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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.
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End-Use Breakdown: The Building Energy Modeling Blog

BTO Publishes Two Important BEM Documents
Selections from the front page of the BEM R&D roadmap draft and the recommended initiatives table. Image credit: Navigant Consulting.

This week, BTO published two important and related documents regarding its BEM program. The first is the final revision of the BTO multi-year program plan (MYPP). In conjunction with the MYPP, BTO also published a set of program logic models that trace BTO activities to outputs and market outcomes.

EnergyPlus Logo Debuts on Revit Toolbar
With Insight 360, Revit and FormIt 360 Pro users can use EnergyPlus to calculate building heating and cooling loads and map the results onto the model for easy identification of high load zones and spaces. Image credit: Autodesk.

Autodesk’s interest in EnergyPlus has been public for some time. In 2013, the company underwrote the translation of EnergyPlus from FORTRAN to the more modern C++, donating the translated code back to DOE (Autodesk has continued collaborating with DOE and the development team on improving the code’s runtime performance). In 2014, it launched EnergyPlus Cloud™, a simulation service that uses online resources to parallelize EnergyPlus simulations. Autodesk unveiled the next link in the chain two weeks ago at GreenBuild 2015 in Washington, D.C.—Insight 360.