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Building Energy Modeling

About the portfolio

Building energy modeling (BEM)—physics-based calculation of building energy consumption—is a multi-use tool for building energy efficiency. Established use cases include design of new buildings and deep retrofits, development of whole-building energy efficiency codes and standards (e.g., ASHRAE 90.1) and performance-path compliance with those codes (e.g., ASHRAE 90.1 “Appendix G” Performance Rating Method), beyond-code physical asset rating and labeling (e.g., USGBC’s LEED energy credit), and development of prescriptive design guides (e.g., ASHRAE 50% beyond 90.1 Advanced Design and Retrofit Guides). Emerging uses include design of low-energy building control algorithms, continuous commissioning of building mechanical systems, and dynamic building control for energy optimization or demand response. DOE has been actively involved in BEM research and development since the early 1970s, before its ascension to a cabinet-level department.
Learn more about BTO's building energy modeling portfolio ►


Explore our software and projects

End-Use Breakdown: The Building Energy Modeling Blog

When Saving Energy Helps Save Lives
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers B-Hut test site in Champaign, IL. Performance of two energy efficient B-Huts (improved B-hut on left and SIP hut on right), designed with the help of EnergyPlus, is being compared to baseline B-Hut (middle).<br />Credit: Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

National lab researchers are working with U.S. Military to design energy efficient base structures and reduce the need for dangerous refueling missions in hostile territories.

There’s a Measure for That!
A before-and-after image of the OpenStudio Measure “AEDG K-12 school daylighting package” demonstrates the surgical power of Measures. Source: NREL.

OpenStudio Measures are short programs that can be used to transform models, create custom visualizations and reports, and automate modeling workflows. OpenStudio users are writing Measures to improve their own processes and their services.