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1995). Many tools can be used by their authors, but time and resource constraints result in a limited scope and limited facilities. , 1993). • Lack of trust in computational results, possibly in connection with lack of usefulness and clarity of these results in a design context. While developers or distributors of computational tools may have confidence in their product, potential customers (especially architects and principals) often lack this confidence (Batty and Swann, 1997). For people that are no expert in simulation there is no independent measure, no benchmark to legitimize the output of these tools (Donn, 1999).

A particular instance of a system and its context in a computer program make up a numerical model. Output can be presented both in numerical and graphical format (Bland, 1992; Bosgra, 1996). Building simulation is the domain of simulation that studies buildings or building subsystems. The most relevant behavioral aspects studied in building simulation are heat transfer, (day)lighting, acoustics, and air flow. The principal actors in building simulation are tool developers, building researchers and consultants.

Development of new tools and further development of existing tools continues since the mid 1990s, but without large breakthroughs. Information on the role of simulation tools in the building design process proves to be hard to find. One study which focused on a qualitative assessment of the use of energy tools in the building design process by both architects and experts was carried out by Robinson (1996); however, quantitative information on the percentage of building projects that actually involves the use of building energy simulation tools so far is not available.

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