Operational Energy - Simulation and Visualization

Operational Energy - Simulation and Visualization

After you assigned templates to each building you are ready to run an operational energy simulation. A simulation can be launched and visualized through the “Simulate” tab in the umi panel, which can be opened by clicking on the “Simulate” button of the umi toolbar, or the command “UmiOpenSimulatePanel”.

The umi panel will open with the “Simulate” tab open. In order to access the Operational Energy module controls you can click its pink operational energy logo in the side tabs:

1. Running a simulation

The Operational Energy module offers two modes for running calculations: Either running all possible models in the Buildings layer or only running those buildings that are currently selected. You can run a calculation by clicking the “Run” button located in the first section of the panel. With nothing selected the button will show the text “Run all” and will trigger a simulation of all buildings that have a settings template assigned. If you have buildings selected the button will change its text into “Run selected” triggering the second mode. The progress bar in the panel will show the evolution of the calculation which can take from seconds in the case of 1 building to minutes or hours in the case you run larger scenes.

2. Visualizing results

After the simulation completes you should see a view-port similar to the one above. The visualization of results can be adjusted in the lower part of the panel. You can select several metrics for visualization (All buildings or selected buildings) controlled through the “False color” button in the second section of the panel.

The type of results visualized can be modified through the controls in the umi panel, in order to change the metric and visualize total or normalized results. After you made changes to the settings you have to click the "False color" button to apply the changes.

The umi “Simulate” panel also incorporates a color scale which will automatically show the min and max of the visualization. The color bar limits can be modified and locked.

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In Short

Umi is a Rhino-based design environment for architects and urban planners interested in modeling the environmental performance of neighborhoods and cities with respect to operational and embodied energy use, walkability and daylighting potential. Since 2012, Umi has been  developed by the Sustainable Design Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with support from a National Science Foundation EFRI_SEED project, the MIT Energy Initiative, the Kuwait-MIT Center, the Center for Complex Engineering Systems (CCES) at KACST and MIT, Transsolar Climate Engineering and United Technologies Corporation. Further tool developed is now also being conducted at the Environmental Systems Lab at Cornell University.

A first public version of Umi was released during a public symposium on Sustainable Urban Design on May 6th 2013 at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Version 2.0, which also includes an embodied energy module, was released on November 7th 2014.

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