Simulation Tool Recommendations

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I am currently exploring different building performance simulation tools that can provide an architecture firm with capability to carry out more detailed forms of performance analysis. In addition to a whole building energy modelling tool, I would like to carry out network airflow modelling and thermal comfort evaluation of passive design proposals.

Can anyone suggest or recommend tool/s currently available which provides this level of functionality? I am currently evaluating Sefaira as a more conceptual tool in addition to IESVE, but would like to know if other alternatives are available.

Many thanks,

James Woodall

James Woodall's picture
Joined: 2015-05-21
Reputation: 0

Dear James,

You could try IDA ICE. It has a strong airflow network model and both the PMV/PPD and adaptive models of thermal comfort are implemented. Compared to other tools (that I know of) it is strong on systems, extremely versatile and easy to use. The downside is slow simulations - especially for large models with many zones.

The guys at EQUA have told me that the slow simulations are a consequence of the airflow model (which you cannot turn off). According to them, IDA ICE is actually fast compared to other programmes (e.g. Energy+) with the air flow model running.

Best regards

Rune Korsholm Andersen, Ph.d.

Senior Researcher / Assiciate professor
International Centre for Indoor Environment and Energy

DTU Civil Engineering

Technical University of Denmark


Department of Civil Engineering

Nils Koppels All?

Building 402

2800 Kgs. Lyngby

Direct +45 45254029

Mobile +45 50733923

rva at
skypeID: rune.v.andersen

Rune Korsholm Andersen's picture
Joined: 2015-05-22
Reputation: 0

Hi James,

I would like to share my experience related to IDA ICE during my MSc thesis . The program indeed takes a long time to simulate but in my opinion the results are worth the wait . Anticipate starting the simulation at the 5 in the evening and coming back in the morning to see it still running for large buildings.

That said the results we got from the software were a good match against the survey's we did through a thermal comfort form for a multistory apartment building , which also had decent enough cross reference to a thermal comfort meter based empirical measurements taken over time .

I found the software more tailored towards research than the commercial market ( time involved , support for errors, crashes etc., it might have evolved over time this was back in 2012) but then how often do we simulate PMV indices when working with real world deadlines ....

I would be interested to know from the group how fast can Sefaira deliver results ??


Harris Qureshi, B.E(Mech), MSc. Energy Optimizations, LEED AP Homes
Mechanical Engineer
Dubai Investment Park, PO Box 52764 Dubai UAE
Phone: +971-4-812-5947
Cell: +971-50-189-9924
Harris.Qureshi at


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Qureshi, Harris's picture
Joined: 2015-05-22
Reputation: 0

Hi James,

EnergyPlus seems an obvious option. It does both.


Shaun Martin LEED-AP, BEMP


Shaun Martin Consulting

#90 ? 425 Carrall Street

Vancouver, BC V6B 6E3

p. 604-789-1095

Shaun Martin's picture
Joined: 2011-09-30
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