Developing an Open Access Plugin for Urban Building Energy Modelling in QGIS

This year’s Building Simulation and Optimisation, IBPSA-England’s Sixth Conference, and second Virtual BSO was hosted by the University of Bath and the Centre for Energy and the Design of Environments (EDEn). The GEMDev team successfully presented its work titled “Developing an Open Access Plugin for Urban Building Energy Modelling in QGIS” The abstract can be found below together with a link to the conference proceedings.

“Urban Building Energy Modelling has gained increased recognition over the past years, with many research teams developing custom modelling suites that can be used for numerous applications. However, in many cases the licensing costs, lack of transparency, the reduced capabilities of selected computational methods as well as the necessity for advanced computing skills, have restricted the wider uptake and utilisation of various developed programmes, especially in regions of the Global South and more specifically in low- and middle-income countries in South America and Southern Asia. This work presents the first stages in the development of a freely available, open-source tool, able to perform dynamic thermal simulations of a large number of buildings, using a state of the art modelling engine within a user-friendly interface. The novel SimStock plugin for QGIS is able to run multiple EnergyPlus simulations through a customised Python script, for large numbers of buildings, by supporting the viewing, editing and analysis of input and output data in a geospatial format. A key feature of the tool is its ability to work with differing levels of detail in the required input data and therefore overcome a significant barrier to access for UBEMs in the Global South. This paper outlines the approach and the key components of the tool and further presents its application on two case studies, a densely populated building block in Lima, Peru, and a residential area in the city of Ahmedabad in India. By bringing the latest developments in UBEM to the context of the Global South, this work contributes to the continuous efforts for improving the aspects of inclusiveness, transparency and reproducibility in this field.”

For all the Conference Proceedings please visit: