This course explores how energy simulation can support the design of comfortable low-carbon, high-performance buildings. Students will learn to set comfort and energy use goals and use simulation to parametrically evaluate the impacts of various design strategies on the targeted performance. OpenStudio/EnergyPlus is the primary software tool used, but students will leave the course with a solid foundation in the broad principles that apply to any simulation tool. In addition, the course looks at how simulation tools have been used historically and what possibilities exist for the future. Readings are diverse, spanning from technical topics to phenomenology.
For the major project of the semester, students design a remodel of an existing building to Passive House standards in a multi-stage parametric analysis process. Hybrid strategies- those which leverage passive means and user engagement in combination with active systems- will be the focus of these investigations. Energy performance of the final design will be compared to benchmarks and the Architecture 2030 targets.
On the final project, students reverse this process- conceiving of a thermal experience and apply knowledge of building performance principles to the design of a building to create that experience with minimal energy expenditure.