IBPSA Project 1

BIM/GIS and Modelica Framework for building and community energy system design and operation


IBPSA Project 1 will create open-source software that builds the basis of next generation computing tools for the design and operation of building and district energy and control systems. It extends work conducted under the IEA EBC Annex 60. All work is open-source and built on three standards:

  • IFC for data modeling at the building scale,
  • CityGML for data modeling at the district scale, and
  • Modelica for modeling the performance of building and district energy systems.

The project will be conducted from summer 2017 to summer 2022. We are currently in the planning phase and further refine the draft workplan.

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There are three main tasks:

Task 1: Modelica libraries

This task will develop free open-source libraries of Modelica models for building and community energy and control system design and optimization, with associated documentation for new and experienced users. This will be accomplished through the further development and validation of the current Annex 60 library, which will be further developed as the IBPSA Modelica library, and through the coordination of MPC research and development for buildings and districts.

The Annex 60 library is already used as the core of the four Modelica libraries for building and community energy systems

An outcome will be a comprehensive free open-source library that will be used by different simulation tool-providers as well as by academia.

Modelica model

Task 2: Building and City Quarter Models

This task will develop free open-source GIS/BIM data model to Modelica translators for individual building and community energy systems. As in the Annex 60, emphasis was placed on the district and building model to Modelica transformation process. Task 2 shall be dedicated to continuing BIM-oriented developments but shall focus on the GIS transformation process for community energy systems. This will be accomplished through the use of existing standards for exchanging energy calculation data, and through extending standards such as CityGML as appropriate. This capability will facilitate the construction of whole building and district Modelica models, it will integrate energy performance simulation, especially with respect to Modelica, with the developments of BIM/GIS-based tools that are ongoing outside of this project, and provide a path for a next-generation modeling that also specifies control sequences.

Network temperatures

Task 3: Application and Dissemination

The objective of this task is to demonstrate through applications capabilities that are enabled through Modelica, and to identify and test through applications research needs and research results. The approach is to share best approaches and document them for dissemination to the community. This task will also include the development of a validation test for district energy models that started in IEA EBC Annex 60. The outcomes are a collection of case studies that demonstrates capabilities enabled by use of Modelica for building and district energy system design and operation, and a validation test procedure for district energy system models.

Room temperatures

The software develop in this project will be available under the following open-source license.