Danielle Monfet: Continuous Evaluation of Energy Performance

In the field of construction, more attention is often paid to a building’s energy efficiency when it’s designed than when it’s in operation. However, 65% of the energy consumption and 80% of the environmental footprint occur during a building’s operation phase. Professor Monfet is developing new techniques for continuously evaluating and improving the energy efficiency of buildings.

Integrating BIM into the Operation Phase for More Sustainable Buildings

Building Information Modelling (BIM) creates digital models that provide a complete representation of a building, including its HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) systems. It is essential to a building’s design and construction phases.

Professor Monfet would like to go further by integrating its use into the operations phase, which should help to evaluate a building’s energy performance throughout its entire lifespan.

In this perspective, she is directing a project which aims to develop an approach that combines BIM with energy simulation tools. Creating an energy model of a building makes it possible to calibrate the building using measured data and obtain a virtual representation of how it works from an energy point of view.

This would make it possible to assess different operating scenarios to improve a building’s energy efficiency, measure the impact of maintenance work on HVAC systems in terms of energy efficiency and develop preventive maintenance plans that are easily adaptable to other buildings that operate in the same way.

Guides for Developing Energy Efficient Buildings

Professor Monfet’s team has recently published several guides, namely the “Guide de conception d’un bâtiment performant,” (“Guide to Designing Energy Efficient Buildings”) for design professionals. The guide provides architects and engineers with tools to design energy-efficient buildings.   

Supporting a Sustainable Built Heritage

The idea of energy efficiency began to interest researchers during the fuel crisis in the 1970s. Professor Monfet works in an era where simulation technologies offer unprecedented possibilities.

She intends to use them to transform the teaching and practice of construction in order to establish a sustainable built environment, her ultimate objective.