Design Advisor

Web suite of building energy simulators that model energy, comfort, and daylighting performance, and give estimates of the long-term cost of utilities. The simulations restrict flexibility in order to offer users greater ease-of-use and speed. The tool can be quickly mastered by non-technical designers, and runs fast enough to allow them the scope to experiment with many different versions of a design during a single sitting. The immediate feedback that the site provides makes it useful in the conceptual phase of design, when architects cannot afford to invest large amounts of time to rule out any particular idea. The emphasis of the energy model is on the envelope system of the building, and includes simulations of high-technology windows such as double-skin facades. Energy-load estimates are based on a library of climate data for 30 different cities around the world.

Keywords

whole-building, energy, comfort, natural ventilation, double-skin facade

Validation/Testing

Validated against EnergyPlus with results within 15%. Testing results not yet available on web site.

Expertise Required

None

Users

More than 1400 unique users over the first six months. More than Approximately 1400 individual IP addresses logged in during the last 6 months. More than 8-10 new users per day.

Audience

architects, planners, building contractors

Input

Using text fields and buttons only.

Output

Output is in the form of graphs showing monthly and yearly energy consumption, graded color charts depicting comfort zones in a room, 3-D perspective images showing daylighting effects, and a text-based page showing a comprehensive listing of inputs and outputs.

Computer Platform

Web-based

Programming Language

Java, HTML and JavaScript

Strengths

Accuracy within 10-15%, to be used as an approximate tool for comparing early building design concepts.

Weaknesses

Difficult to fine-tune when a building is beyond early design concepts.

Contact

Company:

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Address:

77 Massachusetts Avenue
Room 3-412
Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139
United States

Telephone:

+1 (617) 452-2286

E-mail:

scribble@mit.edu

Website:

http://designadvisor.mit.edu

Availability

Freely available as a real-time simulator on the web.