Uncertainty analysis of user behaviour and physical parameters in residential building performance simulation

Arthur Santos Silva; Enedir Ghisi
Energy and Buildings

The objective of this study is to analyse uncertainties in building simulation through a probabilisticapproach. The EnergyPlus computer programme was used to assess a model of a low-income houselocated in Florianópolis, southern Brazil. Uncertainties of the user behaviour and physical parameterswere obtained through literature review and field survey, respectively. The Latin hypercube was usedto create a sample of uncertainties to analyse the thermal performance and energy consumption of thehouse. A sensitivity analysis using the Standardised Regression Coefficients was performed to obtain themost important parameters in the thermal performance and energy consumption. The results showedthat the relative deviation with 95% confidence ranges from 6.6% to 21.5% on the degree-hour for heatingand cooling, and from 19.5% to 43.5% on the energy consumption for heating and cooling, respectively.These percentage values are the uncertainties found in each analysis. The specific heat and thicknessof materials, solar absorptances, ground temperatures, and the albedo (physical uncertainties) and theoccupancy schedules, the equipment power and the number of occupants (user behaviour uncertainties)were important parameters in the analysis. Thus, such parameters must be measured or estimated bymore precise methods as they most influence the simulation results.