Building thermal performance simulation is generally used for a design's verification in final stages, when the highest gains in cost as well as thermal comfort are achieved in the early stages. Challenges for implementing these tools in such stages reduces the time, resources and expertise knowledge required. Simplified simulation tools are seen as an alternative; however, due to the inaccuracy of results, their use becomes a non viable option. Thus, this research, which is wider and proposes the development of a tool, is comprised of one or more meta-models obtained from parametric simulations with EnergyPlus - a robust and accurate tool that eliminates any uncertainties that might result from simplified algorithms - for the assessment and verification of the thermal performance of social housing still in the early stages of design. This master, specifically, will focus on natural ventilation strategies. The method adopted consists, firstly, in social housing's data collection and the identification of the key parameters to be considered. Also, their respective variation ranges, as they relate to natural ventilation , which are relevant in the early stages of a project (from an architectural and thermal comfort standpoint). Therefore, with the aid of simulations using Monte Carlo method, representative samples to be considered in the parametric simulations will be defined. Lastly, by applying regression analysis to the simulations' results, one or more meta-model will be developed, which will be optimized and applied as a tool for standard social housing projects in at least three Brazilian climatic zones. The parameters related to natural ventilation will be varied in order to improve the levels of thermal comfort.  This master's degree is linked to a major project that will be submitted to FAPESP by the Supervising Professor for the year 2013, as an Individual Assistance Research. Also bound to the same main project there are two other masters and four professors from North Carolina State University (NCSU). The method presented will be the same for the three masters, each of which is responsible for addressing a specific aspect: (1) natural ventilation (specific emphasis of the Master in question), (2) building systems and (3) a building's solar exposure and shading, and both masters are already ongoing.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: