Contributions of natural ventilation on thermal performance of alternative floor plan designs

3 Oct 2014  ·  Eugénio Rodrigues, Adélio R. Gaspar, Álvaro Gomes, Manuel Gameiro da Silva ·

During the earliest phase of architectural design process, practitioners after analyzing the client's design program, legal requirements, topographic constraints, and preferences synthesize these requirements into architectural floor plan drawings. Design decisions taken in this phase may significantly contribute to the building performance... On account of this reason, it is important to estimate and compare alternative solutions, when it is still manageable to change the building design. The authors have been developing a prototype tool to assist architects during this initial design phase. It is made up of two algorithms. The first algorithm generates alternative floor plans according to the architect's preferences and requirements, and the client's design program. It consists in one evolutionary strategy approach enhanced with local search technique to allocate rooms on several levels in the two-dimensional space. The second algorithm evaluates, ranks, and optimizes those floor plans according to thermal performance criteria. The prototype tool is coupled with dynamic simulation program, which estimates the thermal behavior of each solution. A sequential variable optimization is used to change several geometric values of different architectural elements in the floor plans to explore the improvement potential. In the present communication, the two algorithms are used in an iterative process to generate and optimize the thermal performance of alternative floor plans. In the building simulation specifications of EnergyPlus program, the airflow network model has been used in order to adequately model the air infiltration and the airflows through indoor spaces. A case study of a single-family house with three rooms in a single level is presented. read more

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