The number of design options in a design project is typically quite large. For example, if you try to decide which building shape, floor layout, orientations, window size, overhangs, HVAC and lighting systems, the building fabrics to use in your design, the total number of possibilities will grow out of control. Exploring all these possibilities will be impractical, even with supercomputers. To identify the good solutions in a large design space requires optimisation and the mathematical or heuristic methods for locating the good solutions with a relatively small number of simulations. This new approach gives great power to the architects and the energy professionals.
We have more than 10 years of experience on developing and applying optimisation technology in research, including the development of jEPlus+EA, one of the best optimisation tools available to the building simulation community. The tool links together three technological advances: the EnergyPlus simulation engine, Evolutionary Algorithms, and parallel computing. It can be used for early stage architectural design projects, system selection and sizing, control commissioning, and in retrofit projects.