BSUG 2.0


Building Simulation Users Group

The Building Simulation Users Group (BSUG) was created in 2009 to help to start a community centered around architecture and engineering-focused building simulation. Three years, later, BSUG secured funding for another three years from the Idaho Power Company, whom also provided funding for the 1st three years. Dubbed "BSUG 2.0" the second cycle of the group made some tweaks to its mission and aspired to provide more value to its members than just a static lecture series. Users groups are in unique positions to generate content that draws upon the diverse expertise of its members and guest lectures. This content has the potential to help support and add value to the established simulation community. The goals of BSUG 2.0 include:

    Continue to procure a lecture series from internal speakers, local experts, and regional/national/international
    Create a website to house newly archived sessions and serve as a gateway of knowledge concerning building simulation
    Create a living document that outlines the simulation protocols used by the UI-IDL on projects
    Conduct market assessments of the market penetration of building simulation in the local market


BSUG 2021

There are six lecture given each year. Lectures are split up to be presented in the first half of the year and the end of the year. Topics include energy modeling software, integrating building performance in the design process, and workflow/methods for an integrated design process. Door prizes are given away each lecture. Prizes focus on energy efficiency or related lecture topics.


Newsletter Sign-Up

Click here to sign up for the BSUG newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest information and lecture topics.

Video Archive

All BSUG session are streamed live and then uploaded to our YouTube channel. To view past lecture please click here.

2021 Calendar

Click here to see this year schedule or past years of BSUG.


2021 Schedule

The schedule will be updated as details become available and is subject to change at any time.

How High Can You Go?: Simulation study on high-temperature cooling for radiant systems

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The need for cooling is a major driver of energy consumption in buildings and is mostly handled using systems based on the refrigeration cycle, an energy- and cost-intensive process. In this presentation, we will go over a simulation study where we investigated the potential of eliminating the refrigeration cycle from the primary cooling system design in various US climates including all 16 California climate zones. We created single zone EnergyPlus models that use a high thermal mass radiant system (HTMR) as the primary cooling system and meet the climate zones’ energy code requirements. We iteratively simulated each test case on its climate’s cooling design day to determine the highest supply water temperature (SWT) to the HTMR that maintains comfortable conditions in the zone. The results show that HTMR can use SWT of 17.5, 20.8, 23 °C (63.5, 69.4, 73.4 °F) for the 25th, 50th, and 75th percentile, respectively, of test cases on the cooling design day, indicating a great potential of using HTMR coupled with low -energy and -cost cooling devices like evaporative cooling towers or fluid coolers.

Registration Open: Click Here.


April 28th 2021

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In this webinar, you’ll get an overview of tools from Autodesk that provide architects and engineers with a solution for more integrated modeling, design and analysis. This will include: 

  • Revit and Automatic Energy Model Creation – Use architectural models at different levels of detail / completeness to automatically create accurate analytical spaces and surfaces for use in whole building energy simulation and systems analysis
  • Concept/Schematic Stage Energy Analysis with Insight - Get quick, accurate guidance on whole building energy use and cost, see tradeoffs and set targets for key architectural and engineering factors from the earliest stages of design.
  • HVAC Systems Selection and Sizing with Revit Systems Analysis - Determine HVAC equipment, systems and zone loads, energy and comfort in an open and extensible way using EnergyPlus and OpenStudio.
  • Creating Custom Energy and Systems Analysis Workflows – Use OpenStudio measures to set custom properties and analysis outputs to suit individual and project specific requirements.
  • Registration: Click Here.


    May 19th 2021 - Joint Session with ASHRAE

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    The Integrated Design Lab has developed a set of free tools that can help users to visualize building energy usage and normalize performance based on weather patterns. This makes it easy to spot anomalies like a sudden increase in electrical consumption during the winter. This presentation will cover the resources that IDL uses to find, filter, and format both typical and historical weather data for any location. We will cover a variety of free data repositories and technologies available to design professionals. These simple tools can help you track an existing building’s performance or design a new building with an eye to minimizing thermal loads. To view the IDL's design tools please visit: http://idlboise.com/content/design-tools

    Registration: Click Here.


    August 25th 2021 - 2D Automated Heat Transfer using Grasshopper

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    The predominant tool for 2D heat transfer analysis is THERM which has a toilsome interface for drafting and post-processing façade details. The proposed interoperable algorithmic modeling (IAM) workflow utilizes the friendly drafting environment in Rhino as inputs to a Grasshopper (GH) file that utilizes open source Ladybug Tools to set up, simulate and post-process unique customizable heat transfer results. The GH file is interoperable with THERM and InDesign to generate and automate the generation of a consistent thermal analysis report. This workflow cuts down on production time, generates consistent outputs, and advocates interoperability in a user-friendly environment.

    Registration: Click Here.


    September 22nd 2021 - Designing for PoE Lighting and Automation

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    Power over Ethernet is transforming the world of building automation in a way that may not be obvious - but it will be how facilities and buildings are wired above the desktop in the future (we still need AC power - no one is refuting that) but IoT sensors, dashboards, lighting, access control, security are already supporting this open standard in a way to push interoperability across the supply chain and provide a seamless means toward the proverbial "single pane of glass" in a fraction of what it costs today.

    Registration: Click Here.


    October 20th 2021 - Indoor air quality during lockdown: Towards a new health-integrated modelling framework

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    Throughout the world governments instituted a variety of measures to try to curb the spread of COVID-19 and improve public health. In the UK that took the shape of a nationwide lockdown as of the 23rd of March 2020. This mandate continued until the 13th of June. These restrictions led to atypical patterns of home occupancy, the implications of which are still unknown.

    The work shown in this presentation took advantage of an existing IAQ and window operation monitoring study taking place in east London, UK. One-year’s worth of monitored data on indoor and outdoor environment parameters along with occupant use of windows was used to analyze the impact of lockdown on IAQ and infer probabilistic models of window operation behavior. Moreover, using on-site CO2 data, monitored occupancy and operation of windows, the team calibrated a thermal performance model of one of the spaces to investigate the implications of alternative ventilation strategies.

    The use of this type of model, one in which energy, thermal, and air quality performance is integrated has great potential to be used to better understand how changes in our built environment impact health, and at what cost. A conceptual framework for modelling health impact into the built environment will also be introduced.

    Registration: Click Here.