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Civil-Comp Proceedings
ISSN 1759-3433
CCP: 102
Edited by:
Paper 156

The BENIMPACT Suite: A Tool for 'Zero Energy Building' Whole Life Cycle Analysis and Optimization

S. Demattè1, M.C. Grillo2, A. Messina1 and A. Frattari2

1EnginSoft, Trento, Italy
2Department of Civil, Environmental and Mechanical Engineering
University of Trento, Italy

Full Bibliographic Reference for this paper
, "The BENIMPACT Suite: A Tool for 'Zero Energy Building' Whole Life Cycle Analysis and Optimization", in , (Editors), "Proceedings of the Fourteenth International Conference on Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering Computing", Civil-Comp Press, Stirlingshire, UK, Paper 156, 2013. doi:10.4203/ccp.102.156
Keywords: eco-building, ZEB, dynamic energy simulation, LCA, LCC, BIM, multi-objective optimization, genetic algorithm.

The design of sustainable buildings is a multi-criterion optimization problem. Low energy consumption, low capital expenditure, low operating cost (for energy and maintenance), high thermal comfort and low environmental impact are the main challenges. However, there is a lack of tools, targeted for the building market, to consider and evaluate different design alternatives by comparing their performances under multiple aspects.

BENIMPACT Suite (Building's ENvironmental IMPACT evaluator & optimizer) has been conceived to support the spreading of the new design approach. It is a software platform which analyses the whole life cycle of a building with the aim to help designers in checking the quality of their solutions and in finding the 'optimal' set of choices between different alternatives of building envelopes and energy systems through the comparison of their performances under multiple aspects: energy needs, indoor comfort, life cycle assessment (LCA) and life cycle costing (LCC). The BENIMPACT Suite is organized in different modules, which can work both standalone or as an integrated system (global evaluation and multi-objective optimization based on genetic algorithms).

Two test-cases are used to explain what is behind each module and to analyse the opportunity to look for certain results or use them for further analysis: One is CasaZeroEnergy, an experimental zero energy building (ZEB), designed and monitored by the Laboratory of Building Design of the University of Trento (Italy). It was built by Polo Le Ville Plus, an Italian company which is specialized in precast houses. The opportunity to apply global evaluation and multi-objective optimization techniques to this type of buildings is highlighted in the second test case, a northern European precast house, where windows and shades systems have been optimized.

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