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New Building Energy Modeling Standard Establishes Process During Design Phase

By Mary Kate McGowan, Associate Editor, News
From eSociety, May 2018

A new ASHRAE standard focusing on building energy modeling sets minimum requirements for providing energy design assistance using building energy simulation and analysis.

ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 209-2018, Energy Simulation Aided Design for Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings, was created to define reliable, consistent procedures that advance the use of timely energy modeling to quantify the impact of design decisions at the point in time at which they are being made.

“Today, many buildings being built are intended to be high performance buildings. In order for them to achieve their goals, many decisions are made that impact energy, and the best way to quantify the impacts is to use building energy modeling following the process outlined in the standard,” said Jason Glazer, P.E., Member ASHRAE, BEMP, chair of the Standard 209 committee.

Glazer said building energy modeling is commonly used near the end of the design process to justify points in incentive programs such as LEED, but it can be more helpful when used when making design decisions throughout the entire process. Standard 209 establishes a process of using energy modeling during the design phases to inform design decisions, he said.

Applying to new buildings and renovations, the standard defines nominal requirements for using modeling to support integrated design efforts and describes analysis activities from early concept development to post-occupancy.

The standard defines seven design-phase modeling cycles. Each has specific modeling goals coordinated with the typical design process and is an extension of a general modeling cycle that can be applied any time during design.

Three additional modeling cycles are defined for construction and operation phases and include a design and post-occupancy performance comparison to help owners and modelers understand the impact of design phase modeling assumptions and inform future modeling efforts.

To minimally comply with Standard 209-2018, building project teams must evaluate energy-efficiency options using modeling early in the design process (schematic design).

ASHRAE members have been working on this standard for more than five years. The Standard 209 committee was formed in spring 2011, and the first committee meeting was held during the 2012 ASHRAE Annual Conference in San Antonio, according to Glazer.

For those who are attending the 2018 ASHRAE Annual Conference in Houston who want to learn more about the new standard, TC 4.7, Energy Calculations, and SPC 209 are hosting a seminar the afternoon of June 24.