Design-Builder Seminar at IIT-Chicago. May 25-28

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IIT Building Energy Seminar-7: Design-Builder

Dates: Wednesday May 26 thru Fri May 28 (3 days), 2010:
Location: Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago
3410 S. State Street, Chicago IL 60616
Computer Lab (30 workstions - maximum registrations).
Presenters: Paul Carey, Ph.D. (UK)
Mahabir Bhandari Ph.D. (USA).
For More Information contact - arch_phd at or 312.567.3930
Enroll Online at:

Design-Builder is a graphics and forms interface to the Energy-Plus program by USDOE. This is an opportunity for you to try out this program on a computer before purchasing it. Please forward this message to others who might be interested in attending this seminar. The following program schedule below can be downloaded from the IIT website above and printed.


Course Contents
DesignBuilder 3-Day Simulation Training

The course is aimed at new and less experienced DesignBuilder simulation users. After this course, trainees will be able to:

? Enter building geometry either from scratch or from DXF, or other floor plan data, making best use of the DesignBuilder productivity features.
? Enter data on activity, building constructions, glazing, solar shading, schedules of building operation, lighting systems and HVAC systems.
? Create components and templates and import/export these between projects.
? Understand the various model options.
? Size heating and cooling systems using EnergyPlus.
? Run EnergyPlus simulations using real weather data and check building energy consumption, CO2 emissions, occupant comfort etc.
? Carry out daylighting and natural ventilation analyses.
? Work with Simple HVAC (Compact HVAC is not covered in detail).
? Export EnergyPlus IDF data for use outside DesignBuilder (the course does not cover working with EnergyPlus IDF data)
? Set up external CFD analyses from site data and internal analyses from models incorporating assemblies, run CFD simulations and review results. Understand how to set up models that will provide converged results.

Outline Programme
The proposed elements of the course are shown below under the header of the day on which it is expect that we will cover the material. The actual timing of each element may differ from this on the day.

Day 1 - Setting up the Model and Simulation Basics
Day 1 will cover the basics of entering DesignBuilder simulation models, running simulations and reviewing results. More specifically:

Basics, terminology etc.
Blocks, partitioning blocks into zones, setting model data, inheritance, navigating the model.

Importing DXF and BMP floor plan data
Consideration of DXF units, removing unnecessary details.
DXF restrictions e.g. files must be 2D, not 3D dxf output by E+.
DXF compatibility (R-11 or earlier). Scaling and aligning floor plans

Creating blocks by tracing over DXF data
Controlling wall thickness, block height, block form, auto-complete etc
Moving DXF data Block types Creating voids

Partitioning blocks by tracing over DXF data
Using partitions to zone blocks Automatic zoning Rezone block
Controlling partition thickness Hanging partitions - comparison with internal mass
Virtual partitions
Avoiding snapping to DXF partition lines where these may compete with existing DesignBuilder block and partition snap points

Using Outline Blocks
Using outline blocks to create a roof gable block Convert to standard blocks

Using Snaps, Drawing Guides, Measure and Construction Lines
Axis snaps Parallel and Normal snaps End point/midpoint snaps
Edge snap DXF snap Increment snap Drawing guides
Protractor Measure tool and construction lines

Block manipulation
Changing block type and other geometric parameters for existing blocks
Stretching, drag face, cutting tool
Interblock partitions and other block connection surfaces.

Controlling adjacency
Effect of adjacency Auto detection, block, zone or surface level definition
Adjacency to ground - boundary condition Adiabatic

Creating openings: windows, doors and vents using model data
Facade types percentage glazing, window spacing, frames etc

Creating openings: windows, vents, doors, sub-surfaces and holes by drawing at the surface level.

Move, copy, delete openings at building level

Model data overview
Activity Constructions ? combined and separate Openings
Lighting HVAC

Using local shading devices:
Overhangs, Side fins, Louvers.

Using standard, adiabatic and ground component blocks
Remote shading - including effect of reflection from windows.
Modify adjacencies of touching building blocks

Using window shading devices
Internal, external and mid-pane blinds, electrochromic glazing, transparent insulation.

Using model options
HVAC, natural ventilation, schedules etc., advanced options, calculation options.

Creating custom components
Constructions, glazing, shading devices etc. - understand difference between model components and library components.

Clarify distinction between templates and components.
Templates as the source of all data - header at the top of each tab.
Understand most important templates: activity, constructions, glazing, lighting, HVAC

Program options
Learning mode Automatic backups Language

Single zone mode.
Switching between single zone and whole building mode.

Model data management
Load data from template Clear data Reload data

Understand zone types
Quick way to set a space as unoccupied, unconditioned.
Standard, glazed cavity, unoccupied/unconditioned, plenums.
Used for modeling plenums, Trombe walls, double facades and other glazed cavities

Graphics card requirements Initializing ? hardware vs software

Day 2 ? EnergyPlus Simulations continued
Day 2 builds on the experience gained on Day 1 to learn more applications of the software to real world design processes.

Calculated natural ventilation:
Window, vent and door operation (opening and closing).
Modelling cracks - switching infiltration modelling on/off.
Model a simple stack example.

Heating and Cooling Design System sizing
How to size heating and cooling systems using DesignBuilder System sizing options.

Simple HVAC
Based on EnergyPlus ideal loads system.
Minimum fresh air data and other system control zone data associated with the activity set on the activity tab. Setting minimum fresh air.

Compact HVAC
Basic introduction to the 5 Compact HVAC types.

Daylighting calculations
One or two daylighting zones per zone Stepping/continuous dimming
Positioning sensor

Simulation results
Understanding simulation output. Zone heat balance.

Export results
Export DB data to file or report topic Compiling reports from report topics
Using report topics as a quick easy way to compare results for various design options

Day 3 - CFD
Day 3 covers any unfinished items from Day 2 and internal and external CFD analysis

Setting up external CFD simulation models and getting convergence
Setting up internal CFD simulation models
Setting up boundary conditions manually
Adding assemblies including boundary conditions
Creating and editing the grid
Setting up monitor points to help check for convergence
Understanding calculation options
Running CFD simulations, pausing, resuming and checking for convergence
Reviewing CFD results including adding slices, displaying 3-D result grids etc

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