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Building Performance Simulations and Architects against Climate Change and Energy Resource Scarcity

Building Performance Simulations and Architects against Climate Change and Energy Resource Scarcity Article Building Performance Simulations and Architects against Climate Change and Energy Resource Scarcity 1 , 2 2 2 , Maria-Mar Fernandez-Antolin , José Manuel del Río and Roberto Alonso González-Lezcano * Consejería de Educación de la Junta de Castilla y León, Av. Real Valladolid, s/n, 47014 Valladolid, Spain; mmar.ferant@educa.jcyl.es or mar.fernandez.ce@ceindo.ceu.es Escuela Politécnica Superior, Universidad San Pablo-CEU (CEU Universities), 28668 Madrid, Spain; jmdrc.eps@ceu.es * Correspondence: rgonzalezcano@ceu.es Abstract: In Europe, 40% of the total energy is consumed by buildings; in this sense, building performance simulation tools (BPSTs) play a key role; however, the use of these tools by architects is deficient. Therefore, this study aims to detect the architects’ perception on BPSTs. To this end, an online survey was conducted to determine the selection criteria of these BPSTs and non-users, to investigate the reasons for not using the tools. The outcomes showed that there was a wide gap between architects and the management of simulation programs in Spain, mainly due to the lack of training. BPSTs are described as a kind of intellect amplifiers, as they are perceived as powerful allies between professors and students of architecture and between architects and architectural design; therefore, through BPSTs, sustainability is taken very much into consideration to make buildings more energy efficient. Therefore, it is primarily concluded that further and higher education must undergo significant improvement to use simulations as part of the architectural design. Keywords: building performance simulation tools; architectural design; energy education; BPSTs Citation: Fernandez-Antolin, M.-M.; users; architectural education del Río, J.M.; González-Lezcano, R.A. Building Performance Simulations and Architects against Climate Change and Energy Resource 1. Introduction Scarcity. Earth 2022, 3, 31–44. Climate change and the scarcity of energy resources are two major challenges in the https://doi.org/10.3390/ near future (European Renewable Energy Council, 2010). In the U.S.A., 48% of the total earth3010003 energy is consumed by buildings; in Europe, 40%; and in the United Arab Emirates, 70%. Academic Editor: Charles Jones Therefore, countries create policies that allow the construction of net-zero energy buildings (NZEB). In this way, only that which complies with the regulation is built; therefore, using Received: 12 December 2021 energy simulation becomes essential [1–4]. As a results of legislation, architects have a key Accepted: 4 January 2022 role in contributing to the success of the NZEB; however, architecture is the only profession Published: 6 January 2022 that integrates creativity and technology, generating various difficulties to deepen technical Publisher’s Note: MDPI stays neutral development [5]. with regard to jurisdictional claims in Simulation is a human, psychological and social discipline since it involves the in- published maps and institutional affil- teraction between the human and the computer [6]. The human dimension is one of the iations. most important performance indicators since a deep understanding of it allows progress in the development of the simulation [7]. This discipline arose in 1960 when the U.S. govern- ment carried out projects to evaluate the environment in fallout shelters and, during the 1980s, building performance simulation tools (BPSTs) were developed to assist architects Copyright: © 2022 by the authors. in their analysis [8]; however, it was not until a decade later that they began to use simu- Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. lations [9,10]. In 2010, the number of tools listed in the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) This article is an open access article Building Energy Software Toolkit (BESTD) reached approximately 400 [11], which means distributed under the terms and that between 1997 and 2010, the number of tools has quadrupled; however, less than 40 are conditions of the Creative Commons aimed at architects [12,13]. Attribution (CC BY) license (https:// creativecommons.org/licenses/by/ The growth of the use of energy modeling in architecture is evident at the international 4.0/). level, according to the American Institute of Architects [14], thus showing the commitment Earth 2022, 3, 31–44. https://doi.org/10.3390/earth3010003 https://www.mdpi.com/journal/earth Earth 2022, 3 32 of the profession in the U.S.A. to integrate the energy modeling processes within the design practice. However, according to Mahdavi [15], there is a generalized process of disconnection between the design process and the architectural simulation process. In the design process, the goal is to achieve decreasing thermal results, taking the generic choices in the initial stage, but considering that the decisions are already taken because both the owner and the designer have become fond of the design and its modification is not possible. During the simulation process, the thermal models are developed from the detail to the set of elements that determine the simulation, which is the complete opposite of the architectural design [16]. There is a widespread belief that existing energy simulation tools are not suited to architects’ needs during the early stages of designing energy-efficient buildings [17–19]; moreover, they are too complex for them [20]. This leads to the fact that architects do not consider energy modeling as their responsibility [21]. Naboni (2013) [22] reflects the need for BPSTs to adapt to new needs in architec- ture, such as geometric representation and the way of communicating and representing a design. Usually, there is a non-intuitive and impractical user interface [23] so that de- velopment is essential in its simplification [24]. BPSTs requite the input of a large amount of data [25,26] being one of the challenges for architects [27–29], thus limiting data entry is crucial. However, many of the input data cannot be available in the early design stages [30], so it is necessary to use default values and templates [31]. There is a simplified method for handling BPSTs, which is used to minimize runtime and does not require a large amount of input data [32]. This approach is often used to cope with the initial design requirements [33–35]. Schlueter and Thesseling [28] call it a statistical model of calculation and it serves to judge the performance of a building. Lam, Huang and Zhai (2004) [36] argue that complicated simulation tools do not provide better support for decision making, so, for architects, simple energy simulation tools always offer more advantages than the complicated ones [37]. In respect of the outcomes obtained from the simulation software, these are excessive and complex, and their output lacks visual quality as architects seek to represent the results achieved within the 3D geometric model [38]. Additionally, the significant information extraction from BPSTs requires expert knowledge, since the information must be processed in order to be applied in the decision making of the building design [39]. Currently, architects are beginning to use new energy modeling tools, but this practice is still deficient [40–42]. To encourage the use of BPSTs, there are consultants who help architects to capture the meaning of the models [43–45]. Attitudes, values and experiences expressed by architects must be understood so that these tools can be adapted to their preferences and can thus they can be incorporated into the architectural design. The building designer should be considered the user of the simulation software, generating practical models and examples of application [46–49]. Additionally, there must also be a change in architectural education [50]. Therefore, it is necessary to go deeper in the calculation methods selection, so that the use of BPSTs is extended among professionals and to make the most of the calculation tools. This study aims to investigate all those needs that architects have with respect to BPSTs, therefore, an online survey, focused on both non-users and users, was conducted. The main objective of the investigation is to detect the reasons why BPSTs are not used. 2. Methodology In order to ascertain the architects’ needs regarding the BPSTs, an online survey was conducted that consisted of two parts. The first one was intended to define the state of knowledge on BPSTs of architects in Spain and to detect the reason why there is a poor use of BPSTs. The second part was only directed to architects who have handled the tools in order to determine the selection criteria chosen according to the five approaches defined by Attia et al. (2012b), which are: (1) Usability and information management (UIM) of interface; Earth 2022, 3 33 (2) Integration of intelligent design knowledge base (IIKB); (3) Accuracy of tools and ability to simulate detailed and complex building components (AADCC); (4) Interoperability of building modelling (IBM); (5) Integration with building design process (IBDP). The survey began in early September 2017 until mid-October 2017, obtaining a total of 157 responses, with the resolution time being 15–20 min. The questionnaire was structured in two parts, so the first one consisted of 59 questions that dealt with the definition of simulation; previous knowledge, uses and objectives of the simulation; university teaching; credibility of the simulations; applications of BPSTs; acquisition of tools; collaboration with other disciplines; solutions to produce an approach in the design field; and proposals for improvement. The second part consisted of 19 questions only thought for users of BPSTs. Several parameters are analyzed, such as the learning source of BPSTs; the frequency of use of the software along with its difficulty; the tools that best fit the architects; the parameters that influence the selection of one software or another; and the barriers that prevent the use of these simulation software. In addition, a synthesis of each of the five criteria [17] listed above ((1) (UIM), (2) (IIKB), (3) (AADCC), (4) (IBM), (5) (IBDP)) was developed and several assessment subtopics were indicated. For the sample size, the confidence level and the maximum tolerable margin of error were considered [29]. A representative sample was considered using the z-statistic for infinite samples to obtain consistent estimates, and the sample size of 157 respondents corresponds to an error rate of 7.8% with a confidence level of 95%. 3. Results and Discussions A total of 157 responses were received, of which 61% came from architects, 26% from architecture students and 13% from other disciplines. A total of 54.8% worked in the residential sector and 41.3% in the rehabilitation field. Regarding the usual architectural practice, 46.2% worked developing the design and construction stages. Among all the respondents, 53.7% worked with professionals in multidisciplinary teams and a 43.6% were employed by others. Among them, 29.5% knew the design through computer simulation; this low percentage of users reflects shows that most BPSTs are not compatible with the architects’ needs [36,48,50]; similarly, the complexity of these tools for the profession was evident. A total of 76% of the architects who responded to the survey had a professional experience of less than 5 years, so they were young architects. Figure 1 shows the confidence Earth 2022, 2, FOR PEER REVIEW 4 of this sector of architects in several parameters about the BPSTs, which therefore represent a series of reasons to reduce the gap in the BPSTs use and the architectural design. Figure 1. Confidence parameters of architects with professional experience below 5 years. Figure 1. Confidence parameters of architects with professional experience below 5 years. A total of 45.4% of the respondents were aware of the existence of numerical simula- tion; some of them define it as “a design tool that allows to improve the behavior of a new or existing building at all levels making it more efficient and more sustainable”. Accord- ing to one of the answers obtained, the objective of simulations was defined as “the control of the costs generated by the activity of construction, from the manufacture of materials to the demolition, with the ultimate aim of avoiding waste of energy and use of resources in the most efficient way while maintaining a standard of comfort”. Figure 2 shows the opinions on the definition and objectives of the BPSTs. Figure 2. Definition and objectives of the energy simulation. Earth 2022, 2, FOR PEER REVIEW 4 Figure 1. Confidence parameters of architects with professional experience below 5 years. Earth 2022, 3 34 A total of 45.4% of the respondents were aware of the existence of numerical simula- tion; some of them define it as “a design tool that allows to improve the behavior of a new A total of 45.4% of the respondents were aware of the existence of numerical simulation; or existing building at all levels making it more efficient and more sustainable”. Accord- some of them define it as “a design tool that allows to improve the behavior of a new or ing to one of the answers