EP8301 - Advanced Building Performance Simulation


Lessons are not given in the academic year 2023/2024

Course content

The course discusses the main concepts and applications of Building Performance Simulation (BPS), a discipline which models and simulates buildings, energy supply and building services. The main focuses of the course is on the evaluation the power demand and energy consumptions during building operation as well as the user comfort (thermal and visual).

  • Definition and evaluation of the so-called boundary conditions of the building model: the weather data (solar irradiation, outdoor and sky temperatures, wind), the internal loads as well as the user behavior.
  • Difference between normalized (standard), typical and design operating conditions.
  • Review of the usual approaches to model the main physical phenomena in building envelopes: heat conduction, convection, storage, light, short and long wave radiation.
  • Review of the main key performance indexes (KPI) used in building performance simulation (power, energy and user comfort).
  • Resulting main modeling approaches by building component or system: window and glazing, solar shading, temperature distribution in room, airflows in buildings and ventilation.
  • General methodology to model HVAC and energy systems. Discussion in the context of control and building automation, as well as future development in building performance simulation (Modelica).

Learning outcome

KNOWLEDGE: At the end of the course, the student should be able to

  • Understand (meaning explain, interpret, compare, classify) the main modeling and numerical simulation approaches used in building performance simulation.
  • Be in the forefront of knowledge of building performance simulation in his/her specific academic field.

SKILLS: At the end of the course, the student should be able to

  • Analyze a real situation from his/her academic field, formulate it into a building model and setup the corresponding model into a building simulation tool.
  • Evaluate the quality of this building model and discuss the accuracy of the results.
  • Carry out research in his/her field using building performance simulation.

GENERAL COMPETENCE: At the end of the course the student should be able to:

  • Further develop independently his/her own competences in building performance simulation.
  • Interpret and criticize results produced by other people using building performance simulation. In his/her specific academic field, the student should be able to debate about new research developments based on building performance simulation.
  • Communicate about his/her research using simulation results in a scientific manner.

Learning methods and activities

The learning method mainly aims to support the PhD/research project of the student. For a general introduction to building performance simulation, it is recommended to follow the building performance simulation master course (TBA4166). The EP8301 course is divided into three parts.

  1. Firstly, the lectures essentially consist of presentations by the students about the different topics in building performance simulation. Some of lectures are nonetheless given by the teachers in order to introduce the general methodology or to highlight the (inter)relation between the specific topics presented by students.
  2. Secondly, a main practical exercise (project) is performed by each student and is defined as a function of the PhD project of the student. This exercise should enable the student to apply the main building simulation concepts and tools in relation with the PhD objective.
  3. Thirdly, an essay is written by each student where they discuss the potential and limitations of building performance simulation to support their research/PhD.

Further on evaluation

The final grade is based on the student performance during the oral exam (60/100), the presentations during lectures (20/100), the project report (10/100) and the essay (10/100). To pass the course a score of at least 70 percent is required.

Required previous knowledge

TEP4130 Heat and Mass Transfer, TEP4235 Energy Management in Buildings, TEP4245 HVAC Engineering or equivalent knowledge.

Course materials

Literature: L.M.Hansen and R.Lamberts "Building Performance Simulation for Design and Operation", ISBN13: 978-0-415-47414-6 (hbk) and ISBN13: 978-0-203-89161-2 (ebk)

Credit reductions

Course code Reduction From To
DIO7005 7.5
More on the course



Version: 1
Credits:  7.5 SP
Study level: Doctoral degree level



Language of instruction: English

Location: Trondheim

Subject area(s)
  • Energy and Indoor Environment
  • Energy and Process Engineering
  • Building and construction technology
  • Architecture
Contact information

Department with academic responsibility
Department of Energy and Process Engineering


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