Assessing the accuracy of a simplified building energy simulation model using BESTEST: The case study of Brazilian regulation

Ana Paula Melo, D. Cóstola, Roberto Lamberts, Jan Hensen
Energy and Buildings

This paper reports the use of an internationally recognized validation and diagnostics procedure to test the fidelity of a simplified calculation method. The case study is the simplified model for calculation of energy performance of building envelopes, introduced by the Brazilian regulation for energy efficiency in commercial buildings. The first step of the assessment consisted on evaluating the simplified model results using the BESTEST. This paper presents a straightforward approach to apply the BESTEST in other climates than the original one (Denver, USA). The second step of the assessment consisted on applying the simplified model to evaluate four building typologies, and compare the results with those obtained using a state of the art building energy simulation (BES) program. For some BESTEST cases, the simplified model presented results inside of a confidence interval calculated by the authors. However, the simplified model was found to yield significant difference in the four building typologies analysed. Moreover, in all four building typologies analysed, the simplified model led to a lower energy efficiency label when compared to the label obtained using BES. The paper concludes that the simplified model may require improvements to properly indicate the actual energy performance of commercial building envelopes.