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Development of a geometric database structure and sketching interface for energy simulation software for buildings
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Performance analysis and consideration of energy utilization are becoming integral parts of the modern day building design process. Over the past years energy calculation software has been developed and perfected to facilitate more comprehensive and responsive design solutions. Explicit representation of building design parameters are needed if computers are to be used to aid energy conscious design and evaluation. Energy calculation programs require data relating to building materials, occupancy and climate. They also require parameters describing the building geometry. However, there are few, if any, efficient means of transferring geometric data to energy calculation programs that are fully automated, run independently of CAD packages and generic enough to be usable with all CAD and energy calculation packages. Most energy calculation programs involve cumbersome manual input of such data which makes the process too tedious and time consuming for efficient use. Other programs act as links between a specific CAD package and a particular energy calculation software. Although automated, the scope of their utility is severely limited by their specificity and dependency on large CAD packages. A graphical interface that can describe building geometry without using a large CAD package and generate necessary parameters for direct input into energy calculation software may eliminate the tedium of user input and maximize the efficiency of the design process. The research involves development of a sketch' ing pro gram that both facilitates building design and yet extracts just those design attributes that are required by an energy simulation software package. Microsoft Visual Basic was chosen as the programming environment because it supports graphic user interfaces (GUls) and operates under the Windows operating system. Moreover, it is compatible with this task because the energy simulation software is also developed under the same programming environment. This thesis describes both the features of the database structure and the design of the sketch program. This is intended to be a foundation that can contribute to the development of more efficient energy analysis solutions for research, education and practice.
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Zareen, Hadiba (1996). Development of a geometric database structure and sketching interface for energy simulation software for buildings. Master's thesis, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from
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