Workshops offered on June 21

Introduction to Parametric Energy Modeling in Grasshopper

Workshop Instructor (Adrian Soble)

Adrian Soble has been with WSP since April 2019 and has been working on the Centre Block Rehabilitation with the sustainability team. He successfully completed his Master of Applied Science in Civil Engineering in 2020 under the supervision of Dr. Liam O’Brien, with his thesis titled Holistic Indoor Environmental Quality & Energy Simulation: Generative Design Assessment Methodology for Heritage Building Retrofits.  He primarily works in Grasshopper, conducting a range of building performance analysis, including modeling of energy, daylight, thermal comfort and building envelope. Leveraging the Ladybug tools suite to help conduct parametric studies, he aims to produce valuable data that helps building stakeholders make the most holistically appropriate decisions.

Course Description

The workshop will be structured as an introductory course in Grasshopper for building performance simulation. The basics of the Ladybug Tools Legacy suite will be presented. In the workshop, a simple energy model will be produced and parametrically manipulated to generate a cloud of data. We will cover how to parametrically change, geometric properties, material properties and HVAC system properties. To effectively participate in the workshop a laptop and a working copy of Rhino 7 must be installed on your computer, you can install a 90 day trial prior to the workshop.

Introduction to the Building Technology Assessment Platform

Workshop Instructor (Chris Kirney)

Chris Kirney is a Building Project Officer at CanmetEnergy, Natural Resources Canada. He works on increasing commercial building energy performance while minimizing cost using building energy simulation. He does this as part of the Building Technology assessment platform (BTAP) development team. BTAP automates the creation of building energy models compliant with the 2011, 2015, 2017, and 2020 National Energy Code of Canada for Buildings. BTAP also has a library of costed energy conservation measures that used for building energy optimization.

Course Description

The Building Technology Assessment Platform (BTAP) is a tool that creates OpenStudio models of buildings that meet the reference building requirements of the 2011, 2015, 2017, or 2020 National Energy Code of Canada for Buildings (NECB). BTAP also includes costed energy conservation measures that can be applied to BTAP building models. In this workshop, attendees will receive a broad overview of BTAP and its associated costing component. Attendees will also receive an introduction to btap_batch, which is a tool that allows participants to create building models using BTAP.

Multi-zone indoor air quality and ventilation modelling with CONTAM

Workshop Instructor (Chang Shu)

Chang Shu is a Research Associate at National Research Council Canada. He earned his Ph.D. in Building Engineering from Concordia University in 2021. He has over 8 years of experience in numerical simulations of airflow, airborne pollutant transmission, and heat transfer to solve problems in ventilation, thermal environment, and air quality issues in buildings and urban areas. His research covers the aerodynamic performance of ventilation systems and devices, building overheating and climate-resilience of infrastructure, sub-scale modelling and similarity theory of urban airflow, urban microclimate, and regional climate modelling. His recent study has been dedicated to ventilations for control of COVID-19 airborne transmissions in buildings.

Course Description

The workshop focuses on an introduction to the software CONTAM, which is a popular multizone model for indoor air quality and ventilation analysis. Its application covers the simulation of the airflow rates between different zones and airborne contaminant distributions in the building. Under the circumstance of the pandemic, the prediction of the aerosol transmission and the personal exposure risks to COVID-19 came to be a crucial task for the ventilation systems design and operation of buildings. Multizone modelling is one of the major approaches to estimating the infection risks in building spaces, and it is user-friendly and computationally more efficient compared to the more complicated computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations, so it would be an ideal option for quick estimations of multiple scenarios and engineering applications in the industry. The workshop will provide a general overview of CONTAM, including the basic capability of the model, the application and outcomes from existing studies, and a step-by-step guide to demonstrate the simulation with CONTAM.

Creating TRNSYS components in Fortran, Matlab, Python, or Julia – it’s your choice!

Workshop Instructors (Michaël Kummert and Bruno Marcotte)

Michaël Kummert is a Professor in Mechanical Engineering at Polytechnique Montréal. His research aims at optimizing design and operation of decarbonized buildings and urban energy systems. His team develops energy systems simulation tools and urban building energy models to investigate the energy performance, flexibility, and resilience of multicarrier energy systems. Michaël Kummert was the TRNSYS coordinator at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Solar Energy Lab (2001-2005). He developed the TRNSYS “Type” calling Matlab during his PhD, and he has recently developed components to implement models in Python and Julia with his research team.

Bruno Marcotte is a Research Associate at Polytechnique Montréal, where he is developing mapping and modeling tools for building and energy systems analysis. He is a main contributor to the recently developed components embedding Python (through CFFI) and Julia in TRNSYS.

Course description

The main strength of TRNSYS is its modularity: each component model is encapsulated within a separate routine, which only interacts with other components through inputs and outputs. The TRNSYS solver imposes no conditions on a model implementation, so users can focus on developing their own component models without having to deal with complex interaction mechanisms.

Standard component models are implemented in Fortran, as this language provides the best computing speed and integration with the (Fortran-based) solver. But other options exist for quickly prototyping models or to implement models which rely on existing libraries or packages available in other software programs or other languages.

The workshop will present the basics of creating TRNSYS components, and demonstrate how to implement models in Fortran, Matlab, Python, and Julia. A hands-on session will allow participants to test the different methods and to develop a component in their preferred language with the support of the instructors.

Workshops offered on June 24

Introduction to the EnergyPlus Python API

Workshop Instructor (Brent Huchuk)

Brent Huchuk, Ph.D. is a Research Associate at National Research Council Canada in the Construction Research Centre. His research examines methods of optimization and control for commercial and residential buildings – especially those with lower sensing capabilities. He uses data collected from IoT sensors and typical data collected by modern building automation systems and applies cutting-edge methods from data science, machine, deep and reinforcement learning. His work seeks to improve energy use, occupant comfort, costs, and Greenhouse gas emissions and ultimately the resiliency and sustainability of the built environment. Beyond existing data from real buildings, his work often relies on validation and proof of concepts through building performance simulation.

Course Description

This workshop covers the Python API for EnergyPlus, which is an alternative to the existing Energy Management System (EMS). We cover how the API interacts with EnergyPlus, how to create components (i.e., sensors, actuators, output variables, etc.), and how to debug execution of the Python programs. The workshop will consist of demonstrations and hands-on exercises. Participants are expected to have at least a basic understanding of EnergyPlus and the Python programming language.

Introduction to calibration of building energy models

Workshop Instructor (Burak Gunay)

Burak Gunay, PhD, PEng is an Assistant Professor at Carleton University in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. His research examines methods to optimize the operation of commercial and institutional buildings for comfort and energy use. He uses the operational data gathered inside modern automation and control networks to learn from the occupants’ comfort, behaviour, and presence patterns. Using operational data, he employs inverse modelling to characterize building equipment operation and the envelope performance. Aside from field-scale data analyses, his research commonly uses building performance simulation.

Course Description

This workshop provides an overview of detailed energy audits for commercial and institutional buildings with emphasis on the role of calibrated energy models in energy audits. We cover how scripting and metaheuristic optimization can be used to automate the building energy model calibration process. Relevant standards and guidelines that define minimum acceptable performance levels for calibrated energy models are introduced. Application venues including retrofit and operational decision-making, as well as benchmarking to quantify savings will be demonstrated with illustrative examples. The workshop will consist of demonstrations and hands-on exercises in Python and EnergyPlus.