In Order to Become Leaders in Energy Modeling, Architects Need to be Building Science Experts

Green Building

In Order to Become Leaders in Energy Modeling, Architects Need to be Building Science Experts

In a marketplace increasingly attuned to high-performance strategies, design teams and clients alike are becoming ever savvier with regard to building science. Consequently, there is a growing expectation that architects exhibit the tools and technical knowledge to go beyond design rules-of-thumb and actually test conceptual notions, compare the performance design options, and refine chosen strategies. This can be accomplished through schematic-level energy modeling. This kind of energy modeling is simplified through basic forms, generalizations, and gross approximations, which makes it quite different from the highly detailed comprehensive modeling effort that is commonly executed near the end of a project for green building certification or energy code compliance. This preliminary type of energy modeling provides teams with a dynamic opportunity to compare the performance of different design options during the conceptual and schematic design phases when most of the major design decisions are made and the consequences of significant changes are minimal.

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Interior illumination simulations were used to refine the daylighting strategy for the open office area at the Boy Scouts of America’s Scout Education and Program Center in Indianapolis, Indiana. Image by Daniel Overbey and property of Browning Day Mullins Dierdorf Architects.
Open office area at the Crossroads of America Council’s Education and Program Center in Indianapolis, Indiana. Photograph by Susan Fleck Photography. Image © Browning Day Mullins Dierdorf Architects.

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