Passive Solar Building Design Using Genetic Programming TR

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M.M.O. Gholami and Brian J. Ross: Passive Solar Building Design Using Genetic Programming. Brock COSC TR CS-14-02, January 2014.



Passive solar building design considers the effect that sun- light has on energy usage. The goal is to reduce the need for artificial cooling and heating devices, thereby saving en- ergy costs. A number of competing design objectives can arise. Window heat gain during winter requires large win- dows. These same windows, however, reduce energy effi- ciency during nights and summers. Other model require- ments add further complications, which creates a challenging optimization problem. We use genetic programming for pas- sive solar building design. The EnergyPlus system is used to evaluate energy consumption. It considers factors rang- ing from model construction (shape, windows, materials) to location particulars (latitude/longitude, weather, time of day/year). We use a split grammar to build 3D models, and multi-objective fitness to evaluate the multiple design objectives. Experimental results showed that balancing win- dow heat gain and total energy use is challenging, although our multi-objective strategy could find interesting compro- mises. Many factors (roof shape, material selection) were consistently optimized by evolution. We also found that ge- ographic aspects of the location play a critical role in the final building design.

Extended Abstract


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