Building Analytics

Our energy analytics team utilizes building simulation modeling as a consulting tool for new construction, existing building retrofits, and optimization projects at high performance buildings. Our engineers are experts in architectural energy consulting, HVAC analysis, existing building calibrations, LEED energy modeling, code compliance energy modeling, thermal comfort analysis, high performance buildings, urban scale modeling, positive and zero net energy design and renewable technology. The following types of analyses are used throughout building design phases to inform and collaborate with architectural and engineering teams to optimize and prioritize energy-efficient strategies and technologies.

Building Massing/Orientation

Conceptual design analysis of various building forms to develop design principles relating to surface-area-to-volume ratio, self-shading, daylight availability and building energy. The analysis leads to a collaboration between architectural and engineering teams to find a balanced approach to finalizing a building design.

Envelope Optimization

Parametric analysis to optimize the performance of the building envelope based on form, thermal performance, solar-heat-gain coefficient, shading, window-to-wall ratio, glazing location and visible light transmittance while also balancing energy performance and overall cost. The analysis is conducted using the actual architectural geometry and envelope form to provide a more thorough and accurate analysis of the architect’s design. 

Daylighting Analysis

Analysis of the effect of daylight on energy savings, occupant comfort and building wellness. These types of analysis include interior-daylight penetration and glare based on building form, shading, glazing location and visible light transmittance; daylight analysis for LEED v4; daylight analysis for the Well Building Standard to support circadian and psychological health through indoor sunlight exposure, and exterior daylight investigation to determine the potential impact of glazing reflectivity on neighboring buildings. 

HVAC Analysis

Energy modeling to analyze different HVAC systems for different zones of a building to understand the benefits of each system in terms of building energy, energy cost, thermal comfort and system performance. These analyses are used during conceptual design to determine the viability of different HVAC airside and waterside systems. HVAC system controls are replicated based on the design team’s sequence of operations, and parametric analysis can be run to test different control strategies and setpoints.

Existing Building Energy Models

Calibrating an energy model to replicate the energy consumption of an existing building based on the building’s operation, utility bills, and normalized weather data. The model is then used as a tool for energy retrofits and conservation measures that can demonstrate potential energy savings and their impact on the performance of the actual building. This information assists in weighing the impact of retrofit strategies with actual energy and energy-cost values to determine future performance and potential return on investments.

LEED v4 Energy Modeling

Performing LEED v4 BD+C and ID+C whole-building energy-model simulations for new construction, core and shell projects, commercial interiors, schools, retail, healthcare, data centers, and warehouse and distribution centers. Our intent is to advise our clients on how to meet minimum energy requirements as well as optimize energy performance from concept design through construction documentation.

Code Compliance Energy Modeling

Energy modeling throughout the design process to ensure buildings are complying with local code performance requirements such as IECC 2015, ASHRAE 90.1 Energy Cost Budget Method, or international energy codes. The code compliance energy models are used as tools to ensure compliance performatively when prescriptive requirements cannot be met.

Thermal Comfort Analysis

Analyzing thermal comfort in new construction and existing buildings with respects to the ASHRAE 55 standard. The types of areas we investigate are extreme operative temperatures, solar gain, natural ventilation and the adaptive comfort method, overhead vs. underfloor air distribution, percentage of people dissatisfied, and predicted mean vote.

Urban Scale Modeling

Energy modeling for cities and campuses during the master planning stage with the goal of showcasing high-performance targets and sustainable development strategies. This analysis sets targets for energy savings, CO2 emission reductions, potable water conservation, and district plant design for urban scale projects.

Positive Net Energy (PNE) and Zero Net Energy (ZNE) Buildings

A holistic design approach involving the entire project team from project inception to completion is critical in constructing a PNE/ZNE building. This approach enables the project team to effectively balance programming and aesthetic needs with sustainability requirements, project budget, environmental interactions and energy performance goals. Our PNE/ZNE energy-modeling analysis is a five-part process; passive energy savings, envelope optimization, reducing interior loads, energy-efficient HVAC systems and controls, and renewable technology to offset the remaining building energy.

Renewable Technology

Simulating annual renewable energy generation and incorporating the calculated data with building energy modeling. The types of renewable technology simulations we are testing are building integrated photovoltaic optimization, roof-mounted PV design, solar thermal heating systems, geothermal energy, and wind turbines.