Cove.tool automatically compiles all of the user's results and performance diagrams into a shareable PDF report with the click of a button. The article below highlights various aspects of the report and where different pieces of information is sourced from.
Includes user-defined details like project name, project number, and date created.
PAGE 2 - ANALYSIS SUMMARY
Walk Score, Transit Score, Bike Score
This trio of ratings from the Walk Score tool, is a rapid evaluation of site accessibility, in term of understanding how good the site is in terms of walking, transit, and biking on a scale of 0-100. These values would be relevant for projects pursuing certifications, or other zoning applications that require accessibility narratives. For more, check out the full article on this feature here.
Building Type is a template used to differentiate the components of your building into their proposed energy & programmatic categories. Projects with single use-type (below, left) will have only one building type, but mixed-use projects (below, right) can have up to 3 building templates. All energy results on this page of the report are expressed as a EUI in unit's kBTU/ft2/yr (imperial) or kWh/m2/yr (metric). For consistency and clarity, the report will use "EUI" or the term "Energy" for unit shorthand, rather than always writing out the full unit expression. A mixed-use project will generate multiple energy results, so the cove.tool report will highlight not only the EUI of each component but the Overall Energy for the whole building
PAGE 3 - BENCHMARKS
This National Average EUI value (below) is the predicted energy use of a building type as determined by the CBECS 2003 and ZeroTool. The CBECS 2003 (Commercial Building Energy Consumption Survey) is the most comprehensive North American data-set available, which is why it is the foundation for almost every benchmarking standard in both US and Canada. This metric is use-type & region-specific and can be very helpful in establishing baselines for several building types across North America. ZeroTool is online software and platform that uses basic building information to generate Carbon and Energy Use Metrics. Read more about building types here, and what building types are available inside cove.tool here.
As of January 1st, 2020 the 2030 target showcases an 80% reduction of the 2030 (ZeroTool) Baseline. Although this benchmark is a challenge originated by an American organization, it is based on the projection that projects and firms following this requirement may be on the right track to reach Net-Zero carbon design by 2030.
Having a project that performs better than the national average is proof of your building's energy efficiency. If your project's EUI is far above the national average that would be a red flag. National averages and baselines are designed to demonstrate what targets to meet and beat. If your design does not meet or exceed this baseline, you can ensure that it does on a budget by utilizing the cost vs energy optimization aspect of cove.tool.
National Average bar graph
The National Average Bar Graph (below) is similar to the CBECS/ZeroTool National Average but is generated from an energy data survey from the BPD (Building Performance Database). This database, also American-originated, formats energy use data collected by the LBNL (Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory) of over a million buildings to create a framework in which users can compare their building’s energy efficiency against a national survey, and is popularly used worldwide as a reference point. These two benchmarking resources are from different organizations but are both statistically valid and complimentary together. They give users an idea of what they should know about their project type's expected energy performance and what would be considered energy efficient.
Daylight and Glare Benchmarking
Daylight sDA% and ASE% are based on the standard set forth in [BD+C] LEED v4.0: IEQ c7 Daylight, Option 1. For more information on the daylight tool's methodology, check out this article.
PAGE 4 - ENERGY ANALYSIS
Whole Building EUI
A building's energy use or EUI, refers to the energy required to operate and sustain the project during the occupation. To calculate EUI, cove.tool simulates your building design with the ISO 13790 Heat Balance Engine, using the prescriptive inputs from your selected energy code, what is industry standard for your building type selection, and the most local and recent climate data (weather file). This methodology is utilized in many countires for code compliance and is tested and calibrated to be within 3-5% of EnergyPlus. When first arriving at the baseline page, cove.tool will automate all the building inputs for you. However, at any point, users have the ability to change any and all values to best match your design/mechanical strategies one-for-one inside various input pages.
Whole Building EUI Breakdown
The broad categories of EUI breakdown fall into heating, cooling, lighting, equipment, fans, pumps and hot water. A more detailed overview of what is covered in these categories can be found in this article.
LEED points, in this section, are based on [BD+C] LEED v4.0: E&A p2 - Minimum Energy Performance, and E&A c2 - Optimize Energy Performance Calculation method for New Construction. For the possible 18 points available, cove.tool estimates the preliminary number of points that could be achieved for this design. For more on other LEED points that can be pursued in cove.tool, check out this article.
Cove.tool utilizes the nationally available databases to automate the utility cost for your project. If you project has a special negotiated utility rate, you can simply modify the pre-loaded value with the new rate.
CO2 Reduction %
Cove.tool's carbon emissions & CO2 percent reduction metric is calculated using by understanding the energy mix of the utility provider of the project's location. The baseline is determined from the Architecture 2030's ZeroTool.org. Currently cove.tool only supports USA based projects for operational carbon emissions calculations.
Located at the bottom of the page, the help text is 7 custom summaries of the dominant loads and driving inputs of each energy category. The help text is designed to recommend engineering strategies to lower your building's energy use.
PAGE 5 - WATER USE RESULTS
The Water Use page provides the 5 breakdown water use graphics from four water-based analysis types: Indoor Water Use, Irrigation, Cooling Tower, and Storm water Management. For methodologies of each graphic and water-use related analysis, check out this pro-tip article about how to use the Water Use Tool.
PAGE 6 - 2030 PALETTE CASE STUDIES
From 2030pallete.org, this page on the report pulls together various case studies for passive strategies that would be a good fit (based on project type and location) for your project. The sustainable design strategies, address energy consumption and greenhouse gas emission at all scales – from regional and city planning to building details.
PAGE 7-12 - Climate Analysis
The Climate section of the report is about knowing the project's climate conditions and finding out which passive design strategies are best suited. Designing with passive strategies is about understanding the constraints and creating design responses that reduce the requirement active mechanical systems, and thus bring down the energy use.
Cove.tool generates 6 Climate Passive Strategy Diagrams: Temperature & Humidity, Radiation by Sky Segment, Adaptive Comfort, Radiation Benefit, Psychrometric Chart, and Monthly Wind Rose. Each analysis is accompanied with a help diagram to breakdown and package the benefits and disadvantages of various design strategies for the project location, as well as actual design recommendations that would improve the building.