The calibration of building energy models is crucial for their use in some applications that depend on their accuracy for adequate performance, such as demand response and model predictive control (MPC). In general, energy models offer many possibilities/strategies when characterizing a construction system, and such a characterization is key when analyzing both its thermal behavior and its energy impact. This research analyzes the different ways to characterize the thermal interaction of the building energy model (BEM) with the ground, comparing conventional approaches with new approaches based on both optimization of the former and dynamic ground characterizations. Using a model adjusted to a real case study, each of the existing options are analyzed, in which a different control of the ground temperature both in terms of its temporal oscillation and its location in the building (based on thermal zones) is taken into account. Exhaustive monitoring of a real building and measuring the ground and ground floor surface temperatures have made establishing which EnergyPlus components/objects best characterize the ground-slab interaction possible, both in terms of the simplicity of modeling and the cost (economic and technical) required for each of them. As will be seen, there are objects with an excellent cost/effectiveness ratio when characterizing the ground. (c) 2021 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier B.V. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).