of a building and its systems to predict their performance, with a view to choice of design solutions.

Inadequate presentation of analytical results is a barrier to the use of simulation tools in the construction industry. This paper tries to substantiate the existence of this barrier and to provide data to support research into its effective removal. Users were surveyed by online questionnaire and semi-structured interviews. Survey data are presented for each step of the analytical process along with details of the respondents' levels of experience with various software applications. Most respondents were either building services or structural engineers and an intergroup comparison is made. Building services engineers of various levels of experience participated in follow-up interviews and the results are presented. Results indicate that, whilst difficulties of working with analytical results are recognised as a barrier to using simulation, other barriers are seen to be a greater hindrance. Users were generally happy with the presentation of their results. However the interviewees all described the lengthy process required to validate their analytical models and stated that their tools require improvement to aid this process. It is argued that, whilst not recognised as the greatest barrier to the use of simulation tools, there is justification for improving the manipulation and presentation of analytical results.  25 refs.


Primary author(s): Pilgrim M; Bouchlaghem N; Loveday D; Holmes M

Source:  Build.Serv.Eng.Res.Technol.


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