SmartBuilds: An energy and power simulation framework for buildings and districts

Shaun Duerr, Cristinel Ababei, Dan M. Ionel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


We introduce a district level multiple buildings energy and power simulation framework. At the building level, the proposed simulation framework, SmartBuilds, leverages EnergyPlus as the core simulation engine for building energy assessment, thereby benefiting from the capabilities of a widely accepted and used state-of-the-art modeling tool. Building models may include batteries for energy storage and renewable energy generators: PV arrays and wind turbines. At the district level, one of the main goals is to provide a versatile platform for the simulation and optimization of the interaction between the electric grid and buildings as well as of the interaction between buildings. Because buildings can participate in intelligent social-like activities through which energy tokens/budgets can be exchanged, the tools provide collective optimization opportunities beyond the usual techniques applied at building level. This paper introduces SmartBuilds' architecture and demonstrates its usefulness in scenarios where multiple buildings are simulated concurrently to assess and seek operating schedules for battery energy storage systems that minimize the overall energy consumption at the district level.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7572062
Pages (from-to)402-410
Number of pages9
JournalIEEE Transactions on Industry Applications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 IEEE.


  • Battery energy storage system (ESS)
  • Distributed generation
  • EnergyPlus
  • Multiple buildings energy simulation
  • Open source software
  • Peak shaving
  • Renewable energy
  • Scheduling
  • Smart grid

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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