obtained, the objective of simulations was defined as “the control existing building at all levels making it more efficient and more sustainable”. According to of the costs generated by the activity of construction, from the manufacture of materials one of the answers obtained, the objective of simulations was defined as “the control of the to the demolition, with the ultimate aim of avoiding waste of energy and use of resources costs generated by the activity of construction, from the manufacture of materials to the in the most efficient way while maintaining a standard of comfort”. Figure 2 shows the demolition, with the ultimate aim of avoiding waste of energy and use of resources in the opinions on the definition and objectives of the BPSTs. most efficient way while maintaining a standard of comfort”. Figure 2 shows the opinions on the definition and objectives of the BPSTs. Figure 2. Definition and objectives of the energy simulation. Figure 2. Definition and objectives of the energy simulation. Figure 3 shows the opinion about how to perform a simulation with a three-dimensional model. One in three respondents thought that geometry should be simplified, the same amount thought otherwise and the remaining third indicated that perhaps this ambigu- ity is in line with the study developed by Lin and Gerber (2013) [51], which reflects the need to accommodate different degrees of geometry to the optimal solution. With re- spect to the parameters that are taken into account in a simulation, half did not consider the external shadow or the environment important; however, relevance was given to the climate, the openings in façade, the HVAC systems, the internal gains and the type of construction [34,41,42,52,53]. The suggestions received are the following ones: Multidisciplinarity is required during the simulation process; Professional assistance is required from the Official Professional Association of Archi- tects; A simple and fast workflow should be established in the conceptual development that could be capable of making the most general decisions. Detailed simulations are not practical for the vast majority of projects; In order for the initial purposes not to become unrealized goals, a specialist who provides reliability should be consulted. Earth 2022, 2, FOR PEER REVIEW 5 Figure 3 shows the opinion about how to perform a simulation with a three-dimen- sional model. One in three respondents thought that geometry should be simplified, the same amount thought otherwise and the remaining third indicated that perhaps this am- biguity is in line with the study developed by Lin and Gerber (2013) [51], which reflects the need to accommodate different degrees of geometry to the optimal solution. With re- spect to the parameters that are taken into account in a simulation, half did not consider the external shadow or the environment important; however, relevance was given to the climate, the openings in façade, the HVAC systems, the internal gains and the type of Earth 2022, 3 35 construction [34,41,42,52,53]. Figure 3. Opinions on how to perform a simulation. Figure 3. Opinions on how to perform a simulation. A total of 45.8% of the participants knew a suitable simulation tool for architects; The suggestions received are the following ones: within this percentage, Sketchup (40.9%), Ecotect (16.2%), Design Builder (11.7%), Energy • Multidisciplinarity is required during the simulation process; Plus (9.1%) and Open studio (2.6%) stood out. In this context, and as shown in Figure 4, it was • consider Profession ed that al assistance is required the best stage to make from use the Offic of theial ener Profe gy simulation ssional Assoc is iduring ation of Ar- the optimization of the design, according to 60% of the respondents, and the worst one chitects; during the construction process, according to 7.20%. The existence of so much difference • A simple and fast workflow should be established in the conceptual development between phases shows that the BPSTs are not compatible with the working methods of the that could be capable of making the most general decisions. Detailed simulations are architects [17]; this fact results in a limited use of energy simulation tools [11]. not practical for the vast majority of projects; Figure 5 shows the opinion about the training received in the university regarding • In order for the initial purposes not to become unrealized goals, a specialist who pro- BPSTs, since it was observed as the most relevant strategy to promote the use of the tools. vides reliability should be consulted. There was a great interest (70.1%) in the conduct of talks or workshops with experts and in A total of 45.8% of the participants knew a suitable simulation tool for architects; the incorporation in subjects during architecture studies or the Master ’s thesis project, as in- within this percentage, Sketchup (40.9%), Ecotect (16.2%), Design Builder (11.7%), Energy dicated by 74% of the respondents. A total of 35.7% specified that there must be Master ’s or Plus (9.1%) and Open studio (2.6%) stood out. In this context, and as shown in Figure 4, it doctorate courses, and 29.9% that there must be courses at the Official Professional Associa- was considered that the best stage to make use of the energy simulation is during the tion of Architects. These results are related to the study by Reinhart et al. (2012) [52], which reflects the importance of encouraging “culture” of energy modeling in architecture schools that can lead to improved communication between architects and energy consultants. Although 43.8% of the respondents considered that improved tools for architectural integration of energy analysis are needed, only 1.3% knew more than 20 people who managed BPSTs, while 53.6% knew less than 4 and 20.3% did not know anyone. Figure 6 shows possible reasons why BPSTs are not used, the predominant one being the lack of knowledge about this type of tools since, as shown by Attia et al. (2009) [17], architects possess different knowledge and working methods than BPSTs developers, who are usually Earth 2022, 3 36 engineers and construction physicists. Other reasons collected from the survey regarding the lack of management of BPSTs are the following: Other people in the team (engineers) perform this part; Customers do not demand it; Earth 2022, 2, FOR PEER REVIEW 6 The licenses of the software are very expensive; It is not used at university. Table 1 shows the opinion of the respondents on a number of relevant ideas related to optimization of the design, according to 60% of the respondents, and the worst one during the use of BPSTs, which are (A) adaptation of the BPSTs to the architects, their previous the cons training truc and tion p their roces place s,of ac work; cording (B) advantages to 7.20%. The and existence o disadvantages f so of much difference use of BPSTs in the between architectural design stages, together with the confidence towards these tools; (C) credibility phases shows that the BPSTs are not compatible with the working methods of the archi- of the outcomes obtained from a BPSTs; and (D) the importance of BPSTs in the NZEB tects [17]; this fact results in a limited use of energy simulation tools [11]. design and the interest of the architects by the simulation tools in the future [53–55]. Figure 4. Tools used during the design stage and users’ skills. Figure 4. Tools used during the design stage and users’ skills. Figure 5 shows the opinion about the training received in the university regarding BPSTs, since it was observed as the most relevant strategy to promote the use of the tools. There was a great interest (70.1%) in the conduct of talks or workshops with experts and in the incorporation in subjects during architecture studies or the Master’s thesis project, as indicated by 74% of the respondents. A total of 35.7% specified that there must be Mas- ter’s or doctorate courses, and 29.9% that there must be courses at the Official Professional Association of Architects. These results are related to the study by Reinhart et al. (2012) [52], which reflects the importance of encouraging “culture” of energy modeling in archi- tecture schools that can lead to improved communication between architects and energy consultants. Earth 2022, 2, FOR PEER REVIEW 7 Earth 2022, 3 37 Figure 5. Tools used during the design stage and users’ skills. Figure 5. Tools used during the design stage and users’ skills. Although 43.8% of the respondents considered that improved tools for architectural integration of energy analysis are needed, only 1.3% knew more than 20 people who man- aged BPSTs, while 53.6% knew less than 4 and 20.3% did not know anyone. Figure 6 shows possible reasons why BPSTs are not used, the predominant one being the lack of knowledge about this type of tools since, as shown by Attia et al. (2009) [17], architects Earth Earth Earth 2022 Earth 2022 Earth , 2022 2 , FO , 2022 2, FO , 2022 2 R PE , FO , 2 R PE , FO , 2 ER R R PE , FO ER R R PE ER R E R PE VIE ER R EVIE E ER R W VIE E W VIE W EVIE W W 8 8 8 8 8 Earth 2022, 2, FOR PEER REVIEW 8 possess possess possess possess differ possess differ differ e differ nt knowledg ediffer nt knowledg ent knowledg ent knowledg ent knowledg e and work e and work e and work e and work e and work inin g methods in g methods in g methods g methods ing methods thth an BP th an BP th an BP STs dev an BP thSTs dev an BP STs dev STs dev elopers, who are usu- STs dev elopers, who are usu- elopers, who are usu- elopers, who are usu- elopers, who are usu- ally eng ally eng ally eng ally eng ally eng ineer ineer ineer s and constr ineer s and constr ineer s and constr s and constr s and constr uction uction uction uction phys uction phys phys ic phys is ic phys ts. O is icts. O is icts. O is ic ther re ts. O is ther re ts. O ther re ther re asons co tasons co her re asons co asons co asons co llecte llecte llecte d from the llecte d from the lld from the ecte d from the d from the susrvey re usrvey re usrvey re us rvey re u-rvey re - - - - possess different knowledge and working methods than BPSTs developers, who are usu- garding garding garding garding garding the lack o the lack o the lack o the lack o the lack o f m f m a fnagement o m a fnagement o m afnagement o m anagement o anagement o f BPSTs are f BPSTs are f BPSTs are f BPSTs are f BPSTs are the the following: the following: the following: the following: following: ally engineers and construction physicists. Other reasons collected from the survey re- • • •Other peop •Other peop •Other peop Other peop Other peop le le in th le in th le in th e in th le team e in th team e team e (e team e (e ngineer team (e ngineer (e ngineer (e ngineer s) ngineer per s) per s) per f s) orm per fs) orm f per orm this form this form par this par this par tthis ; par t; t par ; t; t; garding the lack of management of BPSTs are the following: • Custome • Custome rs do not rs ddeman o not deman d it; d it; • •Custome • Custome Custome rs do rs d not rs d o not deman o not deman deman d it; d it; d it; • • •The lic •The lic •The lic The lic enses o The lic enses o enses o enses o f th enses o f th e so f th e so f th ftwar e so f th ftwar e so ftwar e so e ftwar are eftwar are e very are e very are e very are expensive; very expensive; very expensive; expensive; expensive; • Other people in the team (engineers) perform this part; • • •It i •It i s• no It i s no It i s t no It i used s t no used t s no used t at un used t at un used at un ivers at un ivers at un ivers ity. ivers ity. ivers ity. ity. ity. • Customers do not demand it; • The licenses of the software are very expensive; • It is not used at university. Earth 2022, 3 38 Figure 6. Reasons for not using BPSTs. Figure 6. Figure 6. Figure 6. Figure 6. Reasons for not using BPSTs Reasons for not using BPSTs Reasons for not using BPSTs Reasons for not using BPSTs . . . . Table Table Table Table 1 show 1 show Table 1 show 1 show s the opin 1 show s the opin s the opin s the opin s the opin ion ion of the re ion of the re ion of the re ion of the re of the re spon spon spon dents spon dents spon dents on dents on dents a nu on a nu on a nu on mber of relev a nu mber of relev a nu mber of relev mber of relev mber of relev ant ant ide ant ide ant aide s re aa nt ide s re ala ide s re ated la s re a ted la s re ted lated lated to th to th to th e use of to th e use of to th e use of e use of BPSTs, which e use of BPSTs, which BPSTs, which BPSTs, which BPSTs, which are are are (A are (A ) ad (A are ) ad (A ap ) ad (A ap ) ad tation ap ) ad tation ap tation ap tation of the B tation of the B of the B of the B P of the B ST PST P s to the ST P s to the ST s to the PST s to the a s to the ra chitec ra chitec ra chitec rchitec ts ar , ts chitec th , ts th eir p , ts th eir p , ts th eir p r, ev eir p th rev ious eir p rev ious rev ious rev ious ious tra tra inin tra inin tra i g nin and tra i g nin and g inin and t gh and t g eir h and t eir h p t eir h lp ac t eir lh p ac e eir lo p ac e f lo work; (B ac e p flo work; (B e ac fo work; (B e f work; (B of work; (B ) adv ) adv ) adv a) adv nt a) adv nt age ant age as nt age and a s age nt and sage and dis s and dis sa and dis dvan a dis dvan a dis dvan a tdvan aa ge ta dvan ge ts ao ge ts a fo ge use s ta fo use ge s fo use of s f use o of BP f use of BP STs in of BP STs in of BP STs in BP STs in the STs in the the the