Building Energy Modeling

May 19th, 2006 by Peter Schmelzer

If you are looking at a new building, home or otherwise, there are costs and benefits you should know about. For example, once the mortgage is locked in, will cash-flow allow you to afford heating and cooling? Is a furnace size increase a cost-effective option compared to upgrading insulation? Will the air-conditioning be able to keep up with that big south window?

To help answer these questions, we have just upgraded our software.

The software package is called Energy-10:

…a powerful design tool that analyzes—and illustrates—the energy and cost savings that can be achieved through more than a dozen sustainable design strategies. Hourly energy simulations help you quantify, assess, and clearly depict the benefits of daylighting, passive solar heating, natural ventilation, well-insulated envelopes, better windows, lighting systems, mechanical equipment, and more…

The upgrade will allow us to figure in photovoltaic modules and solar domestic hot water modules into our simulations.

What is the benefit to our clients? Informed design decisions.

With this software, we can estimate what the financial value of an additional inch of roof insulation will really be, based on local historical weather data. The same goes for window upgrades, foyers, and wall systems. We can estimate what energy costs will be for a variety of heating and cooling systems. During design, we can understand the implications of building orientation, large expanses of glass, sunlight penetration and thermal mass. Then, when the building is built, our client will have an educated understanding of what to expect for energy consumption costs.

While not a substitute for skilled mechanical system engineering, this software will allow us to better guide you toward the right design solution from the outset.

We look forward to being of service.

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