Tag Archives: Energy Modeling

Comparing Solar Heat Gain Coefficients (SHGC) and Shading Coefficients (SC)

Green Building

Comparing Solar Heat Gain Coefficients (SHGC) and Shading Coefficients (SC)

Originally published on May 18, 2015 by BNP Media through the Walls & Ceilings Blog. I was recently discussing glazing properties with a mechanical engineer for an energy model of a corporate headquarters we are working on. We discussed U-factors first and then moved on to shading properties. We had this awkward moment where he asked me what the shading coefficients were. “You mean the solar heat gain coefficients?” “No, the shading coefficients,” he responded. This caught me off guard…..

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Gauging the Seasonal Efficiency of Air-Source Heat Pumps

Green Building

Gauging the Seasonal Efficiency of Air-Source Heat Pumps

Originally published on February 23, 2015 by BNP Media through the Walls & Ceilings Blog. Recently, I was working on an energy model for a high-performance housing prototype. Mostly, I apply energy modeling to non-residential structures. I did not have a coefficient of performance (COP) at my fingertips for the air-source heat pump (ASHP) used in my baseline model. In this context, the COP is the ratio of the amount of thermal energy (heat) delivered by a heat pump to….

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The 2030 Challenge Ratchets Up

Green Building

The 2030 Challenge Ratchets Up

Originally published on February 6, 2015 by BNP Media through the Walls & Ceilings Blog. In the new year, project teams committed to the 2030 Challenge are being asked to kick their performance goals up a notch. As of January 1, 2015, the energy performance target for new buildings, including major renovations, has increased from 60% below the regional average to 70% below the regional average. For project teams looking to possibly commit to 2030 Challenge for the first time,….

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Every Energy Model Is Wrong – And Here Is Why They Are Indispensable

Green Building

Every Energy Model Is Wrong – And Here Is Why They Are Indispensable

LEED has taken some heat for buildings that do not perform as they were modeled, yet energy modeling is an essential tool for any high-performance building project. Originally published in the August 2014 issue of Environmental Design + Construction (EDC) magazine. Recently, LEED has come under fire for accounts of certified buildings not performing as well as their energy models predicted. Frequently mentioned amongst the antagonistic “gotcha” coverage is an out-of-context 2007 quote by the USGBC Research Committee acknowledging: “Buildings….

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Community Connection

Green Building

Community Connection

Photograph property of Browning Day Mullins Dierdorf Architects Case Study: Lincoln Heritage Public Library Chrisney Branch Originally published in the Summer 2014 issue of High Performance Buildings (HPB) magazine, a publication of ASHRAE. By Daniel J. Overbey, AIA; and William M. Brown, AIA For the people of Chrisney, Ind., opportunity for social and economic investment has not been knocking. This community of fewer than 500 has been in a gradual economic decline over the past several decades. Having already lost….

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Efficiency: Toward Net-Zero Energy (VoiceThread Presentation)

Green Building

Efficiency: Toward Net-Zero Energy (VoiceThread Presentation)

  Four years ago, I co-authored a white paper with my colleague Nick Worden at Browning Day Mullins Dierdorf (BDMD) Architects and William Brown, currently the Director of Sustainability at Indiana University. The white paper was published at 2010 International High Performance Buildings Conference at Purdue University and it presented a full-year of energy consumption and on-site renewable energy production data for the Chrisney Library (a branch of the Lincoln Heritage Public Library), verifying the project as the first non-residential net-zero (site) energy facility in Indiana….

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Creating U.S. Climate Data

Green Building

Creating U.S. Climate Data

  A cornerstone of design performance and energy modeling is access to relevant climate data. Climate data is the basis for the climatological conditions a structure will be subjected to during a computational analysis. Intuitively, we understand the broadly generalized differences between locations like Phoenix versus Minneapolis. However, a computer program needs more than intuition, it needs data.   Climate data defined In the most simple terms, the climate data files accessed by energy modeling programs contain annual, monthly, daily, and even….

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Methodologies for Glare Analysis

Green Building

Methodologies for Glare Analysis

Any complete analysis of a daylit interior environment should include both the amount of light arriving to specified surfaces (such as work planes) as well as an assessment of the visual comfort of the space. Both of these factors are dynamic. Thus, they will change throughout any given time period (e.g., hour, day, week, month, season). The former can be quantified in a rather straightforward sense because it’s just physics. There is a specific amount of lumens entering a space and the characteristics of….

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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….

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Why Autodesk Killed Ecotect

Green Building

Why Autodesk Killed Ecotect

A large part of my job has always been energy modeling for new construction projects – especially LEED projects. I use the term “energy model” loosely because it encompasses so many different types of analysis (e.g. daylighting, electric lighting, thermal loads, energy performance, acoustical performance, water consumption, wind flow analysis). Specific inquiries will dictate what tools I may use for analysis (e.g. Radiance for daylighting, eQuest for energy performance). The project’s level of design development will also influence the depth….

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