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The URBANopt project offers different options for creating building geometry to suit various modeling requirements. This section gives an overview of these workflows.

Default workflow

The default workflow in the URBANopt example project uses the urban-geometry-creation-zoning measure in the GeoJSON gem to create building features with core and perimeter zoning from GeoJSON footprint coordinates in the Feature File. It has the options to model surrounding buildings as context shading.

More details on the measures used in the workflow can be found in the base workflow section.

urbanopt measure workflow diagram

Createbar workflow

This workflow uses the create_bar_from_building_type_ratios measure from the openstudio-model-articulation-gem that attempts to create geometry from high level building inputs such as number of stories, floor area, and aspect ratio. It can support a mix of up to four different building types. The space type ratios for each building type are taken from the DOE prototype models.

The measure has an argument for adding a perimeter multiplier that can be used for accurately representing the exposure conditions for non-rectangular buildings by creating two perpendicular bars.

It can also specify the custom height of a space by setting the Enable Custom Height Bar Application argument to true. This can be used for modeling space types with heights that differ from the rest of the building. For example, modeling a gym or auditorium for a SecondarySchool building type. This is accomplished by pulling space types with a custom height into a separate rectangular building that sits away from the main structure.

The measure can model circulation space types, when they exist by enabling the Double Loaded Corridor argument. The double loaded corridor leads to space division and thermal zoning instead of typical sliced core and perimeter zoning. It creates a circulation space type running down the center of the bar, surrounded by spaces of another space type. For an example, for a primary school the corridor will be paired with the classrooms.

This workflow does not take the actual building footprint into account and does not consider the impact of self and context shading.

urbanopt measure workflow diagram

FloorspaceJS workflow

This workflow starts with floor plans and stub space types drawn using FloorSpaceJS. The FloorspaceJS file is converted to an OpenStudio model by a measure that merges it with a seed model, which is then passed into the Create Typical Building from Model measure. The seed model contains the actual space type assignments that correspond to the stub space type names in the FloorSpaceJS file and can be taken from the standard space type templates. One of the web tools to create FloorSpaceJS files can be found here

The FloorSpaceJS file and the OpenStudio seed model must have the same name, for example feature.js and feature.osm and must be placed in the osm_building directory within the project directory. The FloorSpaceJS file name must also be added to the detailed_model_filename property for that feature in the feature file.

For all these workflows, an existing OpenStudio model of a building feature can be used, if desired, by specifying the name of the model in the detailed_model_filename property of the particular feature in the Feature File and adding the OpenStudio model in the osm_building directory within the project directory.


URBANopt, Copyright (c) 2019-2020, Alliance for Sustainable Energy, LLC, and other contributors. All rights reserved.