An open-source framework for simulation-based testing of buildings control strategies

Sen Huang, Robert Lutes, Cary A. Faulkner, Draguna L. Vrabie, Srinivas Katipamula, Wangda Zuo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper presents a simulation framework for evaluating building control strategies (BCSs), developed with VOLTTRON, an opensource platform that integrates data, devices, and systems for sensing and control applications, and is based on co-simulation interfaces. It realizes an integrated environment for both testing and deploying BCSs, thereby eliminating the need for having a dedicated implementation of BCS for testing. For the first time, this framework provides critical functionalities, including scalable communication management and time-drive simulation advance, i.e., advancing the simulation based on clock time. We applied this framework to evaluating two BCSs from ASHRAE Guideline 36-2008 and ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2019. The evaluation results show that those BCSs primarily benefit the heating operation by reducing gas usage but yield insignificant savings in electricity consumption. The results also emphasize the importance of tuning the parameters of the BCSs to achieve better performances.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)631-643
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Building Performance Simulation
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Architecture
  • Building and Construction
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Computer Science Applications

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