Italian prototype building models for urban scale building performance simulation

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Journal Article

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Urban building energy modeling (UBEM) seeks to evaluate strategies to optimize building energy use at urban scale to support a city’s building energy goals. Prototype building models are usually developed to represent typical urban building characteristics of a specific use type, construction year, and climate zone, as detailed characteristics of individual buildings at urban scale are difficult to obtain. This study investigated the Italian building stock, developing 46 building prototypes, based on construction year, for residential and office buildings. The study included 16 single-family buildings, 16 multi-family buildings, and 14 office buildings. Building envelope properties and heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system characteristics were defined according to existing building energy codes and standards for climatic zone E, which covers about half the Italian municipalities. Novel contributions of this study include (1) detailed specifications of prototype building energy models for Italian residential and office buildings that can be adopted by UBEM tools, and (2) a dataset in GeoJSON format of Italian urban buildings compiled from diverse data sources and national standards. The developed prototype building specifications, the building dataset, and the workflow can be applied to create other building prototypes and to support Italian national building energy efficiency and environmental goals.


Building and Environment



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