Energy simulation at the building level and integration of the digital model

The building sector is responsible for 36% of greenhouse gas emissions in Europe. It is therefore a priority objective of international agreements on climate change, which, according to the latest IPCC report (2018), aim for carbon neutrality by 2050. It is recognised that the design phase, in particular the early conceptual phases, is crucial for the future performance of buildings.

However, numerous studies (Attia et al. 2013; Jusselme et al. 2018) show a very low use of simulation tools in the upstream design phase and thus a blatant lack of support for the integration of energy and environmental performance criteria in the design process. One of the main reasons for this is that the cost of using the software is too high, in particular because of the need to enter the detailed information required to use the simulation machines.

In addition to the problem of setting aside the time needed for data capture, the collected data have a low robustness level during the non-detailed project phases, which greatly limits the usability of the results of these simulations. In order to make simulation tools accessible at the earliest stages of the design process, the current challenge is therefore to minimise the effort required to capture input hypotheses and to maximise the added value of the generated results (outputs).