High-Level Model Articulation with BuildingSync and OpenStudio

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


The use of the BuildingSync schema for describing the contents of buildings is becoming more common with its recent integration into the Audit Template tool as well as ASHRAE’s Building Energy Quotient (bEQ) web portal. Although BuildingSync was initially created to store and transfer data related to building energy audits (as defined by ASHRAE Standard 211), it has since been expanded to store the data needed to articulate fully defined physics-based building energy models. BuildingSync combined with abstracted high-level input methods defined in OpenStudio’s Standards project and the newly developed BuildingSync gem allows BuildingSync eXtensible Markup Language (XML) (Bray, Paoli, Sperberg-McQueen, Maler, Eve (Sun Microsystems, & Francois, 2008) document to be converted into OpenStudio models. Automatic generation of a building energy model from data collected during an audit 1) eliminates the need to separately generate an energy model, 2) improves consistency between model generation, and 3) simplifies evaluation of various energy efficiency measures. This manuscript will discuss this open-source project, including: development of the validation infrastructure necessary to provide formalized expectations of informational requirements for BuildingSync documents; development of the BuildingSync gem for translation of BuildingSync documents to OpenStudio models as well as example implementations; and finally, the manuscript will elaborate on the advantages and disadvantages of using high-level models generated from BuildingSync as surrogates to detailed models.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages10
StatePublished - 2020
Event2020 Building Performance Analysis Simbuild Virtual Conference -
Duration: 29 Sep 20201 Oct 2020


Conference2020 Building Performance Analysis Simbuild Virtual Conference

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CP-5500-76911


  • building energy modeling
  • buildings
  • BuildingSync
  • model articulation
  • OpenStudio


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