Data Visualization Library

As part of the EU-funded project Cultural-E, a library for data post-processing and visualization methodologies for simulation-aided design has been developed.

As a first step, a survey was disseminated among European designers to identify the meaningful performance indicators as well as which aspects of building performance evaluation they need to investigate the most. Thanks to the information collected, a Data Visualisation Library has been developed.

The Data Visualisation Library applies to plus energy residential building simulation model and aims to show a clear and shared methodology to effectively communicate building energy and indoor environment quality performance to building designers. How? By collecting custom and ready-made scripting for simulation input report and output post-processing in a standardized way!

How does it work?

Data visualisations are automated by a script that generates interactive charts and produces an output report, in the form of a Jupyter notebook, with clear interpretations starting from basic hourly output data series (air temperature, operative temperature, heating/cooling demand etc.).

The library makes the whole process efficient and standardized thanks to a series of specific steps. It starts from the geometric model setting, then to the related input and output up to a complete building performance analysis through to the dynamic and analytical visualization of data. It has been made up of two parts. The first, has been organized to offer a complete overview of the model assumptions with detailed specifications of building components and systems.  The second part presents the main results deriving from the building performance simulations in terms of energy, indoor air quality and thermal comfort.

All these steps and information are clarified in a guideline in support of the Data Visualization Library and concern the use of a unique nomenclature of the thermal zones and a list of inputs and outputs to be set in the model which are useful to generate the graphs.

The list of the energy output includes:

  • (i) the energy balance of the building;
  • (ii) the energy consumption related to each energy use of the house;
  • (iii) the hourly frequency of heating and/or cooling load needed to maintain ideal indoor conditions;
  • (iv) the share of renewable energy in case a photovoltaic system has been installed in the building.

The environmental parameters visualizations considered as comfort output, include:

  • (i) hourly mapping of internal temperatures, useful to identify any areas of thermal discomfort;
  • (ii) the distribution of the simulated/monitored indoor temperature and relative humidity on the psychrometric graph;
  • (iii) the percentage of time in which CO2 concentration and indoor relative humidity within occupied time fall within the four IEQ categories identified in standard EN 16798-1: 2019 for each thermal zone;
  • (iv) the number of hours in which the shadings are activated;
  • (v) the number of hours in which the windows are opened in order to assess if the action of natural ventilation alone can guarantee an acceptable level of internal comfort, whether it affects the energy consumption of the building as well as giving indications on how the occupants interact with the building.

You can find more information on the related report (D4.2).