What is the Purpose of Energy Modeling?
How can you determine how far your design has progressed from an energy conservation standpoint if you don’t know where you started? You cannot of course… Energy Modeling is here to change that perspective!
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. Modeling essentially lets team members compare different design options by considering first cost, operating costs, and replacement costs. Ultimately, Energy Modeling gives the owner the ability to create a building that performs better than similar buildings, which can be a competitive advantage in the market.
Green Ideas has 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 your 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 facility’s 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 – Building Science and Performance-Based Design
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, you’ll have 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, including LED lighting control systems, radiant heating/cooling, phase change materials, etc.
Ability to analyze multi-modal mechanical systems
Built-in Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) and solar shading capabilities for advanced analysis