Getting the most value out of energy models

How can designers get the most value out of energy models?

That’s the question KE mechanical engineer Brendan Hall addressed at this year’s ASHRAE/IBPSA-USA Building Simulation Conference, “BIM to BEM.”

Brendan’s presentation, “Integrating Building Simulation and the Design Process,” looked at how the KE team has used available software throughout design and what issues they have encountered along the way. He was part of a panel addressing issues that design firms face. Brendan talked about: 

  • Applications of energy models to more than just LEED submissions – such as code compliance, load calculations, and equipment size estimates.
  • Best practices when working with an architect’s model. Architectural models aren’t necessarily designed for an engineer to create an energy model. Instead of exporting from the architect’s model, Brendan recommends creating a separate model for engineering design and linking in the architect’s model as a non-room-bounding element.
  • The power of exporting from Excel into Revit. This is a powerful tool. Among other things, it allows engineers to assign equipment airflows and water flows, assign family type by equipment sizes, and assign calculated heating and cooling loads to spaces.

Brendan also walked through a workflow for a 340,000-SF high school project KE completed, showing how project information traveled through different models and software programs (see below).

Project workflow through different models and software programs

The presentation was developed in collaboration with KE BIM manager Emy McGann, principal Dennis Wessel, and mechanical project engineer Ben Arnett.

If you missed Brendan’s presentation, you can check it out online. The entire conference is now available virtually through ASHRAE (at member and non-member rates).

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