the architec Figure tural 6. desi Reasons gn stage for s not , tog using etheBPST r wits. h the confidence towards these tools; (C) credibil- archi archi tec archi tu archi tec ra tec tu l t desi tu ra ecra l tu desi g l ra n s desi l g desi tage n s gn s t g s age ,n s tog tage s tage ,e tog sthe , tog s,e r tog the w ethe ir e th w the r the w itrh w i conf t the hi the th conf the ide conf n conf ide ce tow ide nide ce tow nce tow a nrd ce tow s at rd h ard ese s ats rd htool t ese h s ese th tool s; ese (C tool s; tool ) cre (C s; (C s; ) cre d (C ib ) cre i) cre d l-ib di ib ld -iib l- il- ity of ity of ity of the o ity of the o ity of the o uthe o tc uomes obtained from the o tc uomes obtained from tc uomes obtained from tc u omes obtained from tcomes obtained from a BPSTs; a BPSTs; a BPSTs; a BPSTs; a BPSTs; anan d (D an d (D an d (D ) an th d (D ) th e importance d (D ) th e importance ) th e importance ) e importance the importance of BP of BP of BP STs of BP STs of BP STs in the NZEB STs in the NZEB in the NZEB STs in the NZEB in the NZEB Table 1. Confidence parameters in the BPSTs. design a design a design a design a design a nd t nd t n hd t e n hid t e n h ni te d t n e hrest i te n e h rest i te n e of rest tie n of rest the te of rest the of the ar of the a chit r the a chit rects by a chit rects by chit arects by chit ects by tects by ht e hsi t e h m si t e h m u si e tlat h m u si e lat m u isi on t lat u im on t lat iu o on t lat ol io on t s i ol io on t s i ol n o the s i ol no the s i n ol the future [ n s i the future [ n the future [ future [ 53–5 future [ 53–5 53–5 5] 53–5 .5] 53–5 .5] .5] .5] . Figure 6. Reasons for not using BPSTs. YES NO Possibly Table 1. Table 1. Table 1. Table 1. Confidence parameters in the BPSTs Table 1. Confidence parameters in the BPSTs Confidence parameters in the BPSTs Confidence parameters in the BPSTs Confidence parameters in the BPSTs . . . . . BPSTs are thought to be used by experts who are 33.1% 18.5% 48.3% Table 1 shows the opinion of the respondents on a number of relevant ideas related NOT architects YES YES YES YES YES NO NO NO NO NO Possib Possib Possib Possib ly Possib ly ly ly ly Do you use BPSTs tools at work? 16.8% 65.8% 17.4% to the use of BPSTs, which are (A) adaptation of the BPSTs to the architects, their previous BPSTs ar BPSTs ar BPSTs ar BPSTs ar BPSTs ar e tho e tho e u tho e ght to u tho e ght to utho ght to ught to be u be ght to used by exper be used by exper be used by exper be used by exper used by exper ts who are ts who are ts who are ts who are ts who are NO NO T arch NO T arch NO T arch NO T arch itec T arch itec ts itec ts itec ts itec ts ts 3333 .1% 33 .1% 33 .1% .1% 33 .1% 1818 .5% 18 .5% 18 .5% .5% 18 .5% 4848 .3% 48 .3% 48 .3% .3% 48 .3% In your university, in Architecture studies, are BPSTs used? 24.0% 47.4% 28.6% A A A tra Do you i Do you ning us Do you and us e B e B P t STs P us h STs eir e B too too p P ls STs lac lat s at e work? too work? olfs work; (B at work? ) advantages16 and 16 .8% .8% dis 16a .8% dvan 6565 .8% .8% ta 65 ge .8% s 17o 17 .4% f.4% use 17 of .4% BP STs in the A A Do you Do you us us e B e B PSTs PSTs too too ls lat s at work? work? 1616 .8% .8% 6565 .8% .8% 1717 .4% .4% Do BPSTs speed up the design stage? 31.8% 28.6% 39.6% In your In your In your In your un In your un ive un ive un rive sity, in un rive sity, in rsity, in ive rsity, in r Arch sity, in Arch Arch itecture Arch itecture Arch itecture itecture stud itecture stud stud ie stud s, ie stud s, are ies, are ieBPST s, are ieBPST are s, BPST are s BPST used? s BPST used? s used? s used? s used? 2424 .0% 24 .0% 24 .0% .0% 24 .0% 4747 .4% 47 .4% 47 .4% .4% 47 .4% 2828 .6% 28 .6% 28 .6% .6% 28 .6% Do BPPSTs limit the architect’s creativity in the design stage? 15.8% 52.6% 31.6% B architectural design stages, together with the confidence towards these tools; (C) credibil- Can simulation software help you to create the geometry? 63.6% 11.9% 24.5% Do BPST Do BPST Do BPST Do BPST Do BPST s spe s spe s spe ed up s spe ed up s spe ed up ed up the ed up the design the design the design the design stage? design stage? stage? stage? stage? 3131 .8% 31 .8% 31 .8% .8% 31 .8% 2828 .6% 28 .6% 28 .6% .6% 28 .6% 3939 .6% 39 .6% 39 .6% .6% 39 .6% ity of the outcomes obtained from a BPSTs; and (D) the importance of BPSTs in the NZEB Are the data obtained through simulation software correct? 45.5% 7.1% 47.4% B B B B B Do Do BPP Do BPP Do BPP S Do Ts limit the arch BPP STs limit the arch S BPP Ts limit the arch STs limit the arch STs limit the arch itect’s itect’s itect’s itect’s critect’s eativ creativ creativ cr ity in eativ cr ity in eativ ity in the ity in the ity in desig the desig the desig the desig n stage n stage desig n stage n stage ? n stage ? ? ? ? 1515 .8% 15 .8% 15 .8% .8% 15 .8% 5252 .6% 52 .6% 52 .6% .6% 52 .6% 3131 .6% 31 .6% 31 .6% .6% 31 .6% design a Should BPST nd t s h learning e inte be rest carried of the out by ar achitects by the simulation tools in the future [53–55]. 29.0% 34.2% 36.8% Ca C n s a C n s a iC m n s a iC m u n s ila a m u n s i ti la m u on sof ti la iu m on sof ti la u on sof ti la on sof tti w t on sof a w re h ta w re h ta w e re h ta lp w e re h lp a yo e re h lp yo e u lp yo u to cre e yo lp to cre u yo u to cre a to cre u te ato cre th te a th te e geom a th te e geom a th te e geom th e geom ee geom try? etry? et ry? et ry? e try? 6363 .6% 63 .6% 63 .6% .6% 63 .6% 1111 .9% 11 .9% 11 .9% .9% 11 .9% 2424 .5% 24 .5% 24 .5% .5% 24 .5% trial-and-error process? Are the Are the Are the Are the d Are the a d ta ad ob ta a d ob ta a ta d ob ta ined thro ta a ob ta ined thro ta ob ined thro tained thro tained thro ugh sim ugh sim ugh sim ugh sim ugh sim ulu at lu i aon t lu i a on t lsof i a u on tlsof ia on tt w sof it on a w sof re ta w sof re tc a w o re t c a rrect? w o re c rrect? a ore c rrect? o rrect? co rrect? 4545 .5% 45 .5% 45 .5% .5% 45 .5% 7. 1% 7.1% 7. 1% 7. 1% 7. 1% 47 47 .4% 47 .4% 47 .4% .4% 47 .4% Is building simulation essential before the C C C C C 58.8% 19.0% 22.2% Table 1. Confidence parameters in the BPSTs. Should B Should B Should B Should B Should B PST PST P s le ST P s le ST arn s le Parn ST s le iarn ng be s le iarn ng be ing be arn i ng be carr iconstr carr ng be carr ied o carr ied o uction ied o carr uied o t b uied o t b u y stage? a tr t b u y a tr t b y u a tr ial-and t b y a tr ial-and yial-and a tr ial-and -error proce ial-and -error proce -error proce -error proce -error proce ss? ss? ss? ss? ss? 2929 .0% 29 .0% 29 .0% .0% 29 .0% 3434 .2% 34 .2% 34 .2% .2% 34 .2% 3636 .8% 36 .8% 36 .8% .8% 36 .8% Is outcomes validation (comparing with real Is bu Is bu Is bu ilIs bu di ilIs bu di ng ildi ng il simu di ng il simu ng di simu ng la simu ti la simu on essent ti laon essent ti laon essent ti la on essent tion essent ial ia b l ia eb fore l ia eb fore l ia eb fore t l eh b fore t e cons e h t fore e cons h t e cons h t e cons truc htruc e cons truc tion st truc tion st ti truc on st ti ag on st ti ag e? on st ag e? ag e? ag e? e? 5858 .8% 58 .8% 58 .8% .8% 58 .8% 1919 .0% 19 .0% 19 .0% .0% 19 .0% 2222 .2% 22 .2% 22 .2% .2% 22 .2% 87.1% 2.6% 10.3% results) necessary? YES NO Possibly Is outcomes v Is outcomes v Is outcomes v Is outcomes v Is outcomes v alidation alidation alidation alidation alidation (co (co m (co m paring (co m paring (co m paring paring m with paring with with real r with real r with real r real r esu e real r su lts) esu lts) esu necess lts) enecess su lts) necess lts) necess ary? necess ary? ary? ary? ary? 8787 .1% 87 .1% 87 .1% .1% 87 .1% 2. 6% 2.6% 2. 6% 2. 6% 2. 6% 10 10 .3% 10 .3% 10 .3% .3% 10 .3% Are BPSTs thought to be used in the NZEB design? 76.8% 4.0% 19.2% BPSTs are tho Are B u Are B ght to Are B P Are B STs th P Are B STs th P be STs th PSTs th ought to Pused by exper ought to STs th ought to ought to ought to be be used be used be used be in used in t the used s who are in the in NZEB design? the in NZEB design? the NZEB design? the NZEB design? NZEB design? NO T arch itects 7676 .8% 76 .8% 76 .8% .8% 76 .8% 33 4. .1% 0% 4.0% 4. 0% 4. 0% 4. 0% 19 19 .2% 18 19 .2% .5% 19 .2% .2% 19 .2% 48.3% Is the architect’s necessities identification vital to ease 62.4% 6.0% 29.8% D D D D D Is the Is the Is the a Is the r a chi Is the r a chi r t a ec chi r t a ec chi t’s nece trec t’s nece chi tec t’s nece tt’s nece ec ss t’s nece it ssies it ssies it ss iden ies it iden ss ies iden it BPST ti ies iden fic ti iden fic s a tit use? fic io a titfic n vit io a ti tn vit fic io atn vit io a atl n vit io to aln vit to a e l to a a e lse to a a e se BPST la to e se BPST a e se BPST a BPST s u ses u BPST se? s u se? s u se? s u se? s e? 6262 .4% 62 .4% 62 .4% .4% 62 .4% 6. 0% 6.0% 6. 0% 6. 0% 6. 0% 29 29 .8% 29 .8% 29 .8% .8% 29 .8% A Do you use BPSTs tools at work? 16.8% 65.8% 17.4% Are you interested in the use of BPSTs in the future? 63.4% 5.9% 30.7% Are yo Are yo Are yo Are yo u Are yo u inter inter u inter u este inter u este inter d este in d este in d th e in ste d th e use of BP in th d e use of BP in th e use of BP th e use of BP e use of BP STs STs STs in the STs in the in the STs in the future? in the future? future? future? future? 6363 .4% 63 .4% 63 .4% .4% 63 .4% 5. 9% 5.9% 5. 9% 5. 9% 5. 9% 30 30 .7% 30 .7% 30 .7% .7% 30 .7% In your university, in Architecture studies, are BPSTs used? 24.0% 47.4% 28.6% 80–100%, 80–100%, 80–100%, 80–100%, 80–100%, 80–100%, 60–80%, 60–80%, 60–80%, 60–80%, 60–80%, 60–80%, 40–60%, 40–60%, 40–60%, 40–60%, 40–60%, 40–60%, 20–40%, 20–40%, 20–40%, 20–40%, 20–40%, 20–40%, 0–20%. 0–20%. 0–20%. 0–20%. 0–20%. 0–20%. Do BPSTs speed up the design stage? 31.8% 28.6% 39.6% Fig Fig u Fig re u Fig re 7 sho uFig re 7 sho ure 7 sho uw 7 sho re s w 7 sho the op s wthe op s wthe op s w the op inio s the op inio n of ar inio n of ar inio n of ar inio n of ar chitects n of ar chitects chitects chitects re chitects re ga re g rd a re g rd ing a re g rd ing a se g rd ing a se veral parame ing rd se veral parame ing se veral parame se veral parame veral parame ters ters ters thters th at can th ters at can th at can at can d the d at can ter e d ter - e d ter - e d ter -eter - - Figure 7 shows the opinion of architects regarding several parameters that can de- B Do BPPSTs limit the architect’s creativity in the design stage? 15.8% 52.6% 31.6% mine the con mine the con mine the con mine the con mine the con fidence fidence fidence fidence in the fidence in the in the in the BPSTs. These in the BPSTs. These BPSTs. These BPSTs. These BPSTs. These parame parame parame parame parame ter ter s are (A ter s are (A ter s are (A ter s are (A ) the s are (A ) the ) the reason for ) the reason for ) the reason for reason for reason for a goo a goo a goo d a goo arch d a goo arch d arch d i- arch d i- arch i- i- i- termine the confidence in the BPSTs. These parameters are (A) the reason for a good Can simulation software help you to create the geometry? 63.6% 11.9% 24.5% tectur tectur tectur tectur al de al de tectur al de sig al de sig n al de sig ; n(B) sig ; n (B) ; sig n the (B) ; the n (B) rep ; the (B) rep the rep lacemen the rep lacemen l rep acemen lacemen lt of acemen t of t of the de t of the de the de t of the de sign the de sign sign bsign yb a q y sign b a q yb u a q y an b u a q y an ti u a q t an ti u at t an ti ia u v ttan ti ie av t ts e ia ti v i tm ts iea v i m u ts e iila v m u seition la m u stion la iu m tion sof la ution sof lat sof tion war t sof war t sof war e; twar e; te war ; e; e; architectural design; (B) the replacement of the design by a quantitative simulation soft- Are the data obtained thro (C) (C) the (C) the (C) utility the war (C) ugh sim utility the utility the e; utility of th (C) utility of th of th the e BP u of th e BP lu a of th e BP STs to reconsider tility te BP i STs to reconsider on e BP STs to reconsider of STs to reconsider sof the STs to reconsider tw BPST are saspe c to aspe or rrect? aspe econsider cts th aspe cts th aspe cts th at h cts th at h cts th a at h ve been ignor aspects a at h ve been ignor a at h ve been ignor ave been ignor athat ve been ignor have 45 ed during ed during .5% ed during been ed during ed during ignor the the design the ed 7. design the design 1% the during design design the 47.4% design process; (D) the lack of development of an energy efficient design because of the Should BPSTs learning be carried out by a trial-and-error process? 29.0% 34.2% 36.8% improvement of a functional one; (E) the study of the optimal form as an effective strategy Is building simulation essential before the construction stage? 58.8% 19.0% 22.2% to avoid the subsequent annex of elements that alter the design; (F) the confidence in the BPSTs to make architectural decisions; (G) the ignorance of the BPSTs as a reason for Is outcomes validation (comparing with real results) necessary? 87.1% 2.6% 10.3% distrust in them; (H) the possibility of incorporating the decisions of an energy consultant Are BPSTs thought to be used in the NZEB design? 76.8% 4.0% 19.2% in the design stage; (I) the possible methods of incorporating data into de architectural D Is the architect’s necessities identification vital to ease BPSTs use? 62.4% 6.0% 29.8% design; (J) the control of professionals regarding the management of BPSTs; and (K) the importance of working together with the experts in BPSTs. Are you interested in the use of BPSTs in the future? 