Energy Models…and more

While design team members have their rules of thumb for energy performance of specific designs, computer programs can be applied to independently verify the designed energy savings against a minimum standard building, and to determine early in design if it is more cost effective to invest in highly insulating windows or in a high efficiency boiler, as examples. With experience in modeling many buildings in the prairie region, our energy simulation professionals can provide additional expertise to the design team in energy design.  Further, adding daylight simulation early in design can help achieve that LEED credit and all of its intent in improving indoor environment quality, while optimizing energy use.

Benefits: determine most cost effective design alternatives; verify energy performance of your building; provide rough estimate of magnitude of upcoming energy bills; achieve an optimized indoor air quality through daylight use while balancing against energy savings.

NECB Performance Path:

  • Provide a preliminary model of the Proposed Design and of the NECB Reference/Baseline, using eQuest software, based on the earliest design to catch any issues in not meeting compliance;
  • Perform model iterations based on the debatable energy design features to estimate the magnitude of savings;
  • Update preliminary model with final design and assemble documentation to complete the permit reports and stamp permit documentation at building and occupancy stages.

LEED Minimum Energy Performance Simulation (EAp2):

  • Distribute National Energy Code for Buildings or ASHRAE 90.1 checksheets for completion by design team to ensure minimum (not-modeled) requirements are met;
  • Create a model using eQuest to validate minimum energy performance and compliance with EAp2;
  • As an independent third party, review another consultant’s model for compliance to EAp2.

LEED Optimize Energy Performance Simulation (EAc1):

  • Provide a preliminary model (using eQuest comparing against MNECB, NECB or ASHRAE 90.1) based on the earliest design to catch any issues in meeting the credit goal;
  • Perform model iterations based on the debatable energy design features to estimate the magnitude of savings;
  • Update preliminary model with final design and assemble documentation to certify the level of energy performance and number of credits eligible for EAc1;
  • As an independent third party, review another consultant’s model for compliance to EAc1.

LEED Daylight (IEQc8.1):

  • Work with team early in design, applying computer simulation to determine daylight exposure to spaces, achieving adequately lit spaces for energy savings and for overall optimized indoor environment quality.

LEED Measurement and Verification Model Calibration (EAc5):

  • Apply the one-year monitored data and the year’s weather data to calibrate the energy model;
  • Provide report of possible operational issues (i.e. flag any irregularities in the monitored data against the most accurate, calibrated model);

Renewable Energy Simulation:

  • Use RETScreen or other appropriate software to estimate savings with renewable energy initiatives;
  • Apply results to energy performance given by LEED EAp2/EAc1 model, if applicable.

Schematic Design Building Energy Simulation:

  • Use EE4 Screening Tool or eQuest Schematic Design Wizard to create a model based on bare schematic information and run design iterations to gauge level of savings/impact;
  • Participate in Integrated Design Process, providing near instantaneous model results of design ideas;
  • Roll schematic model into a detailed model (eventually compliant with EAp2/EAc1) as design progresses.