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  • Set up your own cloud-native simulation in minutes.

  • How to Modernize Your Thermal Comfort Evaluation Process

    Meg Jenkins
    BlogArchitecture, Engineering & Construction (AEC)How to Modernize Your Thermal Comfort Evaluation Process

    Thermal comfort is a seemingly ambiguous term, referring to each and every individual’s satisfaction when it comes to indoor environments. In layman terms, thermal comfort evaluation assesses whether or not the majority of persons in a given space feel comfortable with the temperature, air quality, and more. You see, the human body can be perceived as a heat source. Nutrients (food) are inputted, and energy is the output. Depending on the physical size, metabolic rate, and overall BMI of a person, the amount of input, and therefore, output heat can differ, with the regular temperature of a human body hovering always around 98.6°F (37°C). 

    The heat transfer resulting from the number of humans in an occupied space then creates a temperature difference. If the indoor space is too cold, the human body will output more energy than if the space is warmer (or closer to the average human body temperature). Nevertheless, extremes of either spectrum lead to occupant discomfort. Therefore, one of the chief roles of HVAC and building design engineers alike is to maintain an acceptable level of thermal comfort within their designs. Current internationally recognized standards for this include EN 1678-1:2019ASHRAE 55, and ISO 7730

    Up until now, this process could only be done through long and drawn out calculations, or, even more recently, desktop/on-premises CAE software. However, today, another solution is gaining momentum; cloud-based CAE platforms. As BIM software modernizes, CAE online software has followed suit. In this article, the benefits of modernizing your thermal comfort evaluation method will be assessed using two case studies from engineering teams that made the switch to cloud-based solutions.

    Modernizing Your Thermal Comfort Evaluation Process 

    In order to keep up with the latest standards for thermal comfort, no matter what country you live or work in, cloud-based solutions should be considered. Using cloud-based simulation instead of on-premises solutions for this process has many benefits including but not limited to: 

    • Time-saving and shorter design cycles 
    • Cost-effectiveness 
    • The possibility for further connectivity/collaboration in the future with other BIM/HVAC modelling tools for even more optimization

    However, we don’t expect you to just take our word for it. In this recent podcast, Gruner Roschi AG’s David Akeret speaks about the future of cloud-enabled connectivity and CAE compatibility among other benefits of online simulation. 

    In this SimScale podcast, we sit down with Gruner Roschi AG’s David Akeret who takes us through his experience as an engineer and his initial motivation behind working to make a difference within the energy sector. In this video, David explains how cloud-based simulation from SimScale has expedited his team’s thermal comfort design process providing a real-life example, as well as describes what he believes the future of CAE will look like; more cloud-enabled connectivity and collaboration.

    Gruner Roschi AG Case Study: How They Determined the Best Architectural/HVAC Solution Through Parallel Processing With SimScale

    Operating for nearly 50 years, Gruner Roschi AG is an industry leader in the construction sector in Switzerland. Gruner Roschi AG, as a part of Gruner AG, specializes in HVAC engineering and building performance simulation.

    The above shows the air region where the temperature is above 2 °C. The change in air currents, i.e., hot air leaving and cold air entering the classroom can be seen clearly. Within 7 minutes, the occupancy area in the classroom is well ventilated.

    In this customer success story, Gruner simulated four HVAC designs in parallel, gaining results in less than a day, ultimately determining the best natural cross-ventilation for a room for a given design. The chief engineer on the project, David Akeret, explained, 

    “Working with SimScale gave us the possibility to inspect which of the architectural and technical solutions works the best way and give us certainty about our decisions. One other big factor is the speed in which SimScale can deliver results, through its great parallelization capacity. Without SimScale, we wouldn’t be able to deliver high-quality results in the required time period.”

    David Akeret
    VCD Specialist

    To hear more from David and his team’s experience with SimScale, check out this podcast

    Ingenieurburo Gratzl Case Study: How They Used Cloud-Based CFD as a Cost-Effective Alternative for Building Optimization

    Ingenieurbüro Gratzl specializes in simulation methods for building physics. The chief focus of founder Markus Gratzl’s work is to aid building planners (architects, HVAC engineers, etc.) to improve their buildings and systems in terms of energy efficiency and thermal comfort.

    internal and external thermal comfort simulation results simscale
    Internal and external simulation results confirming the assumptions of the construction plans, and that the building design will fulfill the requirements on thermal comfort.

    The case study follows a project Markus was working on for Athlan Quarter, to assess the thermal comfort of the grand entrance hall of a former university building. Through cloud-based CFD simulation using SimScale, Markus was able to quickly obtain results, and can now take on more cases than ever before possible with other simulation solutions. He states:

    “SimScale gives me, for the first time as a small specialized engineering office, the possibility to use CFD simulations for building optimization. Other software packages cause much too high investment costs for hardware and software.”

    Markus Gratzl
    Expert in the field of Green Building Simulation and owner of Ingenieurbüro Gratzl, professor for “Simulation Methods in Building Physics” on Salzburg University of Applied Sciences

    To hear more from Markus and his experience with cloud-based CAE, stay tuned for his podcast coming soon


    Cloud-based simulation has benefited our engineers by providing a fast, cost-effective, and low-maintenance solution that keeps up with current trends and standards within their respective industries. To learn more about how SimScale can be utilized in your thermal comfort evaluation and design workflow, check our thermal comfort documentation, providing everything from how-to guides to validation cases, as well as our plethora of video tutorials to get you started today. 

    This paper addresses the difference between on-premises software and SaaS
    solutions for computer-aided engineering, explaining how SaaS came to be and its
    key benefits.

    Interested in reading more about thermal comfort evaluation and validation using cloud-based simulation? Check out a few of our resources: 

    Set up your own simulation via the web in minutes by creating an account on the cloud-based SimScale platform. No installation, special hardware or credit card is required.

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