Building Simulation

, Volume 6, Issue 1, pp 3–21 | Cite as

Achieving informed decision-making for net zero energy buildings design using building performance simulation tools

  • Shady Attia
  • Andre De Herde
  • Elisabeth Gratia
  • Jan L. M. Hensen
Review Article Architecture and Human Behavior


Building performance simulation (BPS) is the basis for informed decision-making of Net Zero Energy Buildings (NZEBs) design. This paper aims to investigate the use of building performance simulation tools as a method of informing the design decision of NZEBs. The aim of this study is to evaluate the effect of a simulation-based decision aid, ZEBO, on informed decision-making using sensitivity analysis. The objective is to assess the effect of ZEBO and other building performance simulation tools on three specific outcomes: (i) knowledge and satisfaction when using simulation for NZEB design; (ii) users’ decision-making attitudes and patterns, and (iii) performance robustness based on an energy analysis. The paper utilizes three design case studies comprising a framework to test the use of BPS tools. The paper provides results that shed light on the effectiveness of sensitivity analysis as an approach for informing the design decisions of NZEBs.


decision support early stage net zero design simulation architects 


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Copyright information

© Tsinghua University Press and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shady Attia
    • 1
    • 2
  • Andre De Herde
    • 2
  • Elisabeth Gratia
    • 2
  • Jan L. M. Hensen
    • 3
  1. 1.Interdisciplinary Laboratory of Performance-Integrated Design (LIPID)École Polytechnique Fédérale de LausanneLausanneSwitzerland
  2. 2.Architecture et climatUniversité catholique de LouvainLouvain La NeuveBelgium
  3. 3.Building Physics and ServicesEindhoven University of TechnologyEindhovenThe Netherlands

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