This component takes multiple zones windows and shading/boundary surfaces and combines them in one thermal model. The component searches all zones for adjacency of their sub-faces to establish a connectivity network and distributes the provided windows to its parent surfaces.
Adjacency is detected by finding surfaces that overlap exactly (adjacent surfaces must be congruent). If you your model contains touching surfaces that are not congruent, you have to subdivide the surfaces otherwise these surfaces. You can do this manually within Rhino or automatically with the Intersector component. The Intersector workflow is usually done as a pre-processing step and the geometry is then baked into Rhino layers. For large models automatic surface intersection can be a costly operation and might take a couple of seconds to minutes. An example workflow with a data tree input structure is shown below. The tree structure is maintained by the Intersector and hence makes it easy to retrieve branches of the intersected geometry.
The use of multi-zone models is driven by the idea to further spatially resolve micro- climatic and functional differences within buildings such as space orientation and programmatic use. Such differences have significant impact on the load behavior of a space and thus also on the specifications for an HVAC system that serves it [Bobenhausen, 1994]. To simplify the simulation and system layout, multiple rooms may be joined together into one zone if they share similar load profiles. However, lumping spaces of different character together in one zone can lead to significant load under-predictions [Smith et al., 2011]. For example, a localized heat surplus that may occur during the winter near a south-facing façade may be absorbed by a space to the north that is underserved by solar gains. Consequently, the predicted energy demand according to the one-zone thermal model would be dampened due to load cancellation compared to a spatially resolved multi-zone model. In early design, when the room layouts that would provide the basis for thermal zoning are yet unknown, ASHRAE 90.1 Appendix G prescribes a zoning methodology stating that a floor should be divided into core and perimeter regions. The perimeter is defined as the space along the facade with a depth of five meters. Further, perimeter spaces with more than one orientation should be subdivided proportionally. The leftover region in the center of the floor forms the core [ANSI/ASHRAE/IESNA, 2013].