Building Energy Modeling – Looking Beyond Performance Prediction

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The focus of the AEC industry is centered far too much on, using BEM to predict energy performance of a building.

Can we look beyond energy performance prediction and center our efforts on making early energy efficiency decisions based on these predictions?

To put it the other way round; Is energy modeling of any real significance after the orientation, envelope, glazing and MEP systems of a building are already specified? Energy Simulation In Building Design has a lot more to offer beyond just score keeping. It is in the best interests of AEC firms to use it for making informed decisions during the early design phase of a building and construction project and align it with energy management.

To What Extent Can You Rely Of Energy Simulation And Analysis Results?

The question here is that how much accuracy can we expect?

equest-energy-modelAccording to experts, green modeling can by no means provide an exact estimate of energy usage within a building. Several factors like requirement of occupants, weather conditions, efficiency of MEP and HVAC equipments across the buildings lifecycle, etc. are extremely volatile.

So now, if green modeling cannot predict the exact energy performance, what real value does it provide? Nothing?

Contrary to the common perception, the real value of energy modeling is not prediction of energy performance, instead it lies in making relative comparisons, weighing design options and taking informed design decisions in order to improve the energy performance of a building.

Net Zero Energy Building

Experts from the AEC industry are increasingly leveraging the capabilities of energy modeling to design net zero energy buildings. ‘NZEB’ is a relatively new concept that has rapidly gained popularity across the AEC circuit.

As per this concept, green modeling goes beyond performance prediction; its significance also extends beyond mere energy efficiency improvements in a building and presents a great concept of generating nearly as much energy as you use. This can be done by optimizing the use of renewable energy and reducing the need of non- renewable sources, thus ensuring reduced energy bills.

Although the concept is quite popular and architects and designers are increasingly focusing on green building design and sustainability solutions for construction projects, ‘NZEB’s’ across the world are so less, that you can count them on your fingers.

Do you think that it is a viable to introduce the concept of net zero energy in every construction project? 

Can we achieve the best energy efficiency ‘NZEB’ in every building we design, in any corner of the world?


About Author:

Bhushan Avsatthi

Bhushan Avsatthi is a senior manager, consultant, BIM expert and a green building advisor with more than 15 years of industry experience. Bhushan imbibes the prophecy of efficient and prudent use of energy in his day to day life and advices his team to do so as well. He is also involved in green initiatives like nonprofit tree plantation project and promotes using cycles for commuting small distances. Bhushan, handles a team of architects, Structural and MEP engineers, LEED consultants and Energy modeling experts.

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