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There are several public domain, and numerous proprietary, computer programs that provide detailed simulations of the heating and cooling requirements for a building. Such programs are often used to evaluate changes in the design of a building that are made to decrease its energy requirements. A user is considered to be working in a trial-and-error mode if each execution of the program provides no formal guidance for the next change. This work reports on an investigation of the imbedding of such an energy analysis program into an optimization structure. Such an arrangement would enable a user to specify a set of architectural and construction parameters and the limits within which they might vary, and from this to determine the parameters that yield a local minimum in thermal load and the sensitivity of this load to changes in these parameters.
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