Inverse design of an indoor environment using a filter-based topology method with experimental verification

Xingwang Zhao, Zhu Shi, Qingyan Chen

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


In order to create a healthy, comfortable, productive, and energy-efficient indoor environment, the computational fluid dynamics (CFD)-based adjoint method with an area-constrained topology method can be used to inversely design the optimal number, size, location, and shape of air supply inlets and air supply parameters. However, this method is not very mature, and the distribution of retained inlets is always scattered. To solve that problem, this investigation introduced a filter method that smooths the intermediate results during the inverse design process. Using a three-dimensional, non-isothermal, asymmetrical office with pre-set air supply inlets as an example, this study verified the performance of the proposed filter-based topology method. The verified method was then used to solve a multi-objective design problem and design an optimal indoor environment for a room. The results indicate that the proposed method was able to find the optimal number, location, and shape of air supply inlets and the optimal air supply temperature, velocity, and angle that led to a thermally comfortable, healthy, productive, and energy-efficient indoor environment. Finally, this investigation installed the optimal inlets in an environmental chamber to mimic the room. The measured air temperature, velocity, and mean age of air in several typical locations in the environmental chamber matched the CFD simulation results very closely.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1039-1051
Number of pages13
JournalIndoor Air
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2020


  • CFD-based adjoint method
  • filter-based topology method
  • Indoor environment
  • inverse design
  • multi-objective problem

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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