Publication | Building Performance Analysis Conference 2020

Investigation of the potential benefits of optimizing building element placement using computational fluid dynamics

Autodesk strives to empower practitioners in the AEC sector to design and make anything. A major challenge for creating sustainable and compelling buildings is to analyze microclimates within spaces and optimize designs with confidence. Autodesk CFD is a great tool to support engineers focusing on mitigating risk and winning business. However, can we develop a commercially viable solution to help both architects and engineers make energy- and comfort-related decisions at the early design stage that account for the geometry of the building as well as the mechanical system? This research shows how employing advanced fluid simulation may help Autodesk customers improve energy efficiency and occupant comfort. Results indicate the same forced-air cooling input may produce location-specific temperatures and air velocities that vary significantly depending on the configuration of building elements. This study is envisioned as an early step in a larger effort toward answering the aforementioned question.

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Abstract

Investigation of the potential benefits of optimizing building element placement using computational fluid dynamics

Nastaran Shahmansouri, Rhys Goldstein, Farhad Javid, Alex Tessier, Simon Breslav, Azam Khan

Building Performance Analysis Conference
SimBuild [co-organized by ASHRAE and IBPSA-USA]

Buildings are responsible for more than one-third ofglobal energy consumption, motivating the use ofmodeling to improve energy efficiency whilemaintaining occupant comfort. While conventionalenergy models are based on well-mixed zones, weexplore the potential benefits of using high-fidelitymodels to optimize the exact placement of buildingelements. Specifically, we model a single-roomenvironment and apply computational fluid dynamics tocompare 36 mechanical configurations of supply andreturn vents combined with 9 occupant locations. Resultsindicate the same forced-air cooling input may producelocation-specific temperatures and air velocities thatvary significantly depending on the configuration ofbuilding elements

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