63.4% 5.9% 30.7% 80–100%, 60–80%, 40–60%, 20–40%, 0–20%. Figure 7 shows the opinion of architects regarding several parameters that can deter- mine the confidence in the BPSTs. These parameters are (A) the reason for a good archi- tectural design; (B) the replacement of the design by a quantitative simulation software; (C) the utility of the BPSTs to reconsider aspects that have been ignored during the design Earth 2022, 2, FOR PEER REVIEW 9 process; (D) the lack of development of an energy efficient design because of the improve- ment of a functional one; (E) the study of the optimal form as an effective strategy to avoid the subsequent annex of elements that alter the design; (F) the confidence in the BPSTs to make architectural decisions; (G) the ignorance of the BPSTs as a reason for distrust in them; (H) the possibility of incorporating the decisions of an energy consultant in the de- sign stage; (I) the possible methods of incorporating data into de architectural design; (J) the control of professionals regarding the management of BPSTs; and (K) the importance of working together with the experts in BPSTs. Earth 2022, 3 39 Figure 7. Opinions of architects about the aspects indicating confidence in BPSTs. Figure 7. Opinions of architects about the aspects indicating confidence in BPSTs. Figure 7 shows the general opinions on the use of BPSTs, noting that 28% of respon- dents used BPSTs, but, to date, 30.9% of that percentage no longer used them; however, Figure 7 shows the general opinions on the use of BPSTs, noting that 28% of respond- 60.8% believed that the use of BPSTs is important. In this context, and among 28% of the ents used BPSTs, but, to date, 30.9% of that percentage no longer used them; however, participants who had used BPSTs, 14.1% were self-taught and 37.5% took training courses. 60.8% believed that the use of BPSTs is important. In this context, and among 28% of the The suggestions provided by the respondents (Figure 8) are reflected in the follow- particip ingant ideas: s who had used BPSTs, 14.1% were self-taught and 37.5% took training courses. It is important that the simulation tools have an intuitive interface and that there are The suggestions provided by the respondents (Figure 8) are reflected in the following manuals with practical examples to facilitate understanding; ideas: Improvement in material libraries and climate data in regions (not just cities) is essential; • It is important that the simulation tools have an intuitive interface and that there are Efforts are being made to force architects to use a foreign, awkward and unintelligible tool instead of giving facilities, even in tools that do not provide detailed results; manuals with practical examples to facilitate understanding; BPSTs should focus on general aspects of easy interaction and understanding. Once the • Improvement in material libraries and climate data in regions (not just cities) is es- reduction in the price of BPSTs is achieved, more specific tools should be developed; sential; There are some doubts about BPSTs ability to make decisions at a volumetric or formal • Efforts are being made to force architects to use a foreign, awkward and unintelligible level, as seems to be inferred from some survey questions. In this regard, there are tool ins factors teaof d o use f g or iving other fa needs cilitie that s, even in are ahead tools of ener th gy at do n optimization; ot provide detailed results; In the future, several possibilities should be provided in order to adapt BPSTs to • BPSTs should focus on general aspects of easy interaction and understanding. Once researchers (without experience in the design of buildings, but in their improvement); the reduction in the price of BPSTs is achieved, more specific tools should be devel- More energy efficiency issues need to be taken into account in the design process; oped; Raise awareness of the disinformation of the simulations. • There are some doubts about BPSTs ability to make decisions at a volumetric or for- According to Attia et al. [12], architects classify intelligence with 33% above usability, mal with leve 29%, inter l, asoperability seems towith be i 22% nferred and accuracy from so with me survey 17%. The term que “usability” stions. In shows this re the gard, there degree of design of the user interface in a way that facilitates data entry, simple navigation, are factors of use or other needs that are ahead of energy optimization; flexible control and visualization of results [17,56]. A better integration with CAD, data • In the future, several possibilities should be provided in order to adapt BPSTs to re- input adapted to the language of the architect [57] and an output of easily interpretable searchers (without experience in the design of buildings, but in their improvement); results are needed [10,57]. These investigations are related to the data obtained, as reflected • More energy efficiency issues need to be taken into account in the design process; in Figure 9, on the selection criteria of the BPSTs by the architects. The BPSTs users consider that the most important factor is the simple verification (validation) of an energy simulation • Raise awareness of the disinformation of the simulations. according to real cases, but they also give relevance to the explanation of the advantages of the software in the practice of the architect and of the configuration of entrance of the data Earth 2022, 3 40 Earth 2022, 2, FOR PEER REVIEW 10 to the software. The interest in simplifying and delimiting the software options in order to facilitate the interpretation of results is not particularly significant. Figure 8. General opinions on the use of BPSTs. Figure 8. General opinions on the use of BPSTs. According to Attia et al. [12], architects classify intelligence with 33% above usability, with 29%, interoperability with 22% and accuracy with 17%. The term “usability” shows the degree of design of the user interface in a way that facilitates data entry, simple navi- gation, flexible control and visualization of results [17,56]. A better integration with CAD, data input adapted to the language of the architect [57] and an output of easily interpret- able results are needed [10,57]. These investigations are related to the data obtained, as reflected in Figure 9, on the selection criteria of the BPSTs by the architects. The BPSTs users consider that the most important factor is the simple verification (validation) of an energy simulation according to real cases, but they also give relevance to the explanation of the advantages of the software in the practice of the architect and of the configuration Earth 2022, 2, FOR PEER REVIEW 11 of entrance of the data to the software. The interest in simplifying and delimiting the soft- Earth 2022, 3 41 ware options in order to facilitate the interpretation of results is not particularly signifi- cant. Figure 9. BPSTs selection criteria. Figure 9. BPSTs selection criteria. 4. Con 4. Conclusions clusions This study identifies the current situation of architects and architecture students in This study identifies the current situation of architects and architecture students in Spain regarding BPSTs. Two topics are discussed, the general knowledge and the use of the Spain regarding BPSTs. Two topics are discussed, the general knowledge and the use of simulation in its architectural practice and the tools selection criteria from the point of view the simulation in its architectural practice and the tools selection criteria from the point of of the architects. Both topics help to evolve in both the academic and professional field. view of the architects. Both topics help to evolve in both the academic and professional Additionally, the outcomes obtained from the survey provide an overview of the BPSTs field. Additionally, the outcomes obtained from the survey provide an overview of the characteristics that should be improved in order to achieve a greater acceptance between BPSTs characteristics that should be improved in order to achieve a greater acceptance architects. Therefore, the following conclusions are reached: between architects. Therefore, the following conclusions are reached: There is no familiarization with the BPSTs, since no training is carried out or a change in the teaching structure of university courses. However, the new generation of • There is no familiarization with the BPSTs, since no training is carried out or a change architects is receptive to the use of BPSTs, since their attitude is not vitiated by the in the teaching structure of university courses. However, the new generation of ar- traditional practice of an architect, although this interest is not being used, so the chitects is receptive to the use of BPSTs, since their attitude is not vitiated by the tra- situation persists; ditional practice of an architect, although this interest is not being used, so the situa- Many respondents have never heard of the BPSTs concept ever, and 72% did not even tion persists; use it. In order to improve the practice on simulation by the architects, criteria and • Many respondents have never heard of the BPSTs concept ever, and 72% did not even specifications of general use of the programs must be established, adapted to the way use it. In order to improve the practice on simulation by the architects, criteria and they work; specifications of general use of the programs must be established, adapted to the way Today, there is still a wide gap between architectural design and simulation tools. they work; For decades, energy efficiency must be developed in all possible areas, and regulations • Today, there is still a wide gap between architectural design and simulation tools. include energy requirements that must be met. Therefore, this study is of particular interest to teachers to achieve improvement measures regarding energy simulation in the realm For decades, energy efficiency must be developed in all possible areas, and regula- of architecture, giving rise to a necessary innovation. In this way, professionals will be tions include energy requirements that must be met. Therefore, this study is of particular interest to teachers to achieve improvement measures regarding energy simulation in the realm of architecture, giving rise to a necessary innovation. In this way, professionals will Earth 2022, 3 42 prepared to design buildings by using the advantages of simulation tools, during all stages of design, to construct sustainable buildings. As future research lines, it is intended to develop a guide that shows the comparative between a real case and a simulated one, showing the different architectural design options with its advantages and disadvantages. Specifically, it is proposed to develop a design guide for a simulation program (Design Builder-Energy Plus) with general guidelines adapted to the exclusive use of architects. After the analysis of knowledge and having detected where the weaknesses of the architects are, it will be a simple guide, with limited data entry and with special emphasis on the parameters that can modify the design, shape, orientation or other design alternatives. All this allows the development of research projects that link architects with other stakeholders to adapt BPSTs to the way they work. The analyses of the results shown in this article make it clear that newly licensed archi- tects lack knowledge of BPST. The authors propose to solve this deficiency by incorporating building energy simulation in two different areas of architectural curricula: there should be a coordination between the areas of construction; and facilities and architectural projects. Design courses should encourage the use of BPST through assignments on the influence of passive strategies in architectural design. Simulation results should justify design decisions in the conceptual phase of the design process. Author Contributions: Conceptualization, M.-M.F.-A., R.A.G.-L. and J.M.d.R.; methodology, R.A.G.- L.; software, M.-M.F.-A.; validation, M.-M.F.-A. and R.A.G.-L.; formal analysis, M.-M.F.-A.; investiga- tion, M.-M.F.-A.; resources, R.A.G.-L.; data curation, J.M.d.R.; writing—original draft preparation, M.-M.F.-A. and R.A.G.-L.; writing—review and editing, M.-M.F.-A. and J.M.d.R.; visualization, M.- M.F.-A. and R.A.G.-L.; supervision, R.A.G.-L.; project administration, R.A.G.-L.; funding acquisition, R.A.G.-L. All authors have read and agreed to the published version of the manuscript. Funding: The authors wish to thank CEU San Pablo University Foundation for the predoctoral scholarship granted to co-author Maria-Mar Fernandez-Antolin within its FPI Program and for the funds dedicated to the Project CEU-Banco Santander (Ref: MVP19V14) provided by CEU San Pablo University and financed by Banco Santander. Acknowledgments: Thanks are due to the Arie Group from E.P.S. from the Universidad CEU San Pablo for the guidance provided. We thank San Pablo CEU University Foundation for the pre-doctoral scholarship granted to co-authors in its FPI Program. Conflicts of Interest: The authors declare no conflict of interest. References 1. Wagner, S.; Mellblom, P. The next generation of energy efficient building design: Where are we and where should we be going? In Proceedings of the Building Enclosure Science and Technology, BEST Conference, Minneapolis, MN, USA, 10–12 June 2008. 2. Cao, X.; Dai, X.; Liu, J. 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Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy; Commercial Buildings Resource Database. Available online: https://buildingdata.energy.gov/cbrd/resource/705 (accessed on 10 June 2020). 56. Jangalve, A.; Kamble, V.; Gawandi, S.; Ramani, N. Energy Analysis of Residential Building Using BIM. Int. J. Emerg. Eng. Technol. Sci. 2016, 108, 15–19. 57. Butts, D. Powering BIM—Capitalizing on Revit for Building Energy Modeling; Autodesk University: San Francisco, CA, USA, 2016. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Earth Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute

