Can you guarantee that the completed building will match the performance predicted by the analysis in its day-to-day operations?
No, it is impossible to predict occupant behavior. No matter how green you design a building, the performance will still be dictated by the occupants. You cannot control an occupant blasting AC on a cold day, or leaving the windows open while the AC or heat is running.
When choosing settings for each of the building performance factors, should you always choose the setting that gives the absolute lowest predicted energy use?
Not always, you need to match performance factors with building use. For example, your windows need a certain level of visible light transmittance and increasing that factor will also increase SHGC. You need to make sure that lighting and HVAC systems are operating during main business hours and that might not always be the most efficient time of operation.
4D simulations are often used to show the construction sequence for an entire project, but shorter simulations that focus on a specific period of time are also useful. Can you provide examples of how a simulation that focuses on a 1 or 2 week period could be useful for planning?
Many of the phases that I listed in my 4D simulation have multiple steps. For example, it may be useful to simulate the construction of only columns or only beams so that those completing the work will have a thorough understanding of that process - before you simulate the construction of the entire building. Additionally, if you were to simulate architectural elements, it would definitely be helpful to break those up week by week so those working construction will understand the fine details that are involved in that process.