Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering


Jianshun Zhang

Subject Categories

Mechanical Engineering


The ultimate goal of this research was to develop an integrated framework that facilitates performance-based multi-stage design of buildings and comparison between the performance predicted at the design stage and that monitored at operation stage. Such an integrated framework would not only enable design optimization, but also enable confirmation of design intent or diagnosis of performance deficiency, and thus provide feedbacks for future building design. This dissertation study represents the first step toward this ultimate goal, and had the following specific objectives:: 1) developing a combined heat, air, moisture and pollutant transport model for whole building performance simulation; 2) developing a real-time building IEQ and energy performance monitoring system using a Virtual Building structure to facilitate fast comparison between design and montored performance.; 3) developing a methodology to use CHAMPS-Multizone for a green building design throughout its initial and final design stage. The CHAMPS-Multizone model consists of building envelope model, room model, HVAC model and airflow model, and has an efficient and accurate numeric solvers. The model is tested under different building cases including ASHRAE 140 standard test and a three zones building test and comparision with EnergyPlus calculation results. The Virtual Building is a digital representation of the physical building with a hierarchical data structure, containing both static data such as enclosure assemblies, internal layout, etc. and dynamic data such as occupant activity schedule, outdoor weather conditions, indoor environmental parameters, HVAC operation data and energy consumption data. Then, the Virtual Building approach has been demonstrated in a LEED office building with its monitoring system. Finally, a multi-stage design process was formulated that considers the impact of climate and site, form and massing, external enclosure, internal configuration and environmental system on the whole building performance as simulated by CHAMPS-Multizone. Using the testbed building, both simulation results were also compared with the results monitored by the Virtual Building monitoring system. Future research includes refining CHAMPS-Multizone simulation capability and adding modules such as water loop calculation and integrating HVAC calculation with EnergyPlus.


Open Access