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About 20 people in a classroom with laptops at tables

2017 Energy Simulation Workshop

4-Day Workshop Overview

As part of a workshop series on building simulation and lighting and energy analysis, the first workshop consisted of a three half-day sessions and one full-day session, focused on building-level daylighting simulation and energy analysis.

This workshop was designed to introduce professionals and students to simulation methods for high performance buildings; content and setup included focus on how architectural form, space, and material effect occupant thermal and visual comfort along with building energy consumption. Workshop participants learned to analyze architectural systems using sophisticated software tools and iterative methodologies for informing design in studio and practice. It was assumed that all participants had basic proficiency with Rhino, Sketchup, and Excel. No prior experience with simulation or building science was required, and basic understanding of architectural systems was recommended. Although the preparation and exercises were not strictly required, they were designed to help participants learn the material faster and apply the techniques to other projects.


Brandon Levitt, Architect, Loisos + Ubbelohde Architects


A total of 34 participants attended the workshop, including 17 undergraduate and 12 graduate students, and 5 professionals

Topics Covered

Lecture: Question-Based Simulation
Exercise 1A: Illuminance & Luminance Maps [~6 hours]
Lecture: Daylight as System
Tutorial 1A: Intro to DIVA for Rhino
Exercise 1B: Measuring Light [~1 hour]
DAY 2: ENERGY QUICKSTART (02.08 1:30-5:30)
Lecture: Architecture as Energetic Filter
Exercise 2: Sensitivity Analysis [~12 hours]
Tutorial 2: Intro to EnergyPlus and OpenStudio
DAY 3: AUTONOMY (02.10 8:30-5:30)
Exercise 3A: Climatic Patterns & Events
Tutorial 3A: Visualizing Climate Data
Review Exercise 2: Sensitivity Analysis
Lecture: Thermal Autonomy and Comfort
Exercise 4A: Measuring Comfort
Exercise 4B: Natural Ventilation [~4 hours]
Tutorial 4B: Ventilation & Mixed Mode Operation
Exercise 4C: Comfort Suites [~8 hours]
Review Exercise 1: Daylight Illuminance and Luminance
Lecture: Daylight Autonomy
Exercise 5A: Annual Daylight Dimming [~6 hours]
Tutorial 5A: Climate-Based Daylighting Simulation
Pau Hana
DAY 4: WRAPUP (02.13 1:30-5:30)
Review Exercises and Questions