Building Simulation: An International Journal

Article Title

Simulation-enhanced prototyping of an experimental solar house


energy analysis, solar house, design analysis process, building simulation


The subject of this paper is the design analysis process of an experimental solar house, driven by the overarching goal to obtain net-zero energy performance while being functionally optimal and architecturally ambitious. The house was commissioned to participate in an international solar home competition called the Solar Decathlon. The paper demonstrates the use of simulation to support design decisions at various stages of the design process. Through it, the paper highlights attributes of simulation tools that are needed for supporting the design process effectively. In addition, this paper shows a novel use of building simulation by extending it to also inform the final use and operation of the house during the competition period. Finally, the paper also contributes to the design of solar homes by showing how their performance assessment and evaluation criteria can be different from homes that are served by the grid.


Tsinghua University Press