Multi-domain simulation for the holistic assessment of the indoor environment: A systematic review

Mateus Bavaresco, Veronica Gnecco, Ilaria Pigliautile, Cristina Piselli, Matheus Bracht, Roberta Cureau, Larissa Pereira de Souza, Matheus Geraldi, Nathalia Vasquez, Claudia Fabiani, Enedir Ghisi, Roberto Lamberts, Ana Paula Melo, Anna Laura Pisello

The multi-domain comfort theory investigates human-environmental perception and comfort by accounting for people's simultaneous exposure to various stimuli from different physical domains. Multi-domain studies describe human reactions to environmental conditions, including indoor occupants' behaviour and comfort. Building simulation is essential to analyse Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ) and energy consumption in buildings. Introducing multi-domain comfort theories in building simulation practices could improve reliability. A systematic literature review investigated the approaches adopted in multi-domain building simulation during the last decade. The simulation studies discussed herein combine two or more domains related to IEQ in buildings, indicating the state of the art, limitations, and potential trends. This review showed that multi-domain simulation comprising all the IEQ domains is still missing due to its complexity and the lack of standards for multi-domain comfort. Simulation studies mostly involved two domains - thermal and air quality or thermal and visual. The most common engines and software combinations were presented, and related interoperability issues were discussed. The most common inputs and outputs for each domain were described to identify common ground where to start building up an efficient multi-domain simulation framework. The role of the quality report was also addressed, pointing out that the current validation procedures are incipient. Advancing multi-domain simulation knowledge concurrently with understanding multi-domain comfort growth would benefit researchers and practitioners. Therefore, multi-domain simulations can become a powerful tool to guide occupant-centric building design and operation.