The European Union (EU) has proposed themselves ambitious goals to considerably reduce greenhouse emissions and move to an energy-neutral built environment in 2050. To achieve this, it is planned to ensure that new buildings have to be nearly Zero-Energy Buildings (nZEB) as well as the gradual retrofitting of the existing ones to be nZEB. Passive strategies like the use of phase change materials (PCMs) included in the building structure is a promising technology to achieve nZEB designs. However, its effectiveness is difficult to guarantee because of the complex thermal behavior of buildings. Within this context, building performance simulation (BPS) is vital to evaluate building physics in an integrated manner, including all the heat and mass transfer phenomena because of the local climate as well as their relation to users’ behavior and the operation of equipment installed in the building. The 0E-BUILDINGS (Open-Access Platform for Zero-Energy Buildings) project proposes a new multi-objective computational platform to evaluate and optimize PCM-based building components aiming to design new nZEB or to retrofit the existing ones to be nZEB. Through its simulation-based optimization approach, this platform offers a reliable optimal design of PCMs, in terms of thermo-physical properties, quantities, and locations, in order to guarantee their effectiveness.
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