Cum laude for a selection method to choose the best building performance model

June 28, 2019

Isabelle Gaetani defended her thesis yesterday

Yesterday afternoon Isabella Gaetani obtained a PhD cum laude at Eindhoven University of Technology for her research towards building performance simulation software that is used to simulate the energy and comfort performance of buildings. Gaetani developed a strategy that enables designers to better understand the influence of uncertainties in building performance simulations. This could lead to improvements in the final energy performance and overall indoor environment of buildings.


Buildings are becoming more and more complex and energy-efficient. During the design process, the quality of the indoor environment should be taken into account. To determine this comfort performance, designers use building performance simulation software.

This software often show a discrepancy between predicted and actual building performance. This is mainly due to the difficulty to predict the behavior of occupants.

Gaetaniā€™s research focused on the appropriate modeling of occupant behavior to achieve more realistic predictions of the energy and comfort performance of buildings.
She used modeling and simulation to determine the fit-for-purpose degree of complexity of occupant behavior for specific cases. Gaetani verified the methodology in virtual experiments and tested it on a range of existing buildings.

Curriculum Vitae

Gaetani holds a MSc of Energy Engineering (2013) from Politecnico di Milano, Italy. At Eindhoven University of Technology Gaetani has conducted her research under the supervision of Prof. Jan Hensen and Dr. Pieter-Jan Hoes of Building Performance research group.

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