Building Optimization Testing Framework (BOPTEST) for Simulation-Based Benchmarking of Control Strategies in Buildings

David Blum, Javier Arroyo, Sen Huang, Jan Drgona, Filip Jorissen, Harald Walnum, Yan Chen, Kyle Benne, Draguna Vrabie, Michael Wetter, Lieve Helsen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

57 Scopus Citations


Development of new building HVAC control algorithms has grown due to needs for energy efficiency and operational flexibility. However, case studies demonstrating new algorithms are largely individualized, making algorithm performance difficult to compare directly. In addition, the effort and expertise required to implement case studies in real or simulated buildings limits rapid prototyping potential. Therefore, this paper presents the Building Optimization Testing Framework (BOPTEST) and associated software for simulation-based benchmarking of building HVAC control algorithms. A containerized run-time environment (RTE) enables rapid, repeatable deployment of common building emulators representing different system types. Emulators use Modelica to represent realistic physical dynamics, embed baseline control, and enable overwriting supervisory and local-loop control signals. Finally, a common set of key performance indicators are calculated within the RTE and reported to the user. This paper details the design and implementation of software and demonstrates its usage to benchmark a Model Predictive Control strategy.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)586-610
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of Building Performance Simulation
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© This material is published by permission of [Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory], operated by [The Regents of the University of California] for the [U.S. Department of Energy] under Contract No. [DE-AC02-05CH11231]. The US Government retains for itself, and others acting on its behalf, a paid-up, non-exclusive, and irrevocable worldwide licence to publish or reproduce said article, prepare derivative works, distribute copies to the public, and perform publicly and display publicly, by or on behalf of the Government.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5500-81588


  • benchmarking
  • Buildings
  • controls
  • FMI
  • HVAC
  • modelica


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