An algorithm for automatic thermal zoning

Project Details

The algorithm follows current guidelines for thermal zone discretization of BEMs when actual interior space boundaries are yet undefined. Envisioned applications are for rapid model generation during schematic building design as well as for urban massing studies. We present an argument that current recommendations for separating core from perimeter zones effectively follow a straight-skeleton subdivision.

Following a step-by-step explanation of the procedure, a number of example building shapes of varying complexity are shown to demonstrate the algorithm’s robustness and suitability for automated multi-zone BEM generation. Going forward, it is recommended that the algorithm is adopted by software developers to ensure more consistent thermal model production within the building simulation community.


We investigate the intersections of architectural design, sustainability, building performance simulation and computational design. We stand for excellence in teaching and research in the area of building technology, daylight and energy modeling, passive climate control strategies and performance driven design workflows in both urban and architectural scales.


Led by: Prof. Dr. Timur Dogan
Website: Cornell AAP Profile
Email: tkdogan[at]cornell.edu


Cornell University, AAP
240B Sibley Hall
Ithaca, NY 14853,USA