Keywords:Façade design, process automation, thermal bridges, building physics, heuristic knowledge, software development
This paper evaluates how parts of the building engineering design processes can be automated using software automation, with a focus on the analysis of thermal bridges in façades. Reduced repetition in façade design requires the automation of routine tasks that would otherwise be performed manually. Because full software automation is seldom achievable, a preliminary decision-making process that considers both the effort to create automation and the benefit to exploit it is required. A methodology is presented to achieve beneficial trade-offs between effort and benefits, by using heuristic knowledge. The knowledge was gathered by interviews with façade professionals. The methodology was tested on two case studies based on the analysis of the expected thermal bridge heat loss of two large-scale and low-repetition buildings. The results of the automated process described in the methodology were compared against information obtained from traditional approach, where the engineer/consultant performs each individual task manually. The results shows that the introduction of automation leads to time savings of 44%, if compared to the manual approach.