Student Modelling Competition

As part of the 16th IBPSA International Conference and Exhibition, IBPSA is organizing a student modelling competition. The aim is to facilitate wider participation in the conference and to provide a competitive forum for student members of the building simulation community. It is expected that several tutors of relevant courses in universities around the world will use the brief of this competition as part of their teaching material.

The 2019 Student Modelling Competition is set up as a SIMULATION PENTATHLON organized in five contests.
All entrants must be enrolled as students (PhD, MSc, BSc or equivalent) at the time of submission. Team participation is encouraged.
The two finalists will be notified by June 1st, 2019 and will receive free registration to BS2019 plus up to € 2000 in reimbursed travel expenses. The two finalists will be expected to attend the Building Simulation 2019 conference and to prepare a short presentation and produce a poster for display at BS2019. Based on the conference presentation and poster, an overall winner will be selected and announced at the conference.

More details can be found in the brief downloadable at Brief and Materials section of this page.



The Pentathlon is organized in five contests which represent the phases that a practitioner should go through when designing the retrofit of an existing building.

These are:

1. Model and simulate the existing building

2. Assess the buildings energy consumption and indoor environmental quality

3. Redesign using retrofit measures to enhance the buildings performance

4. Assess the building daylighting performance and visual comfort

5. Optimize the building performance using previously assessed performance measures (or more) by using parametric design, sensitivity analysis or multi-objective optimization

Case Study

The object of the competition is the simulation of an historical palace in Rome (Italy) in order to lead its energy retrofit design. The building is a seventeenth-century palace now hosting classrooms and offices.


Brief and Materials

Please download the competition brief for more information. We look forward to your participation!

Winners’ prize

The winning team will receive free copies of IBPSA’s books “Building Performance Analysis” by Pieter de Wilde kindly offered by Wiley and the expanded second edition of the book “Building Performance Simulation for Design and Operation” edited by Jan L. M. Hensen and Roberto Lamberts kindly offered by Routledge.



Number of notifications of interest: 39 notifications from 19 Countries and 5 Continents.

Number of entries: 12 submissions from 6 Countries.


It is a great pleasure to announce the finalists shortlisted to attend and present their work at the conference.

ID29: Abuimara Tareq, Dumitrascu Luminita, Gutland Michael, Ide Larissa, Soble Adrian (Carleton University – Canada):

ID9: Ceccolini Clara, Franzoi Nicola, Malavolta Pietro, Ricciuti Silvia (University of Bolzano – Italy)

ID32: Elena Verticchio (University of Rome – Italy)

Key Dates

  • October 15th October 30th, 2018: Announcement of brief

  • January 31st, 2019: Entrants notify their intent to submit an entry

  • April 28th May 12th, 2019: Deadline for completed entries

  • June 1st, 2019: Finalists notification

  • September 2nd-4th, 2019: Winner announced at BS2019 Conference in Rome, Italy


Competition Committee

Ilaria Ballarini | Fabio Bisegna | Filippo Calcerano | Francesca Cappelletti | Cristina Cornaro | Claudia Guattari | Christina Hopfe | Alessandro Prada | Christian Struck | Gerhard Zweifel | Sergey Zhukovskiy


Competition FAQs

If you require any information, please contact us at the following e-mail:  [email protected]

Please look in this section first to check that your query has not already been answered. Thank you.

Q: We have finished our announcement of brief, but we don’t know how to submit it, could you please tell me?

A: You can find the brief at this link.

This brief contains all the rules for participating to the competition.

When you decide to participate, please notify your intent to submit an entry via email to: [email protected] (by the end of January 2019).
A bonafide letter on the university/institute letterhead from the supervisor or faculty-in-charge AND the Student ID provided by the university/institute must be sent with the notification of your intent to submit an entry.

Deadline for completed entries is 28th April. The final entry should be sent via email to: [email protected]

Q: I would like to kindly know about the specific floor height of the building for all floors since it has not been specified anywhere in the brief document.

A: You should download the drawings (plans and sections) in CAD format at the Brief and Materials section of the website. You can measure all the dimensions you want in those files.

Q: Do you have any of the following data of the building:

  • actual energy consumption data for any period of time
  • wall surface temperatures for the external wall (indoor and outdoor)
  • wind pressure coefficient data for the roof or any surface of the building

A: We haven’t got any of the requested data. You are required to make hypothesis on them.

Q: Can we have some background information about the historical context of the building?

A: The building has been built during the 17th century and it is located in the historical center of Rome.

Q: We want to add one member to our team. Is still possible?

A: You can still add one member. Please send to [email protected] one more e-mail with the name of the member to add. Send also the student ID and the bonafide letter for the new member.

Q: We know the retrofit project is about a real building in Italy, but we can only now it is in Rome but we need some more information of the surrounding environment to simulate the building performance. Also the retrofit design need the site environment. So will you provide us the location of the building? Or how should we deal with the surrounding environment without the site location?

A: The building is located in Rome. I am sorry but I cannot tell you anything more than this because of privacy reasons. You can make some hypothesis on surrounding buildings height looking at the picture in the brief. Remember that you are not required to calibrate a model, but to design retrofit solutions, so the important thing is to make a good comparison of scenarios.

Q: About the HVAC System, the brief said that there is no information about the current heating system and we need to design a system to satisfy the temperature requirements for heating period. So is the heating system one part of the retrofit? Or the system is just need to be designed as a existing condition and will not be changed during the retrofit, the retrofit is just about other aspects of the building? And the similar question is about the cooling system, the brief said there is no cooling system now. Does this mean we can’t add a cooling system in our retrofit design or we can design a new cooling system as a part of the retrofit?

A: Heating system is present, but you can make assumptions about the efficiency and propose a more efficient solution. There is no cooling system now, so you have to establish if there is a need for a cooling system or if internal conditions do not require it.

Q: I would like to ask you for the exact ubication of the Building in which we have to apply the best retrofit measures, please.

A: The exact ubication of the building is not a public information and it cannot be used for the competition purposes.