Interested in getting started? Please complete the Energy Model Quote Request Form and email us with any further project information for a quote. We don’t want to miss an opportunity to help transform the built environment through integrated design analysis!
What is the Purpose of Energy Modeling?
How can you determine how far you’ve progressed if you don’t know where you started? You cannot of course – but that is the way that we often design buildings from an energy perspective. The typical approach is to design a building that meets energy code – which is the worst building that you can legally build!
The energy consumed by a building throughout its lifetime has the biggest impact on the environment of any other aspect of design, construction or operations. It is also one of the biggest costs to a building owner. We believe that it is critically important to model the energy performance of a new building early in the design process: this is how high-performance buildings are born. Energy modeling helps a project team understand the life-cycle impacts of architectural, mechanical and electrical design decisions on the projected energy performance of the building. Energy modeling lets team members compare different design options by considering first cost, operating costs, and replacement costs. Energy modeling gives the owner the ability to create a building that performs better than similar buildings, which can be an edge in the market.
We have the experience to create useful energy models for new buildings and retrofits for existing buildings. Our modeling experts have the ability to critically evaluate design options for architectural, mechanical, electrical and controls system options. Our knowledge allows us to interact with design professionals and offer value-added recommendations that will improve the energy performance of the design.
Traditional energy modeling is reactive in nature and tends to utilize bulky, database-driven software packages, with manual input interfaces that slow the design process. This approach to design analysis lends itself to being an underutilized process and often times the simulation is introduced as an afterthought.
Current software packages are numerically driven, requiring a plethora of inputs, many of which don’t actually help optimize, analyze, nor provide for a more accurate representation of designed conditions. More often than not, an energy model is an extremely conservative measure of a facilities actual energy use and simply focuses on baseline comparisons, as opposed to essential optimization.
Most modeling software ignores the complexities in combined systems and introduces standardized input values for simplification of a design. Often times, complex geometries and assemblies can be difficult to analyze and recreate in stand-alone energy modeling packages with a lack of interoperability built into the process. This leads to recreation of existing data and proper time allocation is not seen as critical and often times becomes overlooked in order to focus efforts elsewhere in the design process. Other limitations include:
- Lack of integration with current Building Information Modeling (BIM) processes
- Insufficient capabilities for advanced analysis/simulation
- Lack of software support and upgrade packages for current tools
- One-size fits all response to a complex and ever-evolving industry
Solution / Response
At Green Ideas, it is our mission to accelerate transformation of the built environment through sustainable design and building practices. We believe that an energy model is essential in helping to achieve this goal by positively influencing and guiding design teams in the creation of high-performance buildings.
When utilized as an iterative design tool, energy modeling is a proactive and informative process, not a reactive and conforming process.
By working with Green Ideas, we give you access to our proprietary Energy Modeling processes and cutting-edge software package to create a truly integrated solution for energy simulation and analysis.
- Integrated BIM process utilizing current modeling workflows
- Elimination of double data entry and multiple model creation
- Simple user-interface for ease of use
- Capabilities to analyze new and emerging technologies i.e. LED lighting, radiant heating/cooling, phase change materials
- Ability to analyze multi-modal mechanical systems
- Built-in Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) and solar shading capabilities for advanced analysis
- Energy Conservation Measures (ECM) Charrette
- Identify project goals
- Performance expectations – Utilize the Owner’s Project Requirements for alignment of performance and define necessary baseline parameters
- System types – define the HVAC system typologies to be explored; including multi-modal and advanced radiant systems
- Renewables – define the inclusion of any renewable energy systems to be deployed
- Identify project constraints
- Program – defining space types and zone needs will help calibrate the model and provide actual use-case scenarios for analysis
- Code – comparison analysis for code review can be coupled with all types of analysis
- Budget – Trade-offs will often occur due to budgetary constraints; understanding where these trade-offs can occur based on performance expectations will allow the design team to model the most cost-effective and realistic systems for analyses
- Identify basic project parameters
- Identify ECM’s to pursue
- Define modeling iterations for analysis
- Identify project goals
- Integration Phase
- Define current modeling/BIM workflow
- Generate geometry for analysis based on provided guidelines for software integration
- Utilize existing parameters for ease of analysis translation
- Design Response Phase
- Iteration isolation for analysis and comparison
- Generate interim reports for team review and sign-off
- Combine solutions for design response
- Analysis and Reporting Phase
- Cost/benefit report for lifecycle analysis
- Final performance report for energy consumption analysis – Annual + Demand Loads
- Automated reports for LEED compliance and documentation