Building performance analysis or simulation is an umbrella name for a number of analysis and calculations that can be done to help optimize design for improved building performance.
Building performance can be defined in a number of ways, including specific sustainability targets such as energy consumption, green house gas emissions, energy cost, life cycle cost, water consumption, waste generation, to just name a few. These measurable targets can be predicted through building simulations and analysis. There are also a large number of more subjective targets in regards to indoor air quality, such as thermal comfort, temperature and humidity levels, lighting levels, glare problems, airflow patterns, and more. These can also in many cases be predicted through building performance analysis and calculations.
Building simulation and performance analysis is most effective if done early on in the design process before and during the most fundamental decisions on design is about to happen. This is the time when the outputs from the simulations can inform the design in its most valuable way
Different types of modeling are more suitable at different stages of the design process. Building simulations has grown to be key in a truly integrated design approach. Building simulation is also an important tool to achieve certification through LEED or other building environmental rating systems, or to show compliance with local energy code such as ASHRAE or MNECB.
Read more about energy modeling, thermal comfort analysis, daylight analysis, and LEED consulting.
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