IEA EBC Annex 60 – Computational Tools for Building and Energy Community Systems


Project duration:

June 1, 2012 to May 31, 2017

Framework program:

International Energy Agency (IEA), Implementation Agreement “Energy, Buildings and Communities (EBC)



Due to the increased use of renewable energy systems, future buildings will have to actively contribute to the storage of energy. This gives priority to intelligent and networked interaction between systems – far beyond the boundaries of individual buildings. This extended viewpoint also leads to significant changes regarding computing and simulation tools. The objective of the “Annex 60 Project” is to develop next-generation computer-based methods of calculation and to demonstrate their application, paving the way for the design and operation of integrated, robust, and performance-oriented energy systems on the level of buildings and facilities, as well as on the level of residential quarters. The EBC Annex 60 Project “Computational Tools for Building and Community Energy Systems” was launched in 2012, governed by the IEA Implementing Agreement “Energy in Buildings and Communities”. There are about 100 scientists involved in the project – from 41 institutes in 16 countries.
The project is divided into the areas of technology development and demonstration. The latter area focuses on studying technology-use in real objects, on the three levels of buildings, city districts, and building automation. The aspect of technology development focuses on

  • international convergence of the development of model libraries for energetic building and system simulation in the simulation language Modelica, laying the basis for various subsystems and networks (electric, hydraulic, thermal),
  • the development of methods to couple different simulation approaches through co-simulation based on the Functional Mock-up Interface (FMI) standard, in order to reflect the different scale ranges of facilities, buildings, and urban quarters,
  • using Building Information Modeling (BIM) to support digital planning methods, as a means to establish a product-neutral data exchange between 3D BIM design and simulation tools.

The Annex 60 Project is led by institutions in Germany and the US. The Head of the Institute, Prof. van Treeck, and Dr. M. Wetter (Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, California, USA) are Co-Operating Agents.