An exploration of building design and optimisation methods using Kriging meta-modelling
Wood, Michael James
Thesis or dissertation
University of Exeter
This thesis investigates the application of Kriging meta-modelling techniques in the field of building design and optimisation. In conducting this research, there were two key motivational factors. The first is the need for building designers to have tools that allow low energy buildings to be designed in a fast and efficient manner. The second motivating factor is the need for optimisation tools that account, or help account, for the wide variety of uses that a building might have; so-called Robust Optimisation (RO). This thesis therefore includes an analysis of Kriging meta-modelling and first applies this to simple building problems. I then use this simple building model to determine the effect of the updated UK Test Reference Years (TRYs) on energy consumption. Second, I examine Kriging-based optimisation techniques for a single objective. I then revisit the single-building meta-model to examine the effect of uncertainty on a neighbourhood of buildings and compare the results to the output of a brute-force analysis of a full building simulator. The results show that the Kriging emulation is an effective tool for creating a meta-model of a building. The subsequent use in the analysis of the effect of TRYs on building shows that UK buildings are likely to use less heating in the future but are likely to overheat more. In the final two chapters I use the techniques developed to create a robust building optimisation algorithm as well as using Kriging to improve the optimisation efficiency of the well-known NSGA-II algorithm. I show that the Kriging-based robust optimiser effectively finds more robust solutions than traditional global optimisation. I also show that Kriging techniques can be used to augment NSGA-II so that it finds more diverse solutions to some types of multi-objective optimisation problems. The results show that Kriging has significant potential in this field and I reveal many potential areas of future research. This thesis shows how a Kriging-enhanced NSGA-II multi-objective optimisation algorithm can be used to improve the performance of NSGA-II. This new algorithm has been shown to speed up the convergence of some multi-objective optimisation algorithms significantly. Although further work is required to verify the results for a wider variety of building applications, the initial results are promising.
EPSRC Centre for Energy and the Environment, University of Exeter
PhD in Engineering