Building Performance Simulations and Architects against Climate Change and Energy Resource Scarcity

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Article Building Performance Simulations and Architects against Climate Change and Energy Resource Scarcity 1 , 2 2 2 , Maria-Mar Fernandez-Antolin , José Manuel del Río and Roberto Alonso González-Lezcano * Consejería de Educación de la Junta de Castilla y León, Av. Real Valladolid, s/n, 47014 Valladolid, Spain; mmar.ferant@educa.jcyl.es or mar.fernandez.ce@ceindo.ceu.es Escuela Politécnica Superior, Universidad San Pablo-CEU (CEU Universities), 28668 Madrid, Spain; jmdrc.eps@ceu.es * Correspondence: rgonzalezcano@ceu.es Abstract: In Europe, 40% of the total energy is consumed by buildings; in this sense, building performance simulation tools (BPSTs) play a key role; however, the use of these tools by architects is deficient. Therefore, this study aims to detect the architects’ perception on BPSTs. To this end, an online survey was conducted to determine the selection criteria of these BPSTs and non-users, to investigate the reasons for not using the tools. The outcomes showed that there was a wide gap between architects and the management of simulation programs in Spain, mainly due to the lack of training. BPSTs are described as a kind of intellect amplifiers, as they are perceived as powerful allies between professors and students of architecture and between architects and architectural design; therefore, through BPSTs, sustainability is taken very much into consideration to make buildings more energy efficient. Therefore, it is primarily concluded that further and higher education must undergo significant improvement to use simulations as part of the architectural design. Keywords: building performance simulation tools; architectural design; energy education; BPSTs Citation: Fernandez-Antolin, M.-M.; users; architectural education del Río, J.M.; González-Lezcano, R.A. Building Performance Simulations and Architects against Climate Change and Energy Resource 1. Introduction Scarcity. Earth 2022, 3, 31–44. Climate change and the scarcity of energy resources are two major challenges in the https://doi.org/10.3390/ near future (European Renewable Energy Council, 2010). In the U.S.A., 48% of the total earth3010003 energy is consumed by buildings; in Europe, 40%; and in the United Arab Emirates, 70%. Academic Editor: Charles Jones Therefore, countries create policies that allow the construction of net-zero energy buildings (NZEB). In this way, only that which complies with the regulation is built; therefore, using Received: 12 December 2021 energy simulation becomes essential [1–4]. As a results of legislation, architects have a key Accepted: 4 January 2022 role in contributing to the success of the NZEB; however, architecture is the only profession Published: 6 January 2022 that integrates creativity and technology, generating various difficulties to deepen technical Publisher’s Note: MDPI stays neutral development [5]. with regard to jurisdictional claims in Simulation is a human, psychological and social discipline since it involves the in- published maps and institutional affil- teraction between the human and the computer [6]. The human dimension is one of the iations. most important performance indicators since a deep understanding of it allows progress in the development of the simulation [7]. This discipline arose in 1960 when the U.S. govern- ment carried out projects to evaluate the environment in fallout shelters and, during the 1980s, building performance simulation tools (BPSTs) were developed to assist architects Copyright: © 2022 by the authors. in their analysis [8]; however, it was not until a decade later that they began to use simu- Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. lations [9,10]. In 2010, the number of tools listed in the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) This article is an open access article Building Energy Software Toolkit (BESTD) reached approximately 400 [11], which means distributed under the terms and that between 1997 and 2010, the number of tools has quadrupled; however, less than 40 are conditions of the Creative Commons aimed at architects [12,13]. Attribution (CC BY) license (https:// creativecommons.org/licenses/by/ The growth of the use of energy modeling in architecture is evident at the international 4.0/). level, according to the American Institute of Architects [14], thus showing the commitment Earth 2022, 3, 31–44. https://doi.org/10.3390/earth3010003 https://www.mdpi.com/journal/earth Earth 2022, 3 32 of the profession in the U.S.A. to integrate the energy modeling processes within the design practice. However, according to Mahdavi [15], there is a generalized process of disconnection between the design process and the architectural simulation process. In the design process, the goal is to achieve decreasing thermal results, taking the generic choices in the initial stage, but considering that the decisions are already taken because both the owner and the designer have become fond of the design and its modification is not possible. During the simulation process, the thermal models are developed from the detail to the set of elements that determine the simulation, which is the complete opposite of the architectural design [16]. There is a widespread belief that existing energy simulation tools are not suited to architects’ needs during the early stages of designing energy-efficient buildings [17–19]; moreover, they are too complex for them [20]. This leads to the fact that architects do not consider energy modeling as their responsibility [21]. Naboni (2013) [22] reflects the need for BPSTs to adapt to new needs in architec- ture, such as geometric representation and the way of communicating and representing a design. Usually, there is a non-intuitive and impractical user interface [23] so that de- velopment is essential in its simplification [24]. BPSTs requite the input of a large amount of data [25,26] being one of the challenges for architects [27–29], thus limiting data entry is crucial. However, many of the input data cannot be available in the early design stages [30], so it is necessary to use default values and templates [31]. There is a simplified method for handling BPSTs, which is used to minimize runtime and does not require a large amount of input data [32]. This approach is often used to cope with the initial design requirements [33–35]. Schlueter and Thesseling [28] call it a statistical model of calculation and it serves to judge the performance of a building. Lam, Huang and Zhai (2004) [36] argue that complicated simulation tools do not provide better support for decision making, so, for architects, simple energy simulation tools always offer more advantages than the complicated ones [37]. In respect of the outcomes obtained from the simulation software, these are excessive and complex, and their output lacks visual quality as architects seek to represent the results achieved within the 3D geometric model [38]. Additionally, the significant information extraction from BPSTs requires expert knowledge, since the information must be processed in order to be applied in the decision making of the building design [39]. Currently, architects are beginning to use new energy modeling tools, but this practice is still deficient [40–42]. To encourage the use of BPSTs, there are consultants who help architects to capture the meaning of the models [43–45]. Attitudes, values and experiences expressed by architects must be understood so that these tools can be adapted to their preferences and can thus they can be incorporated into the architectural design. The building designer should be considered the user of the simulation software, generating practical models and examples of application [46–49]. Additionally, there must also be a change in architectural education [50]. Therefore, it is necessary to go deeper in the calculation methods selection, so that the use of BPSTs is extended among professionals and to make the most of the calculation tools. This study aims to investigate all those needs that architects have with respect to BPSTs, therefore, an online survey, focused on both non-users and users, was conducted. The main objective of the investigation is to detect the reasons why BPSTs are not used. 2. Methodology In order to ascertain the architects’ needs regarding the BPSTs, an online survey was conducted that consisted of two parts. The first one was intended to define the state of knowledge on BPSTs of architects in Spain and to detect the reason why there is a poor use of BPSTs. The second part was only directed to architects who have handled the tools in order to determine the selection criteria chosen according to the five approaches defined by Attia et al. (2012b), which are: (1) Usability and information management (UIM) of interface; Earth 2022, 3 33 (2) Integration of intelligent design knowledge base (IIKB); (3) Accuracy of tools and ability to simulate detailed and complex building components (AADCC); (4) Interoperability of building modelling (IBM); (5) Integration with building design process (IBDP). The survey began in early September 2017 until mid-October 2017, obtaining a total of 157 responses, with the resolution time being 15–20 min. The questionnaire was structured in two parts, so the first one consisted of 59 questions that dealt with the definition of simulation; previous knowledge, uses and objectives of the simulation; university teaching; credibility of the simulations; applications of BPSTs; acquisition of tools; collaboration with other disciplines; solutions to produce an approach in the design field; and proposals for improvement. The second part consisted of 19 questions only thought for users of BPSTs. Several parameters are analyzed, such as the learning source of BPSTs; the frequency of use of the software along with its difficulty; the tools that best fit the architects; the parameters that influence the selection of one software or another; and the barriers that prevent the use of these simulation software. In addition, a synthesis of each of the five criteria [17] listed above ((1) (UIM), (2) (IIKB), (3) (AADCC), (4) (IBM), (5) (IBDP)) was developed and several assessment subtopics were indicated. For the sample size, the confidence level and the maximum tolerable margin of error were considered [29]. A representative sample was considered using the z-statistic for infinite samples to obtain consistent estimates, and the sample size of 157 respondents corresponds to an error rate of 7.8% with a confidence level of 95%. 3. Results and Discussions A total of 157 responses were received, of which 61% came from architects, 26% from architecture students and 13% from other disciplines. A total of 54.8% worked in the residential sector and 41.3% in the rehabilitation field. Regarding the usual architectural practice, 46.2% worked developing the design and construction stages. Among all the respondents, 53.7% worked with professionals in multidisciplinary teams and a 43.6% were employed by others. Among them, 29.5% knew the design through computer simulation; this low percentage of users reflects shows that most BPSTs are not compatible with the architects’ needs [36,48,50]; similarly, the complexity of these tools for the profession was evident. A total of 76% of the architects who responded to the survey had a professional experience of less than 5 years, so they were young architects. Figure 1 shows the confidence Earth 2022, 2, FOR PEER REVIEW 4 of this sector of architects in several parameters about the BPSTs, which therefore represent a series of reasons to reduce the gap in the BPSTs use and the architectural design. Figure 1. Confidence parameters of architects with professional experience below 5 years. Figure 1. Confidence parameters of architects with professional experience below 5 years. A total of 45.4% of the respondents were aware of the existence of numerical simula- tion; some of them define it as “a design tool that allows to improve the behavior of a new or existing building at all levels making it more efficient and more sustainable”. Accord- ing to one of the answers obtained, the objective of simulations was defined as “the control of the costs generated by the activity of construction, from the manufacture of materials to the demolition, with the ultimate aim of avoiding waste of energy and use of resources in the most efficient way while maintaining a standard of comfort”. Figure 2 shows the opinions on the definition and objectives of the BPSTs. Figure 2. Definition and objectives of the energy simulation. Earth 2022, 2, FOR PEER REVIEW 4 Figure 