Optimal use of renewable energy technologies during building schematic design phase

Ahmed A. Hassan, Khaled El-Rayes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


An increasing number of federal and state regulations and financial incentive programs have been enacted in recent years to promote renewable energy systems integration in new buildings. This requires designers to analyze the initial and lifecycle costs of feasible renewable energy systems in order to optimize their integration in buildings during all design phases. The goal of this study is to support designers in generating optimal building schematic designs to maximize the integration and generation of onsite renewable energy. To accomplish this goal, this paper presents the development of a novel multi-objective optimization model that can be used during the schematic design phase to identify optimal building design decisions including dimensions, orientation, location on site, solid-to-void ratio, and the type and size of onsite renewable energy systems. The optimization objectives of the developed model focus on maximizing the generation of onsite renewable energy, maximizing savings-to-investment ratio of all integrated renewable energy, and minimizing both construction and renewable energy costs. An application example of optimizing the schematic design of a 6500 m2 building was analyzed to highlight the model original contributions and its novel capabilities. The results of this analysis highlight the original contributions of the developed model and its novel capabilities that can be used to maximize the generation of onsite renewable energy and its savings-to-investment ratio while minimizing building cost by optimizing building schematic design and renewable energy (RE) technology decisions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number122006
JournalApplied Energy
StatePublished - Jan 1 2024
Externally publishedYes


  • Buildings
  • EnergyPlus
  • Genetic algorithm
  • Optimization
  • Photovoltaic
  • Renewable energy
  • Schematic design

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Building and Construction
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • General Energy
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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