Conference Agenda

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Session Overview
Tuesday, 05/July/2022:
1:30pm - 3:00pm

Session Chair: Jacopo GASPARI
Location: Hall A

Tools for indoor environmental quality

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1:30pm - 1:45pm

Comparison of Thermal Bridge Calculation Methods


Budapest University of Technology and Economics, Department of Construction Materials and Technologies

We need to consider linear heat losses due to thermal bridges for the accurate calculation of building heat losses. Our research examined a whole building, and different thermal bridge calculation methods were compared. The following techniques were included in the study: a simplified method according to the Hungarian energy performance regulation where the effect of thermal bridges can be taken into account by multiplication factors applicable to thermal transmittances; a simplified thermal bridge catalogue of ISO 14683; a recent national thermal bridge catalogue; two-dimensional thermal modelling as well as a conjugated heat and moisture (HAM) simulation considering steady-state and dynamic conditions. Overall, we created eight different numerical modelling approaches depending on the type of simulation and boundary condition. The modelling and simulations were carried out using multiphysics software based on the finite element method according to ISO 10211 and EN 15026. All the relevant details of the building were analysed to get a complete picture. Based on the results, we analysed each method's relative proportions of surface and linear heat losses. The evaluation showed that the Hungarian simplified method generated the lowest heat losses for thermal bridges, while ISO 14683 produced the highest results, with the numerically simulated results in the middle. The overall heat losses varied by 30%, depending on the thermal bridge calculation method. Linear heat losses were between 12% to 32% of the surface heat losses. Our study helps to choose the adequate method to perform thermal bridge simulations.

1:45pm - 2:00pm

Review and Analysis of Existing Methods to Assess the Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ) for Office Buildings

Cláudia de Castro JACINTO, Adilson Campos PAULA JUNIOR, Sandra SILVA, Ricardo MATEUS

ISISE, University of Minho, Portugal

Population in developed countries spend most of their time indoors, whether in their homes, workplaces, stores or leisure areas. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this situation worsened and now, more than ever, the importance of a high Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ) is highlighted. The IEQ is very important in building performance since it is directly related to its occupants' comfort, health, wellbeing, and productivity and the Sick Building Syndrome (SBS) concept.

Therefore, it is essential to develop tools to support designers' decision-making in the materialization of indoor environments with higher quality. From the state-of-art analysis, it is possible to conclude that the methods to assess the overall building performance already consider the IEQ. Still, most use an approach that does not cover all relevant indicators.

In this context, this paper presents the first milestone of a research work that aims to develop a new method to rate the overall IEQ of office buildings in Portugal.

The main objective of the present study is to propose a list of IEQ indicators for office buildings, adapted to the Portuguese context, based on the analysis of existing rating methods for buildings and the recommendations of national and international standards.

2:00pm - 2:15pm

Thoughts on the Selection of the Appropriate Simulation Models in Building Performance Assessment

Christiane BERGER1, Ardeshir MAHDAVI2

1Department of Architecture, Design and Media Technology, Aalborg University, Denmark; 2Department of Building Physics and Building Ecology, TU Wien, Austria

Building performance simulation serves the derivation of the relevant building performance indicators (e.g., energy use, indoor-environmental conditions) given the assumptions of certain model input parameters (i.e., description of the building, boundary conditions, occupants' presence and behaviour). Simulation can be employed for multiple purposes, including but not limited to building design support, building systems configuration, and code compliance demonstration. It has been suggested that the level of detail and resolution of simulation models must match their deployment purpose. However, there is arguably a lack of definitive guidelines for the purpose-dependent selection of appropriate simulation models. To address this challenge, the present contribution suggests that the attributes of a simulation model in general, and the type of the adopted occupant model in particular, must correspond to the specifics of the building performance indicator under investigation. To make progress in this area, a typological classification of building performance indicators is proposed along three salient dimensions, namely the indicators' topical domain (e.g., energy use, thermal comfort, noise control), their spatial attributes, and their temporal attributes. Following a detailed analysis, the paper presents a high-level approach to derive the basic requirements concerning occupant models as a categorical function of the simulation purpose.

2:15pm - 2:30pm

Energy Performance Estimation For Large Building Portfolios With Machine Learning-Based Techniques

Frédéric MONTET2, Alessandro PONGELLI1, Jonathan RIAL2, Stefanie SCHWAB3, Jean HENNEBERT2, Thomas JUSSELME1

1Energy Institute, University of Applied Science of Western Switzerland (HEIA-FR, HES-SO), Switzerland; 2iCoSys Institute, University of Applied Science of Western Switzerland (HEIA-FR, HES-SO), Switzerland; 3Transform Institute, University of Applied Science of Western Switzerland (HEIA-FR, HES-SO), Switzerland

Building operation is responsible for 28% of the world’s carbon emissions. In this context, establishing priorities in refurbishment strategies at the scale of a city or a group of buildings is important. Such procedures are usually led by experts in energy performance and, therefore, they are rarely carried out due to their long and costly nature.

