Uncertainty analysis of the computer model in building performance simulation

Arthur Santos Silva; Enedir Ghisi
Energy and Buildings

A large number of studies in building performance simulation have analysed several types of uncer-tainties, i.e., physical, occupation, weather, algorithms; however, the modelling uncertainty is a poorlyaddressed topic. Thus, the objective of this paper is to analyse how the computer models can influ-ence the results of heating and cooling energy consumption in a building. Three types of analyses wereperformed: (1) deterministic, (2) parameter variation and (3) parameter uncertainty. Fifteen computermodels were created to represent the real building. Such models differ in relation to external geometry,grouping of internal zones and internal thermal mass. The simulations were performed using the Ener-gyPlus programme, for three climates in Brazil. The model represents the real building properly whenthe simulation run time was reduced, and the results were close to the base case. For the deterministicanalysis, the modelling uncertainties ranged from −16.0% to 8.3% for energy consumption in Florianópolisclimate. As for the cooling energy consumption, the uncertainty was lower, i.e., up to 7.4%. These uncer-tainties are relatively high, and should be accounted for in calibration or even in computer simulations.