Publications / 2016 Proceedings of the 33rd ISARC, Auburn, USA

Using Simulation Applications for Sustainable Design and Construction

Hoda Khoshnevis, Nima Khairdoost
Pages 703-710 (2016 Proceedings of the 33rd ISARC, Auburn, USA, ISBN 978-1-5108-2992-3, ISSN 2413-5844)

This paper briefly illustrates the application of Building Energy Consumption Simulation (BECS) for sustainable construction education. The curricula of building-related majors have not greatly taken advantage of simulated environments as supplementary tools besides traditional methods. The main purpose of the research project was to determine how a simulation application can be used in a construction curriculum. In order to apply energy consumption optimization in a construction project, there are various suggestions and guidelines that should be carefully incorporated in design and construction phases. BECS is a simulation application that navigates construction students through a set of pre-defined stages and provides necessary information accordingly. BECS puts students in a role of a designer and requires them first to specify the main properties of the construction project such as location, total area, height, orientation, shape, function, and number of levels; and then, interactively specify the characteristics of a building element or construction method in each stage of simulation. The diversity of students? responses were portrayed by 3D avatars accompanied with related calculations and corresponding criteria. Each stage iterates until design and details are satisfactory. The final result, depicting construction details, is shown at the end based on each students design process in accordance with sustainable construction criteria. This study aimed to investigate the effect of using simulation on participants? perceptions of simulation on learning sustainable construction concepts. BECS was tested by a group of 42 undergraduate students in fall 2015. A quantitative method was used in this research. The data retrieved from a retrospective pre and post-test survey were clustered into three main categories. These categories represent sustainable construction contents provided in BECS. A t test was performed to show any statistical difference between pre and post situations. The results support development of more sustainable construction simulation applications and indicate BECS is an effective tool for sustainable construction education.

Keywords: Simulation, Sustainable Construction, Education, Building Energy Consumption