Energy Modeling

What is Energy Modeling?

Energy Modeling is the energy consumption analysis of buildings with computer software. There are various energy modeling software that can run simulations to estimate building energy usage, utility bills, life cycle cost analysis, and GHG emissions. An Energy Model report includes information about the energy usage break down of energy related items such as air conditioning, Interior and exterior lighting, domestic hot water plant, equipment load, and miscellaneous load. More advanced energy modeling software are capable of analyzing renewable energies such solar panels and photovoltaics, wind turbines, geothermal, etc.

What are typical Energy Modeling Software?

  1. IES VE
  2. eQuest
  3. Trane Trace
  4. Energy Plus
  5. Design Builder

What is the process of Energy Modeling for LEED?

  1. Energy Modeling team decides on the code requirements and type of software needed to complete the energy modeling. The software is decided based on the geometry, type of HVAC systems, Complexity of project, timing, etc.
  2. Energy modeling team reviews all the architectural, mechanical, lighting drawings and makes a list of information needed for the energy model.
  3. An energy model is created, ideally very early stages in the DD phase or 30% CD phase of a project.
  4. A baseline is then developed and will be used for comparison with the proposed model. The baseline model must meet the minimum requirements of applicable energy code, in this case for LEED V4 ASHRAE 90.1 2010, and for LEED V4.1 ASHRAE 90.1 2016
  5. Various options or Energy Conservation Measures (ECM’s) of the building systems and components are modeled and analyzed. Typically, this process will start with building envelope measures and then move to lighting and HVAC/mechanicals and programming.
  6. Finally, a variety of measures will be selected and analyzed to determine the energy  savings of the proposed design model option against the baseline in terms of energy savings (EUI), energy cost savings ($), and net capital costs associated with each one.
  7. A complete energy modeling report will be generated listing out all the assumptions made, ECMs, if any exceptional methods used, etc. This report contains percentages savings which can be used to calculate LEED points.

What standards are usually followed for an energy model?

LEED V4.0 projects: need to follow Ashrae 90.1 2010 Energy Cost Budget Method or Appendix G

LEED V4.1 projects: need to follow Ashrae 90.1 2016 Energy Cost Budget Method or Appendix G

Code compliance to get a permit: Depending on the latest adopted local code by city.

Green Globes Certification: need to follow Ashrae 90.1 2010 Appendix G

Ashrae 62.1 is used for the code requirements ventilation rates.

If you are interested to learn more how Energy Fave can help with Energy Modeling for your building or if you have more questions about the whole Energy Modeling process, feel free to email us: