Building simulation is the process of using a computer to build a virtual replica of a building. In simple terms, the building is built from its component parts on a computer and a simulation is performed by taking that building through the weather conditions of an entire year. In other words, building simulation is a way to quantitatively predict the future and thus has considerable value.
Advantages of Building Simulation
Building simulation has various types; most prominent are energy simulation, lighting simulation, computational fluid dynamics(CFD) and acoustical simulation.
Energy simulation is a computer-based analytical process that helps building owners and designers to evaluate the energy performance of a building and make it more energy efficient by making necessary modifications in the design before the building is constructed. Use of energy simulation software is necessary to show compliance with Indian Energy Conservation Building Code (ECBC) via “Whole Building Performance Method.”
Energy performance simulation tools allow designers to:
**Courtesy: ECBC Tip Sheet
Lighting is a major energy consumer in commercial buildings. Heat generated from electrical lighting also contributes significantly to the energy needed for cooling of buildings. ECBC prescribes the amount of power for lighting, specifies types of lighting controls, and defines situations where daylighting must be used. Two types of lighting simulations are as below:
A computer-based calculation of the amount of daylight available inside or outside of a building under one or several sky conditions. Simulation outputs may be discrete numbers (illuminances and luminances) under selected sensor points within a scene or visualizations of a scene.
Daylighting reduces the need for lighting energy , which when integrated with the approach to lighting design can contribute to a decrease in the energy consumption. It is estimated that a well day-lit building can reduce lighting energy use by 50 to 80%.
With the use of modeling software tools, ALF Green can help the design team to enhance daylighting availability in most regularly occupied spaces in the building, thereby providing a comfortable environment to the occupants while reducing energy consumption.
Artificial Lighting Simulation
A computer-based calculation of the amount of man made lighting that is being used or required in a building. A building’s interior lighting system effects both the emotional and physical well being of the occupants in addition to major consumption of electrical energy and also a source of internal heat. Specifying energy efficient lighting system which uses both natural and lighting controls will provide a comfortable visual environment to the occupants.
The simulation process is completely integrated with the other design services (architectural, structural, energy modelling, utilities etc. With the use of modeling software tools, ALF Green can help the design team to achieve highly efficient artificial lighting systems.
Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) is a branch of fluid mechanics that uses numerical analysis data structures to analyze and solve problems that involve. Computers are used to perform the calculations required to simulate the free-stream flow of the fluid, and the interaction of the fluid (liquids and gases) with surfaces defined by boundary conditions.
CFD is the analysis of systems involving fluid flow, heat transfer and associated phenomena such as chemical reactions by means of computer-based simulation. The technique is very powerful and spans a wide range of industrial and non-industrial application areas. Some examples are:
**Courtesy: An Introduction to Computational Fluid Dynamics by H K Versteeg and W Malalasekera
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