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Building Simulation and Optimization Virtual Conference 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 21st and 22nd September 2020.

This conference provided a form to debate and address the challenges that the Building Simulation and Optimization community are currently facing by exploring the following topics:

  • Urban building energy modelling

  • Building Energy flexibility

  • Design & Retrofit optimization

  • Data-driven modelling

  • Occupant behaviour modelling

  • Shading & Overheating Analysis

  • Uncertainty Quantification & Analysis

  • Experimental Performance Characterisation

  • Building Energy Systems Modelling & Simulation

  • Advanced Modelling Techniques

  • Parametric Design

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, which can also lead the way towards emissions reduction by delivering the challenging but much needed demand side management and response.

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 Professor Rajan Rawal’s keynote speech during day one. 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 Professor 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”.

Yet, our time during the two days in the virtual world was not all academic seriousness and Quiz master Professor Kevin Lomas made sure of that by asking questions on a variety of topics, including the name of the IBPSA News Editor-in-chief of IBPSA World! Some got it right, some guested it right and some got it wrong! All in all, the quiz winners Manon Rendu and Jerome Le Dreau from La Rochelle University in France surely concluded their online presence in BSOV2020 with a big smirky smile.
 
A special award for recognition of outstanding service to IBPSA-England was presented to Assoc. Prof Rob McLeod, for being instrumental in registering IBPSA-England as a Community Interest Company, in the UK. 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.