1. Confidence parameters of architects with professional experience below 5 years. Earth 2022, 3 34 A total of 45.4% of the respondents were aware of the existence of numerical simula- tion; some of them define it as “a design tool that allows to improve the behavior of a new A total of 45.4% of the respondents were aware of the existence of numerical simulation; or existing building at all levels making it more efficient and more sustainable”. Accord- some of them define it as “a design tool that allows to improve the behavior of a new or ing to one of the answers obtained, the objective of simulations was defined as “the control existing building at all levels making it more efficient and more sustainable”. According to of the costs generated by the activity of construction, from the manufacture of materials one of the answers obtained, the objective of simulations was defined as “the control of the to the demolition, with the ultimate aim of avoiding waste of energy and use of resources costs generated by the activity of construction, from the manufacture of materials to the in the most efficient way while maintaining a standard of comfort”. Figure 2 shows the demolition, with the ultimate aim of avoiding waste of energy and use of resources in the opinions on the definition and objectives of the BPSTs. most efficient way while maintaining a standard of comfort”. Figure 2 shows the opinions on the definition and objectives of the BPSTs. Figure 2. Definition and objectives of the energy simulation. Figure 2. Definition and objectives of the energy simulation. Figure 3 shows the opinion about how to perform a simulation with a three-dimensional model. One in three respondents thought that geometry should be simplified, the same amount thought otherwise and the remaining third indicated that perhaps this ambigu- ity is in line with the study developed by Lin and Gerber (2013) [51], which reflects the need to accommodate different degrees of geometry to the optimal solution. With re- spect to the parameters that are taken into account in a simulation, half did not consider the external shadow or the environment important; however, relevance was given to the climate, the openings in façade, the HVAC systems, the internal gains and the type of construction [34,41,42,52,53]. The suggestions received are the following ones: Multidisciplinarity is required during the simulation process; Professional assistance is required from the Official Professional Association of Archi- tects; A simple and fast workflow should be established in the conceptual development that could be capable of making the most general decisions. Detailed simulations are not practical for the vast majority of projects; In order for the initial purposes not to become unrealized goals, a specialist who provides reliability should be consulted. Earth 2022, 2, FOR PEER REVIEW 5 Figure 3 shows the opinion about how to perform a simulation with a three-dimen- sional model. One in three respondents thought that geometry should be simplified, the same amount thought otherwise and the remaining third indicated that perhaps this am- biguity is in line with the study developed by Lin and Gerber (2013) [51], which reflects the need to accommodate different degrees of geometry to the optimal solution. With re- spect to the parameters that are taken into account in a simulation, half did not consider the external shadow or the environment important; however, relevance was given to the climate, the openings in façade, the HVAC systems, the internal gains and the type of Earth 2022, 3 35 construction [34,41,42,52,53]. Figure 3. Opinions on how to perform a simulation. Figure 3. Opinions on how to perform a simulation. A total of 45.8% of the participants knew a suitable simulation tool for architects; The suggestions received are the following ones: within this percentage, Sketchup (40.9%), Ecotect (16.2%), Design Builder (11.7%), Energy • Multidisciplinarity is required during the simulation process; Plus (9.1%) and Open studio (2.6%) stood out. In this context, and as shown in Figure 4, it was • consider Profession ed that al assistance is required the best stage to make from use the Offic of theial ener Profe gy simulation ssional Assoc is iduring ation of Ar- the optimization of the design, according to 60% of the respondents, and the worst one chitects; during the construction process, according to 7.20%. The existence of so much difference • A simple and fast workflow should be established in the conceptual development between phases shows that the BPSTs are not compatible with the working methods of the that could be capable of making the most general decisions. Detailed simulations are architects [17]; this fact results in a limited use of energy simulation tools [11]. not practical for the vast majority of projects; Figure 5 shows the opinion about the training received in the university regarding • In order for the initial purposes not to become unrealized goals, a specialist who pro- BPSTs, since it was observed as the most relevant strategy to promote the use of the tools. vides reliability should be consulted. There was a great interest (70.1%) in the conduct of talks or workshops with experts and in A total of 45.8% of the participants knew a suitable simulation tool for architects; the incorporation in subjects during architecture studies or the Master ’s thesis project, as in- within this percentage, Sketchup (40.9%), Ecotect (16.2%), Design Builder (11.7%), Energy dicated by 74% of the respondents. A total of 35.7% specified that there must be Master ’s or Plus (9.1%) and Open studio (2.6%) stood out. In this context, and as shown in Figure 4, it doctorate courses, and 29.9% that there must be courses at the Official Professional Associa- was considered that the best stage to make use of the energy simulation is during the tion of Architects. These results are related to the study by Reinhart et al. (2012) [52], which reflects the importance of encouraging “culture” of energy modeling in architecture schools that can lead to improved communication between architects and energy consultants. Although 43.8% of the respondents considered that improved tools for architectural integration of energy analysis are needed, only 1.3% knew more than 20 people who managed BPSTs, while 53.6% knew less than 4 and 20.3% did not know anyone. Figure 6 shows possible reasons why BPSTs are not used, the predominant one being the lack of knowledge about this type of tools since, as shown by Attia et al. (2009) [17], architects possess different knowledge and working methods than BPSTs developers, who are usually Earth 2022, 3 36 engineers and construction physicists. Other reasons collected from the survey regarding the lack of management of BPSTs are the following: Other people in the team (engineers) perform this part; Customers do not demand it; Earth 2022, 2, FOR PEER REVIEW 6 The licenses of the software are very expensive; It is not used at university. Table 1 shows the opinion of the respondents on a number of relevant ideas related to optimization of the design, according to 60% of the respondents, and the worst one during the use of BPSTs, which are (A) adaptation of the BPSTs to the architects, their previous the cons training truc and tion p their roces place s,of ac work; cording (B) advantages to 7.20%. The and existence o disadvantages f so of much difference use of BPSTs in the between architectural design stages, together with the confidence towards these tools; (C) credibility phases shows that the BPSTs are not compatible with the working methods of the archi- of the outcomes obtained from a BPSTs; and (D) the importance of BPSTs in the NZEB tects [17]; this fact results in a limited use of energy simulation tools [11]. design and the interest of the architects by the simulation tools in the future [53–55]. Figure 4. Tools used during the design stage and users’ skills. Figure 4. Tools used during the design stage and users’ skills. Figure 5 shows the opinion about the training received in the university regarding BPSTs, since it was observed as the most relevant strategy to promote the use of the tools. There was a great interest (70.1%) in the conduct of talks or workshops with experts and in the incorporation in subjects during architecture studies or the Master’s thesis project, as indicated by 74% of the respondents. A total of 35.7% specified that there must be Mas- ter’s or doctorate courses, and 29.9% that there must be courses at the Official Professional Association of Architects. These results are related to the study by Reinhart et al. (2012) [52], which reflects the importance of encouraging “culture” of energy modeling in archi- tecture schools that can lead to improved communication between architects and energy consultants. Earth 2022, 2, FOR PEER REVIEW 7 Earth 2022, 3 37 Figure 5. Tools used during the design stage and users’ skills. Figure 5. Tools used during the design stage and users’ skills. Although 43.8% of the respondents considered that improved tools for architectural integration of energy analysis are needed, only 1.3% knew more than 20 people who man- aged BPSTs, while 53.6% knew less than 4 and 20.3% did not know anyone. Figure 6 shows possible reasons why BPSTs are not used, the predominant one being the lack of knowledge about this type of tools since, as shown by Attia et al. (2009) [17], architects Earth Earth Earth 2022 Earth 2022 Earth , 2022 2 , FO , 2022 2, FO , 2022 2 R PE , FO , 2 R PE , FO , 2 ER R R PE , FO ER R R PE ER R E R PE VIE ER R EVIE E ER R W VIE E W VIE W EVIE W W 8 8 8 8 8 Earth 2022, 2, FOR PEER REVIEW 8 possess possess possess possess differ possess differ differ e differ nt knowledg ediffer nt knowledg ent knowledg ent knowledg ent knowledg e and work e and work e and work e and work e and work inin g methods in g methods in g methods g methods ing methods thth an BP th an BP th an BP STs dev an BP thSTs dev an BP STs dev STs dev elopers, who are usu- STs dev elopers, who are usu- elopers, who are usu- elopers, who are usu- elopers, who are usu- ally eng ally eng ally eng ally eng ally eng ineer ineer ineer s and constr ineer s and constr ineer s and constr s and constr s and constr uction uction uction uction phys uction phys phys ic phys is ic phys ts. O is icts. O is icts. O is ic ther re ts. O is ther re ts. O ther re ther re asons co tasons co her re asons co asons co asons co llecte llecte llecte d from the llecte d from the lld from the ecte d from the d from the susrvey re usrvey re usrvey re us rvey re u-rvey re - - - - possess different knowledge and working methods than BPSTs developers, who are usu- garding garding garding garding garding the lack o the lack o the lack o the lack o the lack o f m f m a fnagement o m a fnagement o m afnagement o m anagement o anagement o f BPSTs are f BPSTs are f BPSTs are f BPSTs are f BPSTs are the the following: the following: the following: the following: following: ally engineers and construction physicists. Other reasons collected from the survey re- • • •Other peop •Other peop •Other peop Other peop Other peop le le in th le in th le in th e in th le team e in th team e team e (e team e (e ngineer team (e ngineer (e ngineer (e ngineer s) ngineer per s) per s) per f s) orm per fs) orm f per orm this form this form par this par this par tthis ; par t; t par ; t; t; garding the lack of management of BPSTs are the following: • Custome • Custome rs do not rs ddeman o not deman d it; d it; • •Custome • Custome Custome rs do rs d not rs d o not deman o not deman deman d it; d it; d it; • • •The lic •The lic •The lic The lic enses o The lic enses o enses o enses o f th enses o f th e so f th e so f th ftwar e so f th ftwar e so ftwar e so e ftwar are eftwar are e very are e very are e very are expensive; very expensive; very expensive; expensive; expensive; • Other people in the team (engineers) perform this part; • • •It i •It i s• no It i s no It i s t no It i used s t no used t s no used t at un used t at un used at un ivers at un ivers at un ivers ity. ivers ity. ivers ity. ity. ity. • Customers do not demand it; • The licenses of the software are very expensive; • It is not used at university. Earth 2022, 3 38 Figure 6. Reasons for not using BPSTs. Figure 6. Figure 6. Figure 6. Figure 6. Reasons for not using BPSTs Reasons for not using BPSTs Reasons for not using BPSTs Reasons for not using BPSTs . . . . Table Table Table Table 1 show 1 show Table 1 show 1 show s the opin 1 show s the opin s the opin s the opin s the opin ion ion of the re ion of the re ion of the re ion of the re of the re spon spon spon dents spon dents spon dents on dents on dents a nu on a nu on a nu on mber of relev a nu mber of relev a nu mber of relev mber of relev mber of relev ant ant ide ant ide ant aide s re aa nt ide s re ala ide s re ated la s re a ted la s re ted lated lated to th to th to th e use of to th e use of to th e use of e use of BPSTs, which e use of BPSTs, which BPSTs, which BPSTs, which BPSTs, which are are are (A are (A ) ad (A are ) ad (A ap ) ad (A ap ) ad tation ap ) ad tation ap tation ap tation of the B tation of the B of the B of the B P of the B ST PST P s to the ST P s to the ST s to the PST s to the a s to the ra chitec ra chitec ra chitec rchitec ts ar , ts chitec th , ts th eir p , ts th eir p , ts th eir p r, ev eir p th rev