H2Engineering has been completing energy models for nearly twenty years, which have been an integral tool in evaluating and comparing alternate design solutions. We have completed over 40 energy studies, many of which have come to fruition, saving owners significant energy related costs. One such study, completed for the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles at the Neil Kirkman Building, led to a renovation project that had energy cost savings exceeding $52,000 in the first quarter of operation alone.
As we often push the envelope of innovative design, we also test the limits of energy modeling software. Before many types of systems were available within the modeling environment, we worked with software companies’ technicians completing work-a-rounds to model systems such as thermal energy storage, chilled beams, under floor air distribution and others. In applying these applications to modeling, we have become very adept with the process.
The precision of an energy model depends on the accuracy of the input. The old adage “garbage in, garbage out” is never more on point than with modeling. Of key importance is research into how the building and occupants are actually intended to operate. Past utility usage on existing buildings can be used to “tune” the building is historical profiles, providing a good baseline for the renovated facility. We put a lot of time in the development of load and user profiles and other variable inputs to ensure our models are useful to the owner and provide reliable output that can be used by the design team to make important decisions.