Shin, Minjae (2018-08). Development of a Procedure for Automating Thermal Zoning for Building Energy Simulation. Doctoral Dissertation. Thesis uri icon


  • Although several of today's Building Information Modeling (BIM) tools automatically produce default building thermal zoning in the required Building Energy Simulation (BES) electronic formats, these same models do not provide detailed documentation about how their algorithm(s) work or any guidance about how to create and evaluate the building thermal zones in the BES during the early stages of the design of buildings, relying instead on the user to select the thermal zones. Therefore, there is a need to develop a well-documented, accurate thermal zoning method that can assist designers with their building energy simulation. The purpose of this study is to develop a method to automatically or semi-automatically divide a commercial building into HVAC thermal zones for a building energy simulation that provides feedback to the user regarding how the resultant zones provide comfortable indoor conditions. This study accomplishes a number of objectives, which include: 1) development of a new thermal zoning method to automatically, or semi-automatically create a building thermal zone in simulation models; 2) development of a simplified, commercial base-case model based on the information from the NREL commercial building model, "Run 3A" DOE-2 simulation model, and ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2013; 3) parametric studies of different configurations of thermal zones to evaluate several influential parameters on the developed new thermal zoning method.

publication date

  • August 2018