Building energy modeling has become more common over the last decade or so, and it’s a standard practice for projects pursuing LEED certification. But there’s a problem: the later the team waits to start modeling the building, the more potential energy-saving opportunities have been missed along the way. The intent of energy modeling is to use these analysis tools to guide design decision-making.
That’s where design-phase energy modeling comes in; it’s a way to do energy modeling that can actually inform the design of the building and its systems. There’s even a standard defining best practices for design-phase energy modeling: ASHRAE 209, Energy-Simulation-Aided Design for Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings.
What ASHRAE 209 requires
The standard explains how to best use energy modeling during 11 “modeling cycles,” listed here by design phase: