Geometry of Buildings
In this chapter, we discuss the geometrical aspects, such as thermal zoning, aspect ratio, floor multiplier and surface adjacency. Usually buildings have several rooms; however, from a modelling perspective, there may not be a requirement to model each room separately. If adjacent spaces have the same specifications, such as schedule, occupancy and cooling and heating temperature setpoint, you can combine these spaces and model the result as a single zone. By doing this, the complexity of the model and its simulation run time can be reduced without affecting the energy simulation results very much. Similarly, in cases of multi-storied buildings with typical floors, the model can be simplified by modelling only three floors: ground, typical intermediate and top. One of the important parameters that need to be considered while designing the building is the aspect ratio, which is the ratio of the floor length to width of the building. The aspect ratio affects the envelope area. An increase in the envelope area leads to higher heat gains/losses for the building. However, a higher aspect ratio helps in better distribution of daylight and more access to windows for occupants. The impact of these aspects on building performance is explained through four tutorials in this chapter.