Upcoming Events

Webinar: Weather Files in Building Performance Simulation

About the topic:

With growing concerns over the progressive impacts of climate change, access to appropriate, high quality weather data is an increasingly important consideration for building performance modellers.In this webinar we are joined by Nishesh Jain and Sukumar Natarajan who will be presenting on the topics “Right weather for the right modelling application: What, How and Where?” and “Localising weather and long-term resilience” respectively.


Localising weather and long-term resilience – Sukumar Natarajan

This presentation will show how highly localised descriptions of weather have been developed for the UK, at 5 km grid resolution, and India, at 25 km grid resolution.

Right weather for the right modelling application – Nishesh Jain

Depending on the application of the simulation, different types of weather files are needed such as “Typical years”, “Actual years” or “Design years”. While the traditionally used “Typical years” such as TMY, TRY and IWEC are applicable for use in standardised compliance and certification simulations, “Actual years” having full weather data for a specific year are needed for measurement and verification studies where simulation results from a calibrated model are compared to actual utility bills or other measured data. Also, for stress testing and for overheating and/or cooling design applications, “Design years” can be used to represent the more extreme weather likely to be observed in near or far future climate scenarios. In this presentation, we will be using a new online Climate Analytics tool by DesignBuilder which provides access to a vast database of accurately measured weather data for all types of building performance simulation. We will visualise and explore the nuances of all different types of weather files, discuss their use in typical applications, and provide guidance on common mistakes.

Speaker Bio:

Nishesh Jain

Nishesh is a Research Fellow at the Institute for Environment Design and Engineering, University College London. He researches in the field of energy modelling and operational performance of buildings and currently, in collaboration with DesignBuilder Software, is developing new tools for operational performance assessments. He is a qualified architect, and for many years has been involved in performance simulation related consultancy and research.

Sukumar Natarajan

Sukumar Natarajan is Professor of Environmental Design at the University of Bath and Director of the Centre for Regenerative design and Engineering for a Net positive World (RENEW). He was elected Fellow of the International Building Performance Simulation Association (FIBPSA) in 2022 for services to the community. He has been undertaking research on weather files for building simulation for over two decades, in addition to work on related areas such as energy efficiency, carbon, indoor health and thermal comfort.


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Previous events

Webinar: Teaching the fundamentals of building performance simulation

Building performance simulation (BPS) tools employ a large number of mathematical models to simulate a building’s performance under a given set of weather and operating conditions.  Many aspects of performance can be appraised, including energy consumption, ventilation effectiveness, thermal comfort, lighting quality, etc.  The objective is to represent the significant physical processes so that the simulation provides an accurate—or at least a useful—representation of reality.

This technology provides tremendous potential for addressing some of the key challenges facing the building industry in the 21st century by improving design and operation.  However, much of BPS’ potential remains unfulfilled.  There are various reasons for this, but one important factor is a credibility gap that can only be addressed when we adequately prepare users to effectively apply tools with full knowledge of their applicability, modelling limitations, and default methods and data, and provide them the skill set to scrutinize their results.

This talk will argue the necessity for teaching the fundamentals of how BPS tools model physical processes, the impact of modelling choices, and the significance of input data, including hidden defaults, as opposed to training on tool operation.  It will introduce the book Fundamentals of Building Performance Simulation that I have authored in an attempt to address this need and will demonstrate the methods I use to teach this topic at the postgraduate and professional development levels.

Webinar: Can modelling be used to educate architects?

For David, one big question is, given that Passivhaus and other low energy possibilities exist, why do new buildings tend to use just as much energy as old ones? Although many seem able to list possibilities, this is very different to evidence. Particularly when we try to put numbers to the fraction each possibly plays, from poor contracts, lack of ambition to poor engineering. One of the lessons from the Passivhaus movement is that for a low energy design, one needs to start in the right place on day one. This indicates that the architect and the client need to rapidly agree on an evidence-based form, fabric and philosophy that will several years later lead to a near energy neutral building. 

David will suggest that a correctly formatted simple numeric model might be able to play a role in this. He believes that key elements of such a model might be 

  1. It needs to focus not just of the building in question, but to leave those involved in a better place for the next building. In short, tools need to be pedagogical, with the tool steering the team to an early stage low energy design and providing a CPD service: In essence, after using the tool, a user should score more highly in an imaginary low energy design exam.
  2. If the aim is to influence people, including those in the global south, at the earliest point in their career any tool needs to be used during architectural education and hence probably free. 

During the webinar, David will discuss an attempt to develop such a tool – Zebra. 


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Climate change will have significant impacts on the built environment due to the increased frequency and severity of heatwaves, floods and drought. The ambient temperature increase will impact indoor thermal conditions, space conditioning loads and associated costs and health effects across building stocks. Many buildings may not be fit for the future climate; appreciable energy efficiency improvements are still required to meet carbon emissions reduction targets for the building sector, whilst adapting buildings that are in their majority currently unprepared to cope with a warming climate. It is, therefore, imperative that the quality, design and operation of buildings is optimised in order to increase their climate resilience whilst simultaneously reducing fuel poverty and associated health inequalities.
This webinar will explore building performance simulation methods, tools and datasets that could be employed to assess the impact of climate change on building performance, with a focus on indoor environmental conditions and energy use, and the optimisation of climate change adaptation solutions.

The built environment sector has been impacted heavily by the COVID-19 pandemic. The ventilation of buildings has been identified as one of the most important measures for mitigating the spread of COVID-19 and had thus become part of the international COVID-19 management strategy.
This part 2 of the joint event by IBPSA-England and CIBSE Building Simulation Group will present some of the latest knowledge and developments in this area with speakers from academia and industry discussing some of the simulation and analysis tools and methods used to understand airborne infection in the built environment and some of the latest research programmes that have been designed to further improve our understanding and applications.

The event will showcase UK and international examples of the use of ventilation modelling and simulation within research and practical applications that have: contributed to our understanding of how COVID-19 has impacted our spaces; supported the formulation of recommendations and policy on mitigating it’s spread and making buildings ‘COVID-safe’;
informed plans to open our buildings up while ensuring occupant health and wellbeing.


Digital Twin technology is an emerging concept that has become the centre of attention for industry and, in more recent years, academia. The Digital Twin is defined extensively but is best described as the effortless integration of data between a physical and virtual machine in either direction. It can tackle the challenge of seamless integration between IoT and data analytics through the creation of a connected physical and virtual twin. This webinar will present some of the latest knowledge and developments in this area with speakers from academia and industry discussing the role of Digital Twinning in the built environment.

Heat pumps have an important role in decarbonising in both domestic and non-domestic contexts. This joint IBPSA-England, CIBSE Building Simulation Group and CIBSE HVAC Group webinar focus on Heat Pumps in Non-Domestic Context. Program:

  1. Uncertainty-based optimal energy retrofit for building heat electrification with enhanced energy flexibility and climate adaptability by Dr Chaoqun Zhuang, The Alan Turing Institute
  2. Application of heat pumps in commercial application by Phil Draper, Twenty-One Engineering
  3. Optimising performance in the design of heat pumps systems by Richard Brimfield, Ridge & Partners

About this event: This webinar will explore the application of building performance simulation in improving indoor environmental conditions in care homes.

Presentation 1: Building Performance Analysis for the Attenuation of Dementia-Related Incidents of Aggression by Dr Neveen Hamza

Presentation 2: Monitoring and Modelling the Risk of Summertime Overheating in UK Care Homes by Prof Rajat Gupta and Dr Anna Mavrogianni