This research aims at finding near-optimal refurbishment strategies by ranking buildings according to their predicted energy performance. Thanks to the identification of easily-accessible building characteristics, the method applies machine learning models to scan a building portfolio based on a low level of details. The results show good potential to identify low-performer buildings with simple machine learning methods. It also opens the door for further improvements through the inclusion of supplementary building features at the input of the predictive system.

This work includes (a) the integration of a knowledge database thanks to the Swiss CECB energy performance certificates, referencing more than 70’000 buildings, (b) the preparation of a training data set through the selection of relevant physical characteristics of buildings (input) and the corresponding energy consumption labels (output), (c) the development of predictive models used in a supervised way, (d) their evaluation on an independent test set.

2:30pm - 2:45pm

Toward a Critical Assessment of Indoor Environmental Quality Standards

Ardeshir MAHDAVI1, Christiane BERGER2, Veselina BOCHUKOVA1

1TU Wien, Austria; 2Aalborg University, Denmark

Building design and operation requirements regarding indoor-environmental quality (IEQ) are of direct relevance to occupants' needs. In most buildings, occupant-related requirements pertain to the provision of conditions that support optimal task performance and are subjectively perceived as comfortable or pleasant. Codes, standards, and guidelines that specify IEQ requirements are commonly viewed as the main sources of reference for practitioners, who are expected to follow the provisions in these documents and provide corresponding proof of compliance. However, actual code compliance processes are not always accompanied by critical reflections regarding the evidentiary basis of the entailed mandates and recommendations. It is thus necessary to critically scrutinize standards in view of explicit or implicit references to the scientific basis of the entailed mandates. The present contribution explores and details a path toward such a critical assessment. To this end, we considered a number of typical and frequently referenced standards pertaining to thermal, visual, and air quality aspects of indoor environments. The results of this illustrative assessment effort highlight the scope and limitations of the standards' default approaches to the definition of IEQ-relevant requirements. Moreover, they point to considerable gaps in the chain of evidence from standards' immediate content to the underlying factual sources.

2:45pm - 3:00pm

Quantifying The Impact Of External And Internal Factors And Their Interactions On Thermal Load Behaviour Of A Building

Christoph MATSCHI1, Isabell NEMETH2

1Hochschule Ansbach, Germany; 2Technische Hochschule Rosenheim, Germany


For an energy-efficient design of buildings, their plants and to assess grid efficiency of buildings, e.g. in sector coupling, it is necessary to know the thermal load behaviour of a building as well as possible. For this reason knowledge about influence of external and internal parameters such as storage mass, thermal insulation, etc. and their interactions on thermal load behaviour of a building are essential. As conventional assessments are complex and require high computational effort a faster method is needed.


The study aims to represent building thermal load behaviour in standardised and parameterised load curves. For this reason, different building types in different configurations are investigated in order to determine the impact of the individual external and internal factors and their interactions on the thermal load behaviour.


In a first step, a parameter study on the thermal load behaviour of a building was carried out by transient simulations under variation of selected external and internal influencing factors. The results were analysed statistically to determine their impact and their interactions at different times of the year. In this first step, the method was tested.


The first results look promising. So, the method will be applied to several different buildings under variation of building geometry and relevant parameters. Using statistical methods, the impact of all relevant parameters and their interaction will be determined and a prediction model for the thermal load behaviour of buildings will be designed by using machine learning algorithms.

3:00pm - 3:07pm

Review of Sunlight Exposure of Buildings in Central Europe Climatic Conditions


1CTU in Prague, Faculty of Civil Engineering, Department of Architectural Engineering, Czech Republic; 2Brno University of Technology, Faculty of Civil Engineering, Institute of Building Structures, Czech Republic

The sunlight exposure represents one of key parameters of indoor climate comfort. The evaluation of sunlight access into buildings is based on a methodology of European standard EN 17037. The methodology is focused on specification of an insolation time which would comply with requirements for the sunlight exposure of permanently occupied spaces like houses and residential buildings as well as schools or hospitals. The sunlight exposure evaluation is recommended to be between 1st February and 21st March. The specific date from the interval can be selected for individual evaluations. This is a relatively long period of days in which the insolation could vary meaningfully.

The aim of this study is to evaluate how the sunlight exposure might be changed in the recommended standard period in dependence on the geographic locality and climatic conditions in the Central Europe region. It depends on the sunlight time and specific design situations as well as shading obstructions. A review of the sunlight exposure is determined for all these parameters. The review results can perform information about design possibilities for the sunlight exposure in real buildings in the given climatic locality.

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