An algorithm for rapid urban building energy model generation and simulation

Rapid UBEM generation

The Shoeboxer is an algorithm that abstracts an arbitrarily shaped building volume into a group of simplified ‘shoebox’ b uilding energy models. It is shown that for generic perimeter and core floorplans the algorithm provides a faster but comparably accurate simulation results of annual load profiles vis-à-vis multi-zone thermal models generated according to ASHRAE90.1 Appendix G guidelines. Envisioned applications range from rapid thermal model generation for urban building energy modelling to schematic architectural design.

Following a description of the algorithm, its ability to produce load profiles for equipment electricity, heating, lighting and cooling using a diverse urban massing model containing 121 fully conditioned buildings located in a variety of climates is demonstrated. The comparison yields Energy Use Intensity RMSEs of 5 to 10% compared to ASHRAE 90.1 compliant building energy models while reducing simulation times by a factor of 296.