Simulation-based support for product development of innovative building envelope components

R.C.G.M. Loonen, S. Singaravel, M. Trčka, D. Cóstola, J.L.M. Hensen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

57 Citations (Scopus)


A need for innovation in building envelope technologies forms a key element of technology roadmaps focusing on improvements in building energy efficiency. Many new products are being proposed and developed, but often, a lack of insights into building integration issues is an obstacle in typical product development processes. The main objective of this paper is to demonstrate the potential of expanding the application area of whole-building performance simulation and analysis towards decision-making support in the domain of research and development of such innovative building products. We propose a simulation-based approach that can help overcome several of the existing limitations. The methodology combines building performance simulation together with sensitivity analysis and structured parametric studies to provide multi-scale, multi-disciplinary information about the performance of different product variants. The strength of this computational approach lies in increased opportunity for analysis and informed decision-making on the basis of whole-building performance information, and therefore less dependence on trial and error procedures. This methodology is illustrated in an application example of a new type of switchable glazing where we give recommended directions for improved product specifications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)86-95
Number of pages10
JournalAutomation in Construction
Early online date27 May 2014
Publication statusPublished - 30 Sep 2014


  • Building performance simulation
  • Decision support
  • Energy efficient buildings
  • Indoor environmental quality
  • Product development
  • Smart windows


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