LBNL Report Number
Design studios and building science courses have been conducted independent of each other, mainly due to a lack of tools that allow quick and easy consideration of building science criteria, such as comfort and energy requirements, during the design process. Existing tools are not user-friendly and their use requires significant effort in gaining familiarity with the input requirements, understanding the modeling assumptions and interpreting the output. This paper is about the Building Design Advisor (BDA), an evolving computer-based tool intended to bridge the gap between design studios and building science considerations by addressing the above-mentioned limitations of existing tools. BDA allows automatic preparation of input files to multiple simulation tools while the user is working in a CAD environment. BDA automatically activates the relevant simulation tools when the user selects performance parameters to be computed and provides the results in a graphical form, allowing comparison of multiple design options with respect to multiple performance criteria. The paper includes considerations for the use of the BDA in the design studio and ends with a description of the current development efforts and future plans.