Performer: Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA
- Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY
- Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Boston, MA
- Pattern r+d, Atlanta, GA
Performance Period: Oct. 1, 2019 – Sep. 30, 2022
Related Projects: EnergyPlus, OpenStudio
DOE Project Manager: Harry Bergmann
Principal Investigator: Tarek Rakha, GaTech
Deep energy retrofits often involve envelope upgrades. Smaller retrofits may also require localized envelope interventions such sealing air leaks around windows or doors, filling in missing or insufficient insulation, or mitigating thermal bridges. Auditing building envelopes and analyzing them for problem spots often requires an examination of the envelope from the outside. This can be cost prohibitive for multi-story buildings including many commercial buildings.
This project will develop methods for using drones (unmanned aerial vehicles) equipped with both visible and infrared spectrum (i.e., thermal imaging) cameras to perform commercial building envelope audits. Specifically, the team will develop algorithms for guiding drones around buildings to audit envelopes efficiently; to detect relevant envelope features like windows, doors, and frames; to detect thermal anomalies; and to correlate those thermal anomalies with envelope features and classify them as either leaks, thermal bridges, or insufficient thermal resistance. Ultimately, the team will automatically create envelope models for simulation in whole-building energy modeling engines like EnergyPlus.