Energy Consulting

Energy Consulting

Energy Consulting

According to the latest energy consumption researches, residential and commercial buildings in a dev


Building energy simulation will never replace good design judgment but it will always calibrate and inspire it.

The energy model is a computer software simulation that starts with specified materials and systems for a building, calculates the energy cost for one year, and creates a report of the anticipated energy performance of the building. The model will reveal how energy efficient the building can be, while there is still time to enhance it.
An important concept to understand is "percent improvement." The ASHRAE standard and the LEED model compare the annual energy cost of the proposed building vs. the baseline building that just meets code.