Barriers in Developing and Using Simulation-Based Decision-Support Software
The need for proper consideration of energy-related performance aspects during building design has been identified since the energy crises of the 1970s. However, energy performance is still considered in a very small fraction of building projects, mainly because proper consideration is very expensive. It requires the use of computational software tools, which are not easy to learn and are time-consuming to use.
Several attempts have been made to facilitate the use of energy simulation tools, but none has brought a significant increase in the consideration of energy performance. Energy related performance criteria are still considered only in a small fraction of buildings and, in most cases, after most of the building design is complete.
This paper is focused on the main barriers in properly considering energy-related performance aspects in building decisions, which range from sociopolitical, to technical. The paper includes consideration of issues related to the general interest of the building industry in energy performance and environmental impact, current practice trends, modeling capabilities and performance of tools, compatibility of computational models and availability of data.
Finally, a strategy for government-industry collaboration towards removing the barriers is presented, along with the main issues that need to be resolved towards potential implementation.