• Passive Solar Building Design Using Genetic Programming

      Oraei Gholami, Mohammad Mahdi; Department of Computer Science (Brock University, 2013-10-28)
      Passive solar building design is the process of designing a building while considering sunlight exposure for receiving heat in winter and rejecting heat in summer. The main goal of a passive solar building design is to remove or reduce the need of mechanical and electrical systems for cooling and heating, and therefore saving energy costs and reducing environmental impact. This research will use evolutionary computation to design passive solar buildings. Evolutionary design is used in many research projects to build 3D models for structures automatically. In this research, we use a mixture of split grammar and string-rewriting for generating new 3D structures. To evaluate energy costs, the EnergyPlus system is used. This is a comprehensive building energy simulation system, which will be used alongside the genetic programming system. In addition, genetic programming will also consider other design and geometry characteristics of the building as search objectives, for example, window placement, building shape, size, and complexity. In passive solar designs, reducing energy that is needed for cooling and heating are two objectives of interest. Experiments show that smaller buildings with no windows and skylights are the most energy efficient models. Window heat gain is another objective used to encourage models to have windows. In addition, window and volume based objectives are tried. To examine the impact of environment on designs, experiments are run on five different geographic locations. Also, both single floor models and multi-floor models are examined in this research. According to the experiments, solutions from the experiments were consistent with respect to materials, sizes, and appearance, and satisfied problem constraints in all instances.