Early Decision Support for Net Zero Energy Buildings Design using Performance Simulation
This paper aims to investigate the use of building performance simulation tools as a method of informing the design decision of NZEBs. The aim of this study is to evaluate the effect of a simulation-based decision aid, ZEBO, on informed decision-making using sensitivity analysis. The objective is to assess the effect of ZEBO and other BPS tools on three specific outcomes: (i) knowledge and satisfaction when using simulation for NZEB design; (ii) users’ decision-making attitudes and patterns, and (iii) performance robustness based on an energy analysis. The paper utilizes three design case studies comprising a framework to test the use of BPS tools. Two types of data were collected, mainly preference and performance data. The preference data were used to collect information from participants using self-reported metrics. The performance data were used to collect information on the energy performance of the final design. The energy evaluations were compared with the results of a quantitative assessment of the overall design performance. Finally the results were compared and presented. The paper provides results that shed light on the effectiveness of sensitivity analysis as an approach for informing the design decisions of NZEBs.