Investigator: Yun Joon Jung

In spite of the increasing availability of building information modeling (BIM) in architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC), the use of BIM for building energy modeling (BEM) has a limited role because interoperability between BIM and BEM has not been fully realized. Thus, many energy simulation models are started from scratch, leading to time wasted in the (BEM) firm.

It is a common concern that many buildings do not perform as intended due to upgrades and changing usage patterns, as well as equipment deterioration that is not known to the building management system, leading to incorrect control set-points management. These issues can be overcome by real-time management that adapts to new information and feedback.

Our study on the Georgia Tech campus targets real-time management informed by a building simulation model that can be automatically updated as new information in the BIM is introduced. The research shows how we resolve interoperability issues between BIM and BEM for this purpose, using gbXML as the intermediary between BIM and a spreadsheet-based building simulation software.

Furthermore, to increase the accuracy of building simulation results, it is essential to input real-time HVAC control variables in the building simulation. HVAC control systems in the campus buildings are managed by Johnson controls and temporarily stored in Niagara and SkySpark software. The real-time HVAC control data is imported into hourly-EPC, using REST API.

Research in Four Parts

The research consists of four parts.

First, a reduced order building energy model is configured to calculate hourly temperatures and energy demand, with actual weather. The Google Cloud Platform (GCP) is used to run the simulation for a set of Georgia Tech buildings.

Second, simulation input parameters are derived from the gbXML file through XML processing.

Third, the real-time HVAC input data is imported into hourly-EPC and is updated at each time step.

Fourth, the actual energy consumption recorded by the campus facilities management system and the real-time simulated results are compared to verify the buildings’ performances.

The research will be deployed to manage campus buildings in a new approach. The fact that current campus buildings are monitored only by real-time energy consumption, it is hard to determine whether the buildings are performing as intended. By comparing the actual and simulated results, the research can help select which buildings need to be examined out of many buildings at Georgia Tech. Thus, the analysis would be able to contribute to campus buildings’ energy management.


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