Sensitivity analysis of energy performance and thermal comfort throughout building design process
In a traditional building design process (TDP), design variables are fixed sequentially, as opposed to integrated design process (IDP) which tends to avoid sequential design phases to create more sustainable buildings. First, a reference building is introduced and an energy model based on TRNSYS is presented to determine the energy consumption and comfort in the building. The model is validated based on energy bills, certified simulations and literature. Then, the paper performs an extended sensitivity analysis (SA) of 30 design variables with respect to different performance criteria related to energy consumption and comfort, based on a TRNSYS model. Three SA techniques were used, namely standard regression coefficients (SRC), partial rank correlation coefficients (PRCC) and Sobol indices. Results show that all three techniques yielded a similar ranking of the importance of the variables for most model outputs. Interactions between variables were identified with second-order Sobol indices. In the second part of this paper, a traditional design framework was adopted in which sets of variables were fixed sequentially. A SA was performed at each phase of the process, assuming fixed values for parameters chosen in previous design phases. Results show that fixing variables during the phases of a traditional design process tends to reduce the probabilities of finding low-energy consumption designs. Moreover, the influence of some variables was found to change during the design phases.