LBNL Report Number
This paper provides an overview of software interoperability as it relates to the energy simulation of buildings. The paper begins with a discussion of the difficulties in using sophisticated analysis tools like energy simulation at various stages in the building life cycle, and the potential for interoperability to help overcome these difficulties. An overview of the Industry Foundation Classes (IFC), a common data model for supporting interoperability under continuing development by the International Alliance for Interoperability (IAI) is then given. The process of creating interoperable software is described next, followed by specific details for energy simulation tools. The paper closes with the current status of, and future plans for, the ongoing efforts to achieve software interoperability.