Engineering with Computers

, Volume 31, Issue 2, pp 271–280 | Cite as

An algorithm to generate space boundaries for building energy simulation

Original Article


We provide an algorithm based on graph theory to convert a three-dimensional architectural building model without defined thermal space boundaries into geometry suitable for import into a whole-building energy performance simulation engine such as EnergyPlus. Our algorithm expects input specified as an Industry Foundation Classes model, accepts a wide variety of input geometry, and is capable of accounting for a building’s construction material configuration as well as its geometry. The described approach is limited to solid-to-solid heat exchange; solid-to-fluid and fluid-to-fluid heat exchanges are not considered. We analyze the performance of our algorithm on some test building models.



The authors would like to thank Nataša Mrazović and Junia Compostella di Sanguinetto for their tireless generation of test cases and hunting of bugs, Dr. Tobias Maile for his thoughts and contributions to the predecessor of this work, and Dr. James O’Donnell for his advice during the entire project. This work was supported by the Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Office of Building Technology, Building Technologies Program of the U.S. Department of Energy under Contract No. DE-AC02-05CH11231.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London (outside the USA) 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Lawrence Berkeley National LaboratoryBerkeleyUSA

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