Question-and-Answer Resource for the Building Energy Modeling Community
Get started with the Help page
Ask Your Question

Interzone Surfaces : Constructions Search Distance and Mismatch Error (OpenStudio)

asked 2024-04-13 09:34:33 -0500

station12's avatar

updated 2024-05-08 23:10:03 -0500

I have been wanting to conduct building energy simulation in OpenStudio and have been getting the following error message while running the simulation,

" Surface9 and Surface 6 reference different constructions, choosing surface9's construction based on search distance".

There are so many of these but the simulation has been running fine. I am just worried that these errors will result in sewing my results' data. So how can I ensure I get rid of these errors and run my simulation?

I had trouble attaching am image so i wrote the problem line above. Thank you in advance.

The file is available in the below link :

edit retag flag offensive close merge delete



@station12 what simulation tool are you using? Please mention it in the title or body of your post, as well as add a tag so that others can provide better help.

Also, can you upload your model to Google Drive, Dropbox, etc. and then share a URL for others to download? That would help others provide better solutions.

Aaron Boranian's avatar Aaron Boranian  ( 2024-04-14 07:05:10 -0500 )edit

@Aaron Boranian Thank you for your suggestions. I have edited the title and also added the google drive link.

station12's avatar station12  ( 2024-04-21 01:14:34 -0500 )edit

1 Answer

Sort by ยป oldest newest most voted

answered 2024-04-21 06:37:25 -0500

updated 2024-05-07 16:56:18 -0500

The linked file (Google Drive) requires authorization to access (you'd preferably want to make it public).

OpenStudio's forward translation (to EnergyPlus) code here or here logs this info/warning (not an error, right?) when paired interzone surfaces (e.g. 2 adjacent walls, adjacent floor & ceiling) don't inherit the same (reversed) construction from each's default construction set. This is OK - OpenStudio is simply informing you that it has detected an initial conflict, and that it has picked Surface 9's default construction (instead of Surface 6's).

This determination is based on OpenStudio's "search distance", which I admit isn't really informative to the typical user. It refers to OpenStudio's building-to-space hierarchy when assigning default constructions, default schedules, etc. When sorting out potential conflicts, OpenStudio picks the shortest "search distance" (e.g. "1" is preferred over "3"), as described here:

a space's default construction set                  search distance = 1
a space's space type's default construction set     search distance = 2
a space's building story's default construction set search distance = 3
a building's default construction set               search distance = 4
a building's space type's default construction set  search distance = 5

Open your .osm file with a text editor. CTRL-F for "Surface 9". Then determine (through successive searches) whether its space inherits a "space" default construction set, or a "spacetype" default construction set, etc. Do the same for Surface 6. You're likely to find something like Surface 6's space inherits the "building" default construction set, while Surface 9's space references a "spacetype" default construction set (or something similar).

Again, this isn't typically something to worry about ... if that's what you actually intended when assigning default construction sets with different "search distances". Hope this helps.

EDIT. Thanks for providing access. Going through your .osm file, I notice "Surface 6" has a shorter search distance than "Surface 9" - not the other way around (as originally stated). "Surface 6" instead has a construction hard-assigned to it - not inherited from a default construction set. When I run OpenStudio, I get the following:

[openstudio.energyplus.ForwardTranslator] Surfaces 'Surface 9', and 'Surface 6' reference different constructions, choosing 'Surface 6''s construction based on search distance.

So OpenStudio's search distance prioritization is working as expected, as hard-assigned constructions take precedence over default construction sets (is it possible the uploaded file had since been updated?). The EnergyPlus simulation ultimately fails because of a severe error related to an invalid material thickness - easy to fix. Otherwise, there are a fair number of geometry issues to fix ...

2nd EDIT (in relation to reported geometry "errors", see your follow-up comment). I have to backtrack a bit, I think. Having gone through parts of your .osm file, I'm unable to find anything wrong with surface geometry. This may instead be related to stacking multiple spaces (25) within a limited number of thermal zones (8) in your model. EnergyPlus may be tripping over interspace floor/ceiling pairs ... (more)

edit flag offensive delete link more


@Denis Bourgeois Yes there are several issues of geometry errors. Any way I can fix those up easily? Thank you for your response and I have edited the access to make it public now.

station12's avatar station12  ( 2024-04-21 09:11:14 -0500 )edit

@Denis Bourgeois Thank you for your suggestion. I did as you told and added thermal zones to my model but the problem still exists. There are new error codes that I do not understand. For example, there are check convexity errors in the model and also the sever errors that is stopping my model from running seems to be a bit confusing. Can you please guide me here? Thank you. I have updated the drive folder with the updated file above.

station12's avatar station12  ( 2024-05-07 02:10:25 -0500 )edit

@station12, see "3rd EDIT" at the end of the initial answer. Best of luck.

Denis Bourgeois's avatar Denis Bourgeois  ( 2024-05-07 08:09:38 -0500 )edit

@Denis Bourgeois Thank you so much for your help. The model is running now without additional errors (except the system default ones).

station12's avatar station12  ( 2024-05-07 22:49:51 -0500 )edit

Great. If you're satisfied with the answer, it's customary to click on the checkmark (making it green). That would help users with similar questions in the future. It may be late in the process, but you could edit the title of your initial question (as it's quite vague). Something like "Interzone surfaces: construction 'search distance' (OpenStudio)", or something similar. To keep in mind for future posts.

Denis Bourgeois's avatar Denis Bourgeois  ( 2024-05-08 06:35:25 -0500 )edit

Your Answer

Please start posting anonymously - your entry will be published after you log in or create a new account.

Add Answer

Training Workshops


Question Tools

1 follower


Asked: 2024-04-13 09:34:33 -0500

Seen: 278 times

Last updated: May 08