ious eir p rev ious rev ious rev ious ious tra tra inin tra inin tra i g nin and tra i g nin and g inin and t gh and t g eir h and t eir h p t eir h lp ac t eir lh p ac e eir lo p ac e f lo work; (B ac e p flo work; (B e ac fo work; (B e f work; (B of work; (B ) adv ) adv ) adv a) adv nt a) adv nt age ant age as nt age and a s age nt and sage and dis s and dis sa and dis dvan a dis dvan a dis dvan a tdvan aa ge ta dvan ge ts ao ge ts a fo ge use s ta fo use ge s fo use of s f use o of BP f use of BP STs in of BP STs in of BP STs in BP STs in the STs in the the the the architec Figure tural 6. desi Reasons gn stage for s not , tog using etheBPST r wits. h the confidence towards these tools; (C) credibil- archi archi tec archi tu archi tec ra tec tu l t desi tu ra ecra l tu desi g l ra n s desi l g desi tage n s gn s t g s age ,n s tog tage s tage ,e tog sthe , tog s,e r tog the w ethe ir e th w the r the w itrh w i conf t the hi the th conf the ide conf n conf ide ce tow ide nide ce tow nce tow a nrd ce tow s at rd h ard ese s ats rd htool t ese h s ese th tool s; ese (C tool s; tool ) cre (C s; (C s; ) cre d (C ib ) cre i) cre d l-ib di ib ld -iib l- il- ity of ity of ity of the o ity of the o ity of the o uthe o tc uomes obtained from the o tc uomes obtained from tc uomes obtained from tc u omes obtained from tcomes obtained from a BPSTs; a BPSTs; a BPSTs; a BPSTs; a BPSTs; anan d (D an d (D an d (D ) an th d (D ) th e importance d (D ) th e importance ) th e importance ) e importance the importance of BP of BP of BP STs of BP STs of BP STs in the NZEB STs in the NZEB in the NZEB STs in the NZEB in the NZEB Table 1. Confidence parameters in the BPSTs. design a design a design a design a design a nd t nd t n hd t e n hid t e n h ni te d t n e hrest i te n e h rest i te n e of rest tie n of rest the te of rest the of the ar of the a chit r the a chit rects by a chit rects by chit arects by chit ects by tects by ht e hsi t e h m si t e h m u si e tlat h m u si e lat m u isi on t lat u im on t lat iu o on t lat ol io on t s i ol io on t s i ol n o the s i ol no the s i n ol the future [ n s i the future [ n the future [ future [ 53–5 future [ 53–5 53–5 5] 53–5 .5] 53–5 .5] .5] .5] . Figure 6. Reasons for not using BPSTs. YES NO Possibly Table 1. Table 1. Table 1. Table 1. Confidence parameters in the BPSTs Table 1. Confidence parameters in the BPSTs Confidence parameters in the BPSTs Confidence parameters in the BPSTs Confidence parameters in the BPSTs . . . . . BPSTs are thought to be used by experts who are 33.1% 18.5% 48.3% Table 1 shows the opinion of the respondents on a number of relevant ideas related NOT architects YES YES YES YES YES NO NO NO NO NO Possib Possib Possib Possib ly Possib ly ly ly ly Do you use BPSTs tools at work? 16.8% 65.8% 17.4% to the use of BPSTs, which are (A) adaptation of the BPSTs to the architects, their previous BPSTs ar BPSTs ar BPSTs ar BPSTs ar BPSTs ar e tho e tho e u tho e ght to u tho e ght to utho ght to ught to be u be ght to used by exper be used by exper be used by exper be used by exper used by exper ts who are ts who are ts who are ts who are ts who are NO NO T arch NO T arch NO T arch NO T arch itec T arch itec ts itec ts itec ts itec ts ts 3333 .1% 33 .1% 33 .1% .1% 33 .1% 1818 .5% 18 .5% 18 .5% .5% 18 .5% 4848 .3% 48 .3% 48 .3% .3% 48 .3% In your university, in Architecture studies, are BPSTs used? 24.0% 47.4% 28.6% A A A tra Do you i Do you ning us Do you and us e B e B P t STs P us h STs eir e B too too p P ls STs lac lat s at e work? too work? olfs work; (B at work? ) advantages16 and 16 .8% .8% dis 16a .8% dvan 6565 .8% .8% ta 65 ge .8% s 17o 17 .4% f.4% use 17 of .4% BP STs in the A A Do you Do you us us e B e B PSTs PSTs too too ls lat s at work? work? 1616 .8% .8% 6565 .8% .8% 1717 .4% .4% Do BPSTs speed up the design stage? 31.8% 28.6% 39.6% In your In your In your In your un In your un ive un ive un rive sity, in un rive sity, in rsity, in ive rsity, in r Arch sity, in Arch Arch itecture Arch itecture Arch itecture itecture stud itecture stud stud ie stud s, ie stud s, are ies, are ieBPST s, are ieBPST are s, BPST are s BPST used? s BPST used? s used? s used? s used? 2424 .0% 24 .0% 24 .0% .0% 24 .0% 4747 .4% 47 .4% 47 .4% .4% 47 .4% 2828 .6% 28 .6% 28 .6% .6% 28 .6% Do BPPSTs limit the architect’s creativity in the design stage? 15.8% 52.6% 31.6% B architectural design stages, together with the confidence towards these tools; (C) credibil- Can simulation software help you to create the geometry? 63.6% 11.9% 24.5% Do BPST Do BPST Do BPST Do BPST Do BPST s spe s spe s spe ed up s spe ed up s spe ed up ed up the ed up the design the design the design the design stage? design stage? stage? stage? stage? 3131 .8% 31 .8% 31 .8% .8% 31 .8% 2828 .6% 28 .6% 28 .6% .6% 28 .6% 3939 .6% 39 .6% 39 .6% .6% 39 .6% ity of the outcomes obtained from a BPSTs; and (D) the importance of BPSTs in the NZEB Are the data obtained through simulation software correct? 45.5% 7.1% 47.4% B B B B B Do Do BPP Do BPP Do BPP S Do Ts limit the arch BPP STs limit the arch S BPP Ts limit the arch STs limit the arch STs limit the arch itect’s itect’s itect’s itect’s critect’s eativ creativ creativ cr ity in eativ cr ity in eativ ity in the ity in the ity in desig the desig the desig the desig n stage n stage desig n stage n stage ? n stage ? ? ? ? 1515 .8% 15 .8% 15 .8% .8% 15 .8% 5252 .6% 52 .6% 52 .6% .6% 52 .6% 3131 .6% 31 .6% 31 .6% .6% 31 .6% design a Should BPST nd t s h learning e inte be rest carried of the out by ar achitects by the simulation tools in the future [53–55]. 29.0% 34.2% 36.8% Ca C n s a C n s a iC m n s a iC m u n s ila a m u n s i ti la m u on sof ti la iu m on sof ti la u on sof ti la on sof tti w t on sof a w re h ta w re h ta w e re h ta lp w e re h lp a yo e re h lp yo e u lp yo u to cre e yo lp to cre u yo u to cre a to cre u te ato cre th te a th te e geom a th te e geom a th te e geom th e geom ee geom try? etry? et ry? et ry? e try? 6363 .6% 63 .6% 63 .6% .6% 63 .6% 1111 .9% 11 .9% 11 .9% .9% 11 .9% 2424 .5% 24 .5% 24 .5% .5% 24 .5% trial-and-error process? Are the Are the Are the Are the d Are the a d ta ad ob ta a d ob ta a ta d ob ta ined thro ta a ob ta ined thro ta ob ined thro tained thro tained thro ugh sim ugh sim ugh sim ugh sim ugh sim ulu at lu i aon t lu i a on t lsof i a u on tlsof ia on tt w sof it on a w sof re ta w sof re tc a w o re t c a rrect? w o re c rrect? a ore c rrect? o rrect? co rrect? 4545 .5% 45 .5% 45 .5% .5% 45 .5% 7. 1% 7.1% 7. 1% 7. 1% 7. 1% 47 47 .4% 47 .4% 47 .4% .4% 47 .4% Is building simulation essential before the C C C C C 58.8% 19.0% 22.2% Table 1. Confidence parameters in the BPSTs. Should B Should B Should B Should B Should B PST PST P s le ST P s le ST arn s le Parn ST s le iarn ng be s le iarn ng be ing be arn i ng be carr iconstr carr ng be carr ied o carr ied o uction ied o carr uied o t b uied o t b u y stage? a tr t b u y a tr t b y u a tr ial-and t b y a tr ial-and yial-and a tr ial-and -error proce ial-and -error proce -error proce -error proce -error proce ss? ss? ss? ss? ss? 2929 .0% 29 .0% 29 .0% .0% 29 .0% 3434 .2% 34 .2% 34 .2% .2% 34 .2% 3636 .8% 36 .8% 36 .8% .8% 36 .8% Is outcomes validation (comparing with real Is bu Is bu Is bu ilIs bu di ilIs bu di ng ildi ng il simu di ng il simu ng di simu ng la simu ti la simu on essent ti laon essent ti laon essent ti la on essent tion essent ial ia b l ia eb fore l ia eb fore l ia eb fore t l eh b fore t e cons e h t fore e cons h t e cons h t e cons truc htruc e cons truc tion st truc tion st ti truc on st ti ag on st ti ag e? on st ag e? ag e? ag e? e? 5858 .8% 58 .8% 58 .8% .8% 58 .8% 1919 .0% 19 .0% 19 .0% .0% 19 .0% 2222 .2% 22 .2% 22 .2% .2% 22 .2% 87.1% 2.6% 10.3% results) necessary? YES NO Possibly Is outcomes v Is outcomes v Is outcomes v Is outcomes v Is outcomes v alidation alidation alidation alidation alidation (co (co m (co m paring (co m paring (co m paring paring m with paring with with real r with real r with real r real r esu e real r su lts) esu lts) esu necess lts) enecess su lts) necess lts) necess ary? necess ary? ary? ary? ary? 8787 .1% 87 .1% 87 .1% .1% 87 .1% 2. 6% 2.6% 2. 6% 2. 6% 2. 6% 10 10 .3% 10 .3% 10 .3% .3% 10 .3% Are BPSTs thought to be used in the NZEB design? 76.8% 4.0% 19.2% BPSTs are tho Are B u Are B ght to Are B P Are B STs th P Are B STs th P be STs th PSTs th ought to Pused by exper ought to STs th ought to ought to ought to be be used be used be used be in used in t the used s who are in the in NZEB design? the in NZEB design? the NZEB design? the NZEB design? NZEB design? NO T arch itects 7676 .8% 76 .8% 76 .8% .8% 76 .8% 33 4. .1% 0% 4.0% 4. 0% 4. 0% 4. 0% 19 19 .2% 18 19 .2% .5% 19 .2% .2% 19 .2% 48.3% Is the architect’s necessities identification vital to ease 62.4% 6.0% 29.8% D D D D D Is the Is the Is the a Is the r a chi Is the r a chi r t a ec chi r t a ec chi t’s nece trec t’s nece chi tec t’s nece tt’s nece ec ss t’s nece it ssies it ssies it ss iden ies it iden ss ies iden it BPST ti ies iden fic ti iden fic s a tit use? fic io a titfic n vit io a ti tn vit fic io atn vit io a atl n vit io to aln vit to a e l to a a e lse to a a e se BPST la to e se BPST a e se BPST a BPST s u ses u BPST se? s u se? s u se? s u se? s e? 6262 .4% 62 .4% 62 .4% .4% 62 .4% 6. 0% 6.0% 6. 0% 6. 0% 6. 0% 29 29 .8% 29 .8% 29 .8% .8% 29 .8% A Do you use BPSTs tools at work? 16.8% 65.8% 17.4% Are you interested in the use of BPSTs in the future? 63.4% 5.9% 30.7% Are yo Are yo Are yo Are yo u Are yo u inter inter u inter u este inter u este inter d este in d este in d th e in ste d th e use of BP in th d e use of BP in th e use of BP th e use of BP e use of BP STs STs STs in the STs in the in the STs in the future? in the future? future? future? future? 6363 .4% 63 .4% 63 .4% .4% 63 .4% 5. 9% 5.9% 5. 9% 5. 9% 5. 9% 30 30 .7% 30 .7% 30 .7% .7% 30 .7% In your university, in Architecture studies, are BPSTs used? 24.0% 47.4% 28.6% 80–100%, 80–100%, 80–100%, 80–100%, 80–100%, 80–100%, 60–80%, 60–80%, 60–80%, 60–80%, 60–80%, 60–80%, 40–60%, 40–60%, 40–60%, 40–60%, 40–60%, 40–60%, 20–40%, 20–40%, 20–40%, 20–40%, 20–40%, 20–40%, 0–20%. 0–20%. 0–20%. 0–20%. 0–20%. 0–20%. Do BPSTs speed up the design stage? 31.8% 28.6% 39.6% Fig Fig u Fig re u Fig re 7 sho uFig re 7 sho ure 7 sho uw 7 sho re s w 7 sho the op s wthe op s wthe op s w the op inio s the op inio n of ar inio n of ar inio n of ar inio n of ar chitects n of ar chitects chitects chitects re chitects re ga re g rd a re g rd ing a re g rd ing a se g rd ing a se veral parame ing rd se veral parame ing se veral parame se veral parame veral parame ters ters ters thters th at can th ters at can th at can at can d the d at can ter e d ter - e d ter - e d ter -eter - - Figure 7 shows the opinion of architects regarding several parameters that can de- B Do BPPSTs limit the architect’s creativity in the design stage? 15.8% 52.6% 31.6% mine the con mine the con mine the con mine the con mine the con fidence fidence fidence fidence in the fidence in the in the in the BPSTs. These in the BPSTs. These BPSTs. These BPSTs. These BPSTs. These parame parame parame parame parame ter ter s are (A ter s are (A ter s are (A ter s are (A ) the s are (A ) the ) the reason for ) the reason for ) the reason for reason for reason for a goo a goo a goo d a goo arch d a goo arch d arch d i- arch d i- arch i- i- i- termine the confidence in the BPSTs. These parameters are (A) the reason for a good Can simulation software help you to create the geometry? 63.6% 11.9% 24.5% tectur tectur tectur tectur al de al de tectur al de sig al de sig n al de sig ; n(B) sig ; n (B) ; sig n the (B) ; the n (B) rep ; the (B) rep the rep lacemen the rep lacemen l rep acemen lacemen lt of acemen t of t of the de t of the de the de t of the de sign the de sign sign bsign yb a q y sign b a q yb u a q y an b u a q y an ti u a q t an ti u at t an ti ia u v ttan ti ie av t ts e ia ti v i tm ts iea v i m u ts e iila v m u seition la m u stion la iu m tion sof la ution sof lat sof tion war t sof war t sof war e; twar e; te war ; e; e; architectural design; (B) the replacement of the design by a quantitative simulation soft- Are the data obtained thro (C) (C) the (C) the (C) utility the war (C) ugh sim utility the utility the e; utility of th (C) utility of th of th the e BP u of th e BP lu a of th e BP STs to reconsider tility te BP i STs to reconsider on e BP STs to reconsider of STs to reconsider sof the STs to reconsider tw BPST are saspe c to aspe or rrect? aspe econsider cts th aspe cts th aspe cts th at h cts th at h cts th a at h ve been ignor aspects a at h ve been ignor a at h ve been ignor ave been ignor athat ve been ignor have 45 ed during ed during .5% ed during been ed during ed during ignor the the design the ed 7. design the design 1% the during design design the 47.4% design process; (D) the lack of development of an energy efficient design because of the Should BPSTs learning be carried out by a trial-and-error process? 29.0% 34.2% 36.8% improvement of a functional one; (E) the study of the optimal form as an effective strategy Is building simulation essential before the construction stage? 58.8% 19.0% 22.2% to avoid the subsequent annex of elements that alter the design; (F) the confidence in the BPSTs to make architectural decisions; (G) the ignorance of the BPSTs as a reason for Is outcomes validation (comparing with real results) necessary? 