EnergyPlus Commercial and Residential Energy Modeling
EnergyPlus is a powerful whole-building simulation program used to predict energy use and and occupant comfort in both commercial and residential buildings. Using EnergyPlus early in the design of a building results in the incorporation of information about comfort, energy efficiency, mechanical system options and daylighting into the decision making process
EnergyPlus modeling can help the design team:
- Introduce energy efficiency and passive solar design early in the design process
- Properly size mechanical equipment
- Compare mechanical system types and operating costs
- Fine tune passive solar features
- Perform ROI analysis of any sustainable feature, such as increased insulation or better windows
- Perform daylighting analysis of building
- Calculate LEED energy reduction credits
- Show compliance with ASHRAE 90.1
- Much more
We here at Sustainably Built are excited about EnergyPlus for many reasons. Unlike eQUEST, EnergyPlus is being actively developed by the Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL). This includes improvements to the user interface, such as incorporating Google Sketchup as the geometry creation tool, creation of an example file generator, and many other planned improvements to make modeling more time efficient and therefore cost effective. EnergyPlus also interfaces with Radiance, a powerful daylighting tool.
EnergyPlus has many benefits over traditional whole-building simulation programs for the design of new commercial and residential buildings, as well as modeling existing buildings for analyzing potential energy-reducing measures. Thermal mass, natural ventilation, comfort, daylighting, and unique cutting-edge mechanical systems can all be accurately modeled in EnergyPlus.
Click here for examples of how we can use EnergyPlus to aid in your building design.