EnergyPlus is a powerful whole-building simulation program used to predict energy use and occupant comfort in both commercial and residential buildings. EnergyPlus energy modeling helps inform the design process in regards to comfort, energy efficiency, mechanical system options, and daylighting. The sooner that EnergyPlus energy modeling is performed in the design process, the more cost-effective the results can be.
EnergyPlus energy 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 the building
- Calculate LEED energy reduction credits
- Show compliance with ASHRAE 90.1
- And much more…
At Sustainably Built, we’re 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 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.