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Underground Building design with Ground domain, something is not right.

asked 2019-06-26 01:45:03 -0500

Ozan Vardal gravatar image

updated 2019-06-29 12:52:18 -0500

Dear Friends,


I am writing behalf of Vaener Structural Technologies, a dedicated design company that constructs buildings with sustainable principles and integrity.

Currently, we are designing a winery in Çanakkale region, Turkey. This building is buried to the ground to create optimum conditions for winemaking and storage. And the building is naturally ventilated with openings placed along with the most frequent wind directions. We are trying to accomplish " least mechanically induced climatization without any compression cycle like heat pumps". This design dictates very precise modeling of the building with ground conditions.

To accomplish this we have developed 2 models;

A CFD model in a different software platform. The results of these simulations are used in Design Builder as an input.

A Design Builder model created to observe the loads that we need to balance for optimum continuous conditions for the winery.

To clarify skin sourced loads(with an exemption of roof all the walls are in underground) we used a ground domain to model yearly behavior of the ground temperatures in Design Builder.

There were 3 options to calculate the undisturbed ground temperatures and we chose Kusuda- Achenbach as our ground temperature function. The parameters needed for Kusuda-Achenbach function are derived from EnegyPlus Utility: CalcSoilSurfTemp.

After we run the simulation we try to extract ground temperatures from the simulation but could not find any way to accomplish. EnergyPlus Input/Output Reference Guide shows 4 output parameters which are;

Wall Interface Heat Flux Wall Interface Temperature Floor Interface Heat Flux Floor Interface Temperature

Also, we looked at the Engineering Reference Guide to understand the physics behind the calculation. At this point, we understand the general way of calculation with respect to ground surface temperature(and heat flux) and OtherSideConditionsModel temperatures(and heat flux)but still, we are confused with at which temperatures are(or the temperatures at what depth) are taken account to solve averaged boundary conditions.(the building is buried 12 meters)

As per the information provided above, we kindly request clarification on the following;

1) We need to collect ground temperatures. Is it possible to collect this data from Design Builder or energy plus?

2) For verification, we need to understand what temperatures are taken account at OtherSıdeConditionModel while the simulation is running. Is there any material that you can provide?

3) We conduct a WRF study for the local wind speeds at 10m and DB temperatures at 2m for the exact location with the 0,25° resolution ERA-Interim data sets. Now we have these data with 1 h intervals(8765 hours) for 5 years between 2014 and 2018. The current hourly weather data downloaded from For a more precise simulation result, we also want to implement these data to current TMY file. From my research, I realize that there is a standard for the creation of TMYs(EN ISO 15927-4:2005)and unfortunately we do not have it. But from a publication, I understand that there is a statistical approach to climate data ... (more)

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answered 2019-07-01 02:54:01 -0500

Dave gravatar image

Hi Ozan, in the first instance I would suggest you send your question and model to whoever you purchased your licence from, and they should be able to advise on the information such as selecting and generating any relevant available outputs. If your licence was purchased from DesignBuilder the best way to do this would be to submit a ticket to the support desk here:

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Asked: 2019-06-26 01:45:03 -0500

Seen: 90 times

Last updated: Jul 01