Whole building simulation tools can play a significant role in energy savings through building design and operation, implementing building energy rating schemes, and demonstrating compliance with building energy codes. It is critical that any development of a tool be properly evaluated by state-of-the-art evaluation techniques. Using the collected data of more than forty houses in three Australian cities (Adelaide, Brisbane and Melbourne) through monitoring and survey, this study evaluates the Chenath engine and the AusZEH design tool against actual electricity consumptions under realistic conditions. The Chenath engine simulates space heating and cooling, and the AusZEH design tool simulates whole-house operation.
The results show, on average, that the predicted space heating and cooling electricity consumption agrees with the monitored data with an R-squared value of 63.8% and 64.6% respectively; the predicted total electricity consumption agrees with the observed data with an R-squared value of 84.2%; and the predicted whole-house electricity consumption is 11.8% lower than average actual electricity consumption. It also demonstrates that the AusZEH design tool can simulate the average daily electricity consumption patterns for each season, and for sub-grouped electricity consumption for space heating and cooling, water heating, lighting and other appliances. This reasonable agreement provides the users with confidence in the performance of the Chenath engine and the AusZEH design tool.