VBD - Villes et Bâtiments Durables

Multi-physical and interactive co-simulation – COSIMPHI

COSIMPHI projet : towards a interactive multiphysical co-simulation platform

The building design team deals with a lot of constraints, especially acoustic, visual and thermal environments as well as energy, environmental and economic efficiency. The COSIMPHI project promotes an integrated approach based on three concepts: the use of a unique dataset to describe the building, the development of a co-simulation tool to anticipate the cross-impacts of design, and the production of decision making support, multicriteria optimization and HMI to help the design team.

A cosimulation platform for buildings designer

To realize a tool cosimulation platform, scientific locks/questions has to be solve: with the aim to facilitate the modeling of a building during the design phase, how to synthesize the data sets expected by each software to avoid information re-entry, avoid redundant information (eg volume of a room on one side, its surface and its height of the other), facilitate compatibility with international standards as IFC or cityGML, manage different levels of description, etc.? How to develop a sustainable co-simulation platform, manage different time steps, use the most adapted tool coupling techniques, etc.? Which informations to give to the design team, in this new complex context? How to develop a user-friendly platform which help the design team to learn more about its building, test some variants and measure the effects of each variants on all indicators?

Discussions between each expertise (acoustics, lighting, energetic, environment, economic) lead to a common dataset considering inputs and hypotheses of each tool. This roundtable to mutualize, compare and exchange between the points of view brings structured information which constitute an essential step to place the common dataset as a structuring format to discuss with specific tools and associated databases.
Efforts have been focused on co-simulation to correctly orchestrate each thematic tool. This orchestration is the key point to make the results coherent. The calculation should consider interactions between thematic tools to strengthen to robustness of the tool as an integrated design tool. Without this step, it would not be possible to consider the decision aid relevant. An orchestrator was developed. This orchestrator assumes the link between component and equipment database and thematic tools thanks to the common dataset and then provide the results to the optimization and decision making support system.
Then, an optimization, a solution ranking and a set of expert rules give advices to choose the best component according to objectives.

A interactive cosimulation platform was developed. A HMI (Human Machine Interaction) allows every one to launch the platform and access to a co-simulation tool. This is more a proof of concept than a industrial product but it appears that it's possible to make a coherent, multiphysical tool.

The COSIMPHI proof of concept developed and put together some important reserach subject : common data set, link to BIM, multiphysical database, co-simulation, expert rules set, etc. There are still a lot of work to develop and industrialize them.
At the end, the COSIMPHI modular approach makes possible to extend such a platform to the neighborhood scale or to renovation. These issues - access to data, specific constraints, occupancy description, etc. - have not been addressed in COSIMPHI.

Eight publications were written inside the COSIMPHI projet (one for a revue, 5 others in conferences)

This project addresses the problem of multidisciplinary simulation for new building conception and renovation. By considering various domains (acoustic, visual comfort, air quality, energy and environment performance), it aims at demonstrating the possibility of an integrated solution that takes into account the cross-impact of those domains on one another. This solution should be able to help proposing enhancements to construction/renovation projects by considering different sectors on an equal footing.
There are many specialized simulation tools on the market. However, interactions between the disciplines oblige the AEC (Architecture/Engineering/Construction) sector to iterate over the project to manually tune the performance against each of these disciplines. This work is costly, as each decision taken for improving one type of performance can impact another. The interaction between the disciplines has to be anticipated. Moreover, there is a need for homogenizing assumptions in order to deal with consistent results.
As the requirements on conception and renovation are lire and more stringent, it is necessary to provide the AEC sector with tools that limit this fragmentation of the building life cycle between the design and construction phases. These tools should be robust and efficient in order to allow a decrease of the costs. Adapted models for each discipline, an interoperable solution based on the existing tools, as well as decision support tools are necessary to help the design and reduce the costs.
This project falls into three main tasks.
1. A task dealing with the convergences of hypothesis and data. A common data models have to be worked out, by extending the standard existing ones
2. A task dealing with the multi-physic interaction between the models by allowing a better dynamic interoperability between the tools
3. A task dealing with a decision support. Based on previous work, like genetic algorithms, research work is necessary to develop and to improve current solution to allow a fast and reliable multi-criteria decision support.

Project coordinator

Monsieur CORRALES Patrick (Centre Scientifique et Technique du Batiment) – patrick.CORRALES@cstb.fr

The author of this summary is the project coordinator, who is responsible for the content of this summary. The ANR declines any responsibility as for its contents.


CSTB Centre Scientifique et Technique du Batiment
CEA-SACLAY Commissariat à l'énergie atomique et aux énergies alternatives
Tribu Energie
LRA Laboratoire de Recherche en Architecture
G2Elab Laboratoire de génie électrique de Grenoble
LaSIE Laboratoire des Sciences de l’Ingénieur pour l’Environnement

Help of the ANR 821,409 euros
Beginning and duration of the scientific project: December 2013 - 42 Months

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