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Bes-Based Building Envelopes Design. Using LadyBug+HoneyBee.

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NOTE: The patches available for download use Honeybee & Ladybug 0.0.64. Using different version could cause problems. In that case it is strongly recommended to rebuild the patches with the owned version.

Using Grasshopper /LadyBug+HoneyBee

 As a complex system the building envelope is made of many parts and components with different characteristics in shape, construction  materials  and functions coming from different  requirements. One of these requirements is related to the energy consumption and users’s comfort where the  architectural envelope plays the important role of balancing energy flows  between buildings and the surrounding environment. In the early design stage, energy simulation  can be an useful tool to evaluate different options  and to address  more effective solutions tailoring materials and technologies according to indoor and outdoor conditions. In fact and even at the conceptual level, energy simulation can offer to designers evidences on which parts are more or less energetically solicited; which are the most useful part for sun harvesting; the coldest surfaces that could required a better insulation.Therefore,  energy simulation can support a design  that allocate resources in a differentiated and more appropriate way interpreting the real vocation of the architectural elements.


2.3. Thermal Surfaces Vocation  –  PATCH DOWNLOAD  – [Explanatory video on this patch ]

This patch makes it possible to identify, thermal behaviors of a building previously modeled as a mass, defined in their functional space program, and  their heating/cooling set-time.

Energy balance flows of the building envelope is  extracted  and the Average Outer Surface Temperature (°C)    is also visualized as a colorized model. In addition, the program displays, for each zone, the normalized Thermal Load Balance and a list of the following thermal  results : total loads; cooling loads; heating loads; electric light loads.

In order to run this evaluation properly it is required to observe the following recommendations:

1. GEOMETRY Design your building with simple masses in metric unit (!). Since Energy Plus does not work well with non-convex casting surfaces it will report errors.  Although this problem will not affect the thermal analysis (only the lighting analysis) it is advisable to trasform all volumes into convex entities  by breaking them up into a set of smaller components  that are each convex. For example, an L shape should be decomposed into two simple volumes or surfaces.

Once the masses are completed, import them into the Rhinoceros software (or design them directly into this software) and places the building ground floor on the zero level of the Rhino canvas. If the building includes some underground volumes or it rises on pilotis, move the relative floors under or above the zero of the Rhino canvas. Afterwards assign all the volumes to the Brep component of Honeybee and set these masses using “multiple breps” and “internalize data” so you can delete or hide the architectural volumes in Rhinoceros while preserving masses in Grasshopper. This last action allows you to reopen the Grasshopper file without having to redraw or import them again.
For a more accurate analysis it is also necessary to consider and import schematic masses representative of the building context!
Assigned to each thermal zone its functional program and the heating/cooling set point in accordance to the environmental indoor requirements.

2. COMPUTATION. Carry out the computation in order to verify the building behavior with the HVAC system contribution. To operate in this way  check the “ISconditioning” node is set to “True”.
Test specific analysis periods setting the hot/cold weeks of the year previously collected in the “Climate and Comfort Simulation” module and read outputs in order to get information about:  which is the coldest / hottest surface ; where cold / hot surface are located; which is the most critical ones. In integration Average Inddor Surface Temperature (°C), and Surface Energy Flows can be displayed from the ” Read  Surface Result” component in order to have more informed knowledge of the envelope condition in different period of the season and days.



Energy modeling with Grasshopper. Plugin installation & Tutorials playlist

Quick start with HoneyBee and how to set True North

Grasshopper basics. Tutorials from the program developer

 How to set the appropriate analysis period and users’requirements

Modeling Geometry tips and recommendations.

 BREP – Boundaries representation Fundamentals for geometry modeling

 How to solve surfaces adjacency and intersection.

 Simple Conceptual Mass. Automatic floors and mass thermal zones generation

 Curvilinear mass planarization in EnergyPlus geometry.