The DBO-EIM aims at creating a detailed and persistent energy model that can be used to reduce energy consumption and improve occupant comfort throughout the life-cycle of a building. Within the framework, the model is built to support decision making in the design phase, calibrated and tuned during construction and commissioning phases, and then continuously used for model-based building control in operation.
The recently constructed Phipps Conservatory Center for Sustainable Landscapes in Pittsburgh, PA, targeted to achieve the “Living Building Challenge” certification, is used as a demonstrative case study. The building is modeled in EnergyPlus in the design phase and calibrated during the construction, commissioning and operation phases. Electricity and other HVAC system energy consumption as well as indoor environmental data are used for the model calibration. Every individual electrical outlet is metered and the data is used to model occupancy presence and schedule with data mining algorithms. The calibrated EnergyPlus model, including the occupancy schedule, is then implemented in a model-based predictive control schema in the Matlab/Simulink environment. The co-simulation result shows that the EPMPC can reduce energy consumption by 20% compared to ASHRAE 90.1 2007 baseline model while maintaining occupant comfort. This demonstrates that the DBO-EIM infrastructure can contribute to improving building energy efficiency and thermal performance.