87.1% 2.6% 10.3% distrust in them; (H) the possibility of incorporating the decisions of an energy consultant Are BPSTs thought to be used in the NZEB design? 76.8% 4.0% 19.2% in the design stage; (I) the possible methods of incorporating data into de architectural D Is the architect’s necessities identification vital to ease BPSTs use? 62.4% 6.0% 29.8% design; (J) the control of professionals regarding the management of BPSTs; and (K) the importance of working together with the experts in BPSTs. Are you interested in the use of BPSTs in the future? 63.4% 5.9% 30.7% 80–100%, 60–80%, 40–60%, 20–40%, 0–20%. Figure 7 shows the opinion of architects regarding several parameters that can deter- mine the confidence in the BPSTs. These parameters are (A) the reason for a good archi- tectural design; (B) the replacement of the design by a quantitative simulation software; (C) the utility of the BPSTs to reconsider aspects that have been ignored during the design Earth 2022, 2, FOR PEER REVIEW 9 process; (D) the lack of development of an energy efficient design because of the improve- ment of a functional one; (E) the study of the optimal form as an effective strategy to avoid the subsequent annex of elements that alter the design; (F) the confidence in the BPSTs to make architectural decisions; (G) the ignorance of the BPSTs as a reason for distrust in them; (H) the possibility of incorporating the decisions of an energy consultant in the de- sign stage; (I) the possible methods of incorporating data into de architectural design; (J) the control of professionals regarding the management of BPSTs; and (K) the importance of working together with the experts in BPSTs. Earth 2022, 3 39 Figure 7. Opinions of architects about the aspects indicating confidence in BPSTs. Figure 7. Opinions of architects about the aspects indicating confidence in BPSTs. Figure 7 shows the general opinions on the use of BPSTs, noting that 28% of respon- dents used BPSTs, but, to date, 30.9% of that percentage no longer used them; however, Figure 7 shows the general opinions on the use of BPSTs, noting that 28% of respond- 60.8% believed that the use of BPSTs is important. In this context, and among 28% of the ents used BPSTs, but, to date, 30.9% of that percentage no longer used them; however, participants who had used BPSTs, 14.1% were self-taught and 37.5% took training courses. 60.8% believed that the use of BPSTs is important. In this context, and among 28% of the The suggestions provided by the respondents (Figure 8) are reflected in the follow- particip ingant ideas: s who had used BPSTs, 14.1% were self-taught and 37.5% took training courses. It is important that the simulation tools have an intuitive interface and that there are The suggestions provided by the respondents (Figure 8) are reflected in the following manuals with practical examples to facilitate understanding; ideas: Improvement in material libraries and climate data in regions (not just cities) is essential; • It is important that the simulation tools have an intuitive interface and that there are Efforts are being made to force architects to use a foreign, awkward and unintelligible tool instead of giving facilities, even in tools that do not provide detailed results; manuals with practical examples to facilitate understanding; BPSTs should focus on general aspects of easy interaction and understanding. Once the • Improvement in material libraries and climate data in regions (not just cities) is es- reduction in the price of BPSTs is achieved, more specific tools should be developed; sential; There are some doubts about BPSTs ability to make decisions at a volumetric or formal • Efforts are being made to force architects to use a foreign, awkward and unintelligible level, as seems to be inferred from some survey questions. In this regard, there are tool ins factors teaof d o use f g or iving other fa needs cilitie that s, even in are ahead tools of ener th gy at do n optimization; ot provide detailed results; In the future, several possibilities should be provided in order to adapt BPSTs to • BPSTs should focus on general aspects of easy interaction and understanding. Once researchers (without experience in the design of buildings, but in their improvement); the reduction in the price of BPSTs is achieved, more specific tools should be devel- More energy efficiency issues need to be taken into account in the design process; oped; Raise awareness of the disinformation of the simulations. • There are some doubts about BPSTs ability to make decisions at a volumetric or for- According to Attia et al. [12], architects classify intelligence with 33% above usability, mal with leve 29%, inter l, asoperability seems towith be i 22% nferred and accuracy from so with me survey 17%. The term que “usability” stions. In shows this re the gard, there degree of design of the user interface in a way that facilitates data entry, simple navigation, are factors of use or other needs that are ahead of energy optimization; flexible control and visualization of results [17,56]. A better integration with CAD, data • In the future, several possibilities should be provided in order to adapt BPSTs to re- input adapted to the language of the architect [57] and an output of easily interpretable searchers (without experience in the design of buildings, but in their improvement); results are needed [10,57]. These investigations are related to the data obtained, as reflected • More energy efficiency issues need to be taken into account in the design process; in Figure 9, on the selection criteria of the BPSTs by the architects. The BPSTs users consider that the most important factor is the simple verification (validation) of an energy simulation • Raise awareness of the disinformation of the simulations. according to real cases, but they also give relevance to the explanation of the advantages of the software in the practice of the architect and of the configuration of entrance of the data Earth 2022, 3 40 Earth 2022, 2, FOR PEER REVIEW 10 to the software. The interest in simplifying and delimiting the software options in order to facilitate the interpretation of results is not particularly significant. Figure 8. General opinions on the use of BPSTs. Figure 8. General opinions on the use of BPSTs. According to Attia et al. [12], architects classify intelligence with 33% above usability, with 29%, interoperability with 22% and accuracy with 17%. The term “usability” shows the degree of design of the user interface in a way that facilitates data entry, simple navi- gation, flexible control and visualization of results [17,56]. A better integration with CAD, data input adapted to the language of the architect [57] and an output of easily interpret- able results are needed [10,57]. These investigations are related to the data obtained, as reflected in Figure 9, on the selection criteria of the BPSTs by the architects. The BPSTs users consider that the most important factor is the simple verification (validation) of an energy simulation according to real cases, but they also give relevance to the explanation of the advantages of the software in the practice of the architect and of the configuration Earth 2022, 2, FOR PEER REVIEW 11 of entrance of the data to the software. The interest in simplifying and delimiting the soft- Earth 2022, 3 41 ware options in order to facilitate the interpretation of results is not particularly signifi- cant. Figure 9. BPSTs selection criteria. Figure 9. BPSTs selection criteria. 4. Con 4. Conclusions clusions This study identifies the current situation of architects and architecture students in This study identifies the current situation of architects and architecture students in Spain regarding BPSTs. Two topics are discussed, the general knowledge and the use of the Spain regarding BPSTs. Two topics are discussed, the general knowledge and the use of simulation in its architectural practice and the tools selection criteria from the point of view the simulation in its architectural practice and the tools selection criteria from the point of of the architects. Both topics help to evolve in both the academic and professional field. view of the architects. Both topics help to evolve in both the academic and professional Additionally, the outcomes obtained from the survey provide an overview of the BPSTs field. Additionally, the outcomes obtained from the survey provide an overview of the characteristics that should be improved in order to achieve a greater acceptance between BPSTs characteristics that should be improved in order to achieve a greater acceptance architects. Therefore, the following conclusions are reached: between architects. Therefore, the following conclusions are reached: There is no familiarization with the BPSTs, since no training is carried out or a change in the teaching structure of university courses. However, the new generation of • There is no familiarization with the BPSTs, since no training is carried out or a change architects is receptive to the use of BPSTs, since their attitude is not vitiated by the in the teaching structure of university courses. However, the new generation of ar- traditional practice of an architect, although this interest is not being used, so the chitects is receptive to the use of BPSTs, since their attitude is not vitiated by the tra- situation persists; ditional practice of an architect, although this interest is not being used, so the situa- Many respondents have never heard of the BPSTs concept ever, and 72% did not even tion persists; use it. In order to improve the practice on simulation by the architects, criteria and • Many respondents have never heard of the BPSTs concept ever, and 72% did not even specifications of general use of the programs must be established, adapted to the way use it. In order to improve the practice on simulation by the architects, criteria and they work; specifications of general use of the programs must be established, adapted to the way Today, there is still a wide gap between architectural design and simulation tools. they work; For decades, energy efficiency must be developed in all possible areas, and regulations • Today, there is still a wide gap between architectural design and simulation tools. include energy requirements that must be met. Therefore, this study is of particular interest to teachers to achieve improvement measures regarding energy simulation in the realm For decades, energy efficiency must be developed in all possible areas, and regula- of architecture, giving rise to a necessary innovation. In this way, professionals will be tions include energy requirements that must be met. Therefore, this study is of particular interest to teachers to achieve improvement measures regarding energy simulation in the realm of architecture, giving rise to a necessary innovation. In this way, professionals will Earth 2022, 3 42 prepared to design buildings by using the advantages of simulation tools, during all stages of design, to construct sustainable buildings. As future research lines, it is intended to develop a guide that shows the comparative between a real case and a simulated one, showing the different architectural design options with its advantages and disadvantages. Specifically, it is proposed to develop a design guide for a simulation program (Design Builder-Energy Plus) with general guidelines adapted to the exclusive use of architects. After the analysis of knowledge and having detected where the weaknesses of the architects are, it will be a simple guide, with limited data entry and with special emphasis on the parameters that can modify the design, shape, orientation or other design alternatives. All this allows the development of research projects that link architects with other stakeholders to adapt BPSTs to the way they work. The analyses of the results shown in this article make it clear that newly licensed archi- tects lack knowledge of BPST. The authors propose to solve this deficiency by incorporating building energy simulation in two different areas of architectural curricula: there should be a coordination between the areas of construction; and facilities and architectural projects. Design courses should encourage the use of BPST through assignments on the influence of passive strategies in architectural design. Simulation results should justify design decisions in the conceptual phase of the design process. Author Contributions: Conceptualization, M.-M.F.-A., R.A.G.-L. and J.M.d.R.; methodology, R.A.G.- L.; software, M.-M.F.-A.; validation, M.-M.F.-A. and R.A.G.-L.; formal analysis, M.-M.F.-A.; investiga- tion, M.-M.F.-A.; resources, R.A.G.-L.; data curation, J.M.d.R.; writing—original draft preparation, M.-M.F.-A. and R.A.G.-L.; writing—review and editing, M.-M.F.-A. and J.M.d.R.; visualization, M.- M.F.-A. and R.A.G.-L.; supervision, R.A.G.-L.; project administration, R.A.G.-L.; funding acquisition, R.A.G.-L. All authors have read and agreed to the published version of the manuscript. 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Journal

EarthMultidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute

Published: Jan 6, 2022

Keywords: building performance simulation tools; architectural design; energy education; BPSTs users; architectural education

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