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Overheating in English dwellings: comparing modelled and monitored large-scale datasets

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)195-208
Number of pages14
JournalBuilding Research and Information
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 17 Feb 2017
Externally publishedYes
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


Monitoring and modelling studies of the indoor environment indicate that there are often discrepancies between simulation results and measurements. The availability of large monitoring datasets of domestic buildings allows for more rigorous validation of the performance of building simulation models derived from limited building information, backed by statistical significance tests and goodness-of-fit metrics. These datasets also offer the opportunity to test modelling assumptions. This paper investigates the performance of domestic housing models using EnergyPlus software to predict maximum daily indoor temperatures over the summer of 2011. Monitored maximum daily indoor temperatures from the English Housing Survey’s (EHS) Energy Follow-Up Survey (EFUS) for 823 nationally representative dwellings are compared against predictions made by EnergyPlus simulations. Due to lack of information on the characteristics of individual dwellings, the models struggle to predict maximum temperatures in individual dwellings and performance was worse on days when the outdoor maximum temperatures were high. This research indicates that unknown factors such as building characteristics, occupant behaviour and local environment makes the validation of models for individual dwellings a challenging task. The models did, however, provide an improved estimate of temperature exposure when aggregated over dwellings within a particular region.


  • building information modelling (BIM), building performance, EnergyPlus, housing stock, occupant behaviour, overheating, simulation, validation