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Selecting durable building envelope systems with machine learning assisted hygrothermal simulations database...

Publication Type
Conference Paper
Journal Name
Journal of Physics: Conference Series
Publication Date
Page Number
Conference Name
8th International Building Physics Conference 2021 (IBPC)
Conference Location
Copenhagen, Denmark
Conference Sponsor
Technical University of Copenhagen (DTU)
Conference Date

Hygrothermal simulations provide insight into the energy performance and moisture durability of building envelope components under dynamic conditions. The inputs required for hygrothermal simulations are extensive, and carrying out simulations and analyses requires expert knowledge. An expert system, the Building Science Advisor (BSA), has been developed to predict the performance and select the energy-efficient and durable building envelope systems for different climates. The BSA consists of decision rules based on expert opinions and thousands of parametric simulation results for selected wall systems. The number of potential wall systems results in millions, too many to simulate all of them. We present how machine learning can help predict durability data, such as mold growth, while minimizing the number of simulations needed to run. The simulation results are used for training and validation of machine learning tools for predicting wall durability. We tested Artificial Neural Network (ANN) and Gradient Boosted Decision Trees (GBDT) for their applicability and model accuracy. Models developed with both methods showed adequate prediction performance (root mean square error of 0.195 and 0.209, respectively). Finally, we introduce how the information supports guidance for envelope design via an easy-to-use web-based tool that does not require the end-user to run hygrothermal simulations.