The Building Simulation and Optimization (BSO) conference is the national conference organised by IBPSA-England. The conference aims to highlight the advancements in simulation tools, optimisation techniques and building information modelling at building and micro-urban scale”

BSO 2020

IBPSA-England’s fifth Building Simulation and Optimization conference Hosted by the Building Energy Research Group at Loughborough University and Sponsored by DesignBuilder took place virtually on the 21stand 22nd September 2020. This conference provided a form to debate and address the challenges that the Building Simulation and Optimization community are currently facing.

The conference, chaired by Dr. Bianca Howard and scientific chairs and Dr. Argyris Oraiopoulos and Dr. Eleonora Brembilla, was well attended by more than 100 delegates from 18 countries across the world. A total of 53 contributions were presented during the conference, in a novel, online format that focused on bringing out the key insights from the latest research in the field, by setting the discussion around the papers as the primary objective, rather than the presentation.

The emerged themes of occupant behaviour, data driven modelling and building energy systems flexibility, revealed that researchers are actively trying to address the performance gap of building performance simulation, by using advanced hybrid modelling techniques. A number of works on the development and performance simulation of dynamic shading systems, pointed to the signs of a rapidly warming climate. This was also central in Prof. Rajan Rawal’s keynote speech during day 1. The extreme heat could lead to unprecedented financial losses in labour productivity, transforming cooling, from a luxury to a necessity in many parts of the world. “Are we doing enough?” he asked, the requirements of a non-homogeneous world need to be addressed rather urgently. In day two we were given a glimpse of the technical insights in Prof. Ursula Eicker’s diverse research portfolio. In her keynote speech, we were reminded that “buildings are not the only contributor to energy demand”. Integration with other streams including mobility, waste and microclimate is key and it requires open data libraries, ways of handling all information and clearly defined interfaces. Closing, Prof Eicker gave praise to physical models, hailing them as essential for our detailed understanding, in an era where “everybody loves AI and ML”.

Special congratulations to Rajat Gupta and Matt Gregg from the Low Carbon Building Research Group in the School of Architecture at Oxford Brookes University, for winning the best paper award for their work on Spatially-based urban energy modelling approach for enabling energy retrofits in Oxfordshire and contributing to the continuous high standards of academic research in the BSO conferences.

BSO 2018

IBPSA-England’s 4th Building Simulation and Optimization conference took place on 11–12 September 2018 at Emmanuel College, Cambridge University. Intended to provide a forum for presentation and discussion of current developments in building performance simulation, the wide-ranging conference covered topics related to energy demand, supply and control from the building component scale to systems and building stock models.

The conference was well attended, with 127 delegates from 23 different countries worldwide. Approximately 20% of the delegates were from industry, 80% from the academic community. A total of 90 technical papers were presented in three parallel sessions over the two days. Poster presenters were able to introduce their posters on view during the refreshment breaks. It was noticeable that there was a particular emphasis on the analysis of the impact of external factors on human comfort, including analysis of overheating risk and appraisal of the new CIBSE TM59 Methodology. Simulation of operation and control of novel energy systems at scales from individual component to district supply was also explored in depth. A third focus was on the modelling tools themselves, both the mechanics of using the tools including calibration and incorporation of data, and development of the underlying theoretical approaches. Special congratulations are due to Alstan J Jakubiec, winner of the award for best paper (sponsored by Atelier Ten), for his paper Towards Subjectivity in Annual Climate-Based Daylight Metrics, and Matej Gustin from Loughborough University, winner of the award for best student paper (sponsored by Envi-Met), for his paper Prediction of internal temperatures during hot summer conditions with time series forecasting models.

The programme of technical papers was enhanced by three illuminating and diverse keynote presentations. Professor Ryozo Ooka of the University of Tokyo opened proceedings with an in-depth description of the application of optimization techniques to environmental design, energy systems operation and building shape design, with examples including the optimisation of urban planting for thermal comfort. Dr Penny Carey of Portakabin challenged the conference to consider the obstacles facing the construction industry within Europe. She highlighted the increasing demand for higher performance and lower emissions driven by widespread adoption of near and beyond Passivhaus standards and emphasized the skills shortage, particularly in building physics, that the industry is facing. Professor Joe Clarke of the University of Strathclyde closed the conference with a passionate call for standardisation of approach in simulation using high integrity models. Calling for a more self-critical approach across the simulation community, he stressed the need for resilience testing and outlined a vision of randomised automatic simulation tests packaged with all simulation tools.The conference benefited from a superb location in central Cambridge and special thanks are extended to the conference chairs, Dr Ruchi Choudhary and Dr Yeonsook Heo, the conference administrators, Jo Griffiths and Lisa Barnett of the Cambridge University Institute for Manufacturing, and the staff of Emmanuel College who contributed in no small way to the overall success of the conference.

BSO 2016

IBPSA England’s third conference, Building Simulation & Optimization 2016, took place in Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK from 12 to 14 September 2016. This was a regional event supported by both Newcastle and Northumbria Universities. The night of the conference dinner also coincided with IBPSA-England’s 10th anniversary.

The conference built on the success of the preceding conferences in Loughborough (2012) and London (2014) and demonstrated that it could attract international participants (including US, India, Japan, and Canada). It was chaired by Dr Neveen Hamza (Newcastle University and Vice-Chair IBPSA England); Prof Chris Underwood from Northumbria University chaired the scientific committee. The conference had over 50 reviewers who double-blind reviewed the papers.

Key software and energy monitoring companies including DesignBuilder, Integrated Environmental Solutions (IESVE) and Tempcon sponsored the event, which attracted 100 delegates and 76 full paper presentations from various parts of the world.

Four conference themes highlighted advancements in simulation tools, optimization techniques and building information modelling at the building and the micro-urban scale:
1. progress in simulation tools and optimization methods
2. application of environmental and sustainability modelling to case studies
3. new directions in building environmental modelling including BIM and visualization methods
4. progress in modelling micro-urban environments.

And three keynote speakers addressed the topics:
1. Performance Driven Design: Simulation, Experiments and more (Harsh Thapar)
2. BPS: How did we get to where we are today and what are the key challenges for the future? (Ian Beausoleil-Morrison)
3. Designing enhanced educational environments that deliver a vastly enhanced learning experience for students of all levels (Maria Nesdale).

Three best paper awards were nominated by the scientific committee:
1. Maria Carmen Carballeira Rodriguez and Neveen Hamza: Assessment of indoor visual environments using dementia-friendly design criteria in day care centres
2. Christoph Waibel, Ralph Evins and Jan Carmeliet:Using Interpolation to Generate Hourly Annual Solar Potential Profiles for Complex Geometries
3. Dane George and Lukas Swan: New profiles of occupancy driven appliance, lighting, and hot water use for residential sector energy demand modelling.

BSO 2014

IBPSA-England’s second conference, Building Simulation and Optimization 2014, was attended by 178 delegates from 26 countries across the world. BSO14 had four broad themes:
1. new performance models and simulation methods
2. procedures for optimising the design and operation
3. real-world case studies and
4. visualisation in the built environment.

The BSO14 organisers were supported by the large and reputable international scientific committee which contributed significantly to the robustness of the peer review process; many of papers submitted were reviewed by 3 or 4 reviewers. Of the 102 submitted, about 35% were concerned with optimization, 30% were about new simulation methods and models, 25% focussed on case studies, and 10% were specifically on visualisation in case studies.

BSO 2012

The first IBPSA England conference was held in Loughborough from September 2012. It was IBPSA-England’s first national conference, organised in association with the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE) and hosted by Loughborough University.

The conference had three broad themes:
1. New performance models and simulation methods
2. Procedures for optimising design and operation
3. Real-world case studies
139 abstracts had been received, with 56 papers published in the end. 46% of these were submitted from outside the UK. The attendance for a local conference and the first IBPSA-England was very impressive as well: in total, more than 100 delegates from 17 countries, with 42% attending from outside the UK for the two days.

Two keynote speakers from the industry were invited, Judit Kimplan from AEDAS on day one and Giulio Antonutto from Arup in London on the second day; both showing their efforts in integrating optimization in daily projects. In the case of the second keynote speaker, the applied use of optimisation dated back to 2000!