The Benefits of Building Energy Modelling

Paul Paterson
Jun 23, 2024By Paul Paterson

Why is building energy modelling important? Why should you care how it is done, who should do it, what are the cost benefits and impacts of getting this critical scope wrong?

Current Approach

A client tenders a project to a lead design consultant, in this scope energy modellking is necessary. The lead design consultant engages an engineering consultant who engages a sustainabiliyt consultant. Generlaly the sustainabiliyt consultat does the energy model.

The issue? They are not specialists in engineering, building systems, MEP: what hapens is you miss massive value in your supply chain by not having a qualified team drive the energy performacne of your asset.

Read on to find out what the solutions is:

The Benefits of Building Energy Modeling

Building energy modeling is an essential tool for architects, engineers, and building owners looking to optimize energy use, reduce costs, and enhance sustainability. As the demand for energy-efficient buildings grows, understanding the benefits of building energy modeling can significantly impact your project's success and long-term viability.

What is Building Energy Modeling?

Building energy modeling (BEM) is the simulation of a building's energy consumption, considering various factors such as climate, building materials, occupancy, and systems efficiency. This comprehensive analysis helps predict energy performance, identify potential improvements, and guide decision-making during the design and operation phases.

Key Benefits of Building Energy Modeling
1. Enhanced Energy Efficiency
One of the primary benefits of building energy modeling is the ability to optimize energy efficiency. By simulating different design scenarios, BEM allows you to identify the most energy-efficient options for heating, cooling, lighting, and ventilation. This leads to reduced energy consumption and lower utility bills.

2. Cost Savings
Investing in energy modeling upfront can result in significant cost savings over the building's lifecycle. BEM helps pinpoint cost-effective energy-saving measures and ensures that resources are allocated efficiently. This proactive approach minimizes the need for costly retrofits and adjustments after construction.

3. Improved Building Performance
Building energy modeling provides insights into how various building components interact and affect overall performance. This holistic understanding enables you to design buildings that perform optimally under different conditions, enhancing comfort and productivity for occupants.

4. Sustainability and Green Certifications
Energy-efficient buildings are crucial for reducing carbon footprints and achieving sustainability goals. Building energy modeling supports the pursuit of green certifications such as LEED, BREEAM, and WELL. These certifications not only contribute to environmental preservation but also enhance the building's marketability and value.

5. Regulatory Compliance
Many jurisdictions require compliance with energy codes and standards. Building energy modeling ensures that your project meets these regulations, avoiding potential legal and financial penalties. It also positions your building as a leader in energy efficiency and sustainability.

6. Informed Decision-Making
BEM provides detailed data and predictive analytics that inform decision-making throughout the building's lifecycle. Whether it's selecting materials, designing systems, or planning maintenance schedules, energy modeling offers evidence-based insights that drive smarter choices.

7. Risk Mitigation
By identifying potential energy performance issues early in the design phase, building energy modeling helps mitigate risks. This foresight allows for adjustments before construction, reducing the likelihood of performance shortfalls and ensuring that the building operates as intended.

How to Implement Building Energy Modeling
Implementing building energy modeling involves several key steps:

Define Objectives: Determine the specific goals of the energy modeling process, such as reducing energy consumption, achieving green certifications, or complying with regulations.

Gather Data: Collect detailed information about the building's design, materials, systems, and occupancy patterns.

Select a Modeling Tool: Choose an appropriate BEM software that suits your project's needs. Popular options include EnergyPlus, eQUEST, and IES VE.

Conduct Simulations: Run simulations under various scenarios to analyze energy performance and identify optimization opportunities.
Review and Implement: Evaluate the simulation results and implement the recommended energy-saving measures.

Building energy modeling is a powerful tool that offers numerous benefits, from enhanced energy efficiency and cost savings to improved building performance and sustainability. By integrating BEM into your project planning and design process, you can ensure that your building operates at peak efficiency, complies with regulations, and contributes to a sustainable future.

 If you're looking to optimize your building's energy performance and achieve your sustainability goals, contact Elevation Carbon today. Our experts specialize in advanced building performance modeling and can help you unlock the full potential of your project.