BIM News

"Autotune” Software Could Help Building Energy Modelling


October 28, 2014 by Justin McGar

Based on recent figures, in the United States, building owners spend well in excess of $400 billion on energy. Their buildings consume 41 per cent of the nation’s total energy and are responsible for 40 per cent of carbon dioxide emissions.

Building Energy Modeling (BEM) uses computer simulations to estimate energy use and guide the design of new buildings as well as energy improvements to existing buildings.

The Department of Energy’s flagship whole-building energy simulation tool estimates energy usage based on weather data and the thousands of input parameters related to heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems, water heating, lighting, weather interaction, occupancy schedules and more.

With up to 3,000 parameters used when modelling a building’s energy use, it can be a complex and time-consuming process tweaking and optimizing each element.

“Currently, the biggest barrier is the cost of getting an accurate model of the pre-retrofit building because it requires hiring an expert,” said Jibonananda Sanyal , one of the lead researchers.

The “Autotune” calibration software being developed at ORNL, it is hoped, will significantly reduce the amount of time and expertise needed to optimize building parameters for cost and energy savings.

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