Selecting a building type is the first step in creating a cove.tool project. The app offers 8 base templates, to begin with. For projects outside of these 8 building labels, use a custom template guide to calibrate a generic building template to a more relevant starting point. Users who create custom template projects can also convert them to firmwide templates, more on that later. These templates can only be edited by the owner.

Base Building Type Templates:

  • Office

  • Hotel

  • Education

  • Hospital

  • Lab

  • Apartments

  • Retail

  • Single Family Home

The base 8 templates represent a majority of the project types modeled in the app. These 8 templates are supported in every commercial energy code preloaded into the app. Although there are now 70+ recognized building typologies according to EnergyStar, few are as comprehensively standardized and benchmarked as these 8. Rather than continuously expanding the base template list, custom template guides are generated to inform changes users can make from base templates to generate one of the alternative building typologies.

Current list of available custom template guides:

These guides help identify which base template to begin with, which values to manipulate, and some even link to 3rd-party resources which can help provide more detailed value assumptions. As the list of custom template guides does not cover all 70+ recognized building typologies, users can try creating their own guide (steps in the next section), or submit a request for a custom template from the support team.


Create your own custom template

These steps are the general workflow you'll follow to generate your own custom template. At any point in the process feel free to validate any value assumptions with the cove.tool team using the Live Chat Box feature, found on the bottom left-hand corner of the web app.

1. Start a new project.
On the project page, Select the building type nearest to your actual use type from the base options. This type will provide the default values that will later be customized to fit the actual energy consumption and expenditure of your alternative building type. It is helpful to choose a building type closest to the one you are customizing it to.
a. Office
b. Hotel
c. Education
d. Apartments
e. Labs
f. Single Family Home
g. Hospital

Note: Read this article to learn more about building types. If you would like assistance confirming which project template to begin with, feel free to reach out to the support team in the live-chat box in the bottom right-hand corner of the page.

2. Complete Geometry Page
Setup your geometry as needed for your project. If creating a firmwide template, the exact geometry will be changed for future projects, so we can keep things simple and use the Manual Mode inputs. For more information on entering geometry into Manual Mode see this article. Also note, using a floor area size typical for your use-type projects will help better accurately auto-fill the initial engineering inputs.

3. Continue to the Baseline Energy page
Here users can change the name of the use type by editing the text in the tab title-bar.

4. Give your template a name
Under the General tab, users should select a new use-type in the 2030 Building Type input drop-down list. Selecting a new use-type will reconfigure your existing baseline to connect to a more appropriate baseline reference as provided by the 2030 DDX Database. Below is a list of all the available options. For definitions and further explanation of each building type option, check out this article.


5. Last, alter the rest of your engineering inputs to fit your custom building type. Many of the inputs will need to be agreed upon amongst the design team using past experience and information about the specific design being undertaken. If you are unsure of where to start, here are some Key Inputs that will drastically differ between building types and effect your energy results:

  • Envelope Inputs: Roof and Wall R-values, Window U-values and SHGC values, and Below Grade inputs.

  • Usage and Schedule Inputs: The lighting, appliance use, temperature set-points and occupancy will vary depending on the building program. The total hours of operation will have a large impact on the building EUI, so it is critical to model with a schedule that closely matches planned operation.

  • Building Systems: System Type selection and Area Outdoor Air Rate (CFM/sf) will be the most significant variables. This tab is best filled out by the professional engineer leading the project.

Once done hit the recalculate button to apply the template changes to the entire project.


Sharing a Custom Template Firmwide

To start using the template internally, follow these steps:

1.Check the "convert to template" checkbox on the first project page

This ensures that your template is given access to everyone in your business. The project will be locked for everyone other than the owner of the project. This template project can be duplicated once the template is complete.

2.The new custom template will appear at the top of the projects list page under the header "Templates".

3. All the team members within the business account will have access to the firmwide templates. They can wither open them in new tabs as projects to reference as they set up their own projects, or can create a copy to not redo any of the early set-up steps. To make a copy, click the copy button in the project summary bar, as shown below, to create a duplicate.

Making a copy will preserve all the values, geometries, and changes of the previous file, but in a new project so nothing has to be lost or redone.

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