Requirement analysis for building performance simulation tools conformed to fit design practice

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This paper reports on an investigation of the research question: How can tools for indoor climate and energy performance simulation (BPS) be conformed to fit architectural design practice? A series of semi-structured interviews with practicing architects was therefore conducted to collect information regarding 1) the design activities that architects actually do in the early stages of the design process, 2) how indoor climate and energy performance is considered during this phase, and 3) to get suggestions from practitioners on how BPS tools could be conformed to fit design practice. The interviewees found it difficult to generalise the course of the design process; it was considered to be different from project to project. However, analysis of interview data led to the contribution of this paper: A theory suggesting that the design process can be described as a project-specific and/or personalized sequence of independent and generalizable design activities. Consequently, the answer to the research question is that tools should support design activities; analysing the interview data, we identified 31 unique design activities. The interviews also revealed a range of desirable traits of an ‘architect-friendly’ BPS tool. This, together with the realisation that BPS tools should support design activities, led the formulation of a set of requirements for the development of BPS tools conformed to fit architectural design practice.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103226
JournalAutomation in Construction
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2020

    Research areas

  • Building performance simulation, Design activities, Design practice, Tool development

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