Energy modeling can be used for compliance with various certifications and codes via a performance path. Typically this comes in the form of comparing the proposed design model against a baseline model defined by a standard. In the USA, ASHRAE Standard 90.1 defines two methods for compliance modeling, Energy Cost Budget Method (ECB) and Performance Rating Method (PRM)
Both methods define a standard baseline building and modeling requirements. These requirements define how the simulation needs to be run, for example for the PRM the simulation must be run with a time step that produced at minimum 8760 hourly results. Each method also stipulates how the efficiency of the baseline building, essentially the performance that must be meet or exceeded.
Project Workflow with Compliance Modeling
For projects seeking compliance via an energy modeling approach a lot of great design work must be completed first, before the final model is run. The vast majority of these steps can all be completed on the cove.tool platform!
Use the Baseline Energy Model to benchmark your project
Use tools like optimization to reduce the energy use intensity of your project
Run load models at each design stage to size and select equipment
Continue to use the Baseline Energy Model to verify performance through the design process
As the project is nearing completion and it's time to run the final compliance model, simple export the model into various formats. We recommend utilizing the loadmodeling.tool export.
After export, teams have the option to access the model in OpenStudio, EnergyPlus or via gbXML the compliance modeling tool of their choice!
Once in their tool of choice, the design team's energy modeler can complete the compliance modeling task quickly thanks to not needing to remodel the project!
This workflow can save teams significant time and resources!
Thanks to checking energy performance at the early stage, and throughout the design progression the team has confidence compliance will be meet well before the final model is even started!
By utilizing the speed and accessibility of the online load model, teams can produce more accurate sizing information with no additional work!
With a high fidelity export of the projects load model to many formats, remodeling for the final compliance model is removed! This saves a significant amount of time for teams performing compliance models in house, or reduces the cost of using a sub-consultant as the project geometry can be handed off in a format ready to be simulated!
Additional Workflows for Prescriptive
Not all projects must perform modeling for compliance, these projects instead use a prescriptive path for compliance. In the USA, COMcheck is a commonly used method to document how a project meets all requirements. For projects using his path there is no export required! Teams can use information from the baseline page to help populate the data into their COMchecks. However, design teams should confirm that their model matches exactly their completed design documents.