For many reasons building simulation programs are still not recognized as useful design support tools to the same extent as Computer-Aided Design (CAD) or cost-estimating software. There is a strong perception that simulations are time consuming, costly, slow and require expensive or specialized equipment and knowledge that increase design costs. Additionally, simplifications applied to model description, algorithm inaccuracy, or deviations inherent to weather data treatment methods result in poor matches between measurements and predictions, which decrease confidence in obtained results. Finally, complex tools and interfaces raise doubts among potential users. In general terms, energy efficiency is a recent concern in Brazil, but has clearly come to the discussion forefront among all construction sector stakeholders. In architectural design teaching at the undergraduate level in Brazil, environmental comfort and energy efficiency have been traditionally kept as separate knowledge domains. To overcome these problems a simulation course was designed to best suit the architecture undergraduate course at the University of Campinas (UNICAMP). The bioclimatic design studio given in 2005 provided students a contact with simulation tools and was used to select the most suitable tool for teaching at undergraduate level and still be usable within local constraints. Students were followed up in the subsequent semester (day lighting design studio), while the simulation course was formatted. To consolidate the knowledge acquired in bioclimatic design studios and check concepts on students designs, the simulation course was experimentally offered the first semester of 2006. This paper discusses the contextual framework that motivated and founded the approach for the introduction of simulation as both a decision support tool and a design teaching resource, and presents some results and major lessons learned, as well as suggestions for extrapolation and replication at different teaching conditions.
Teaching for integration of building energy simulation in the design process
28th AIVC and 2nd Palenc Conference " Building Low Energy Cooling and Ventilation Technologies in the 21st Century", Crete, Greece, 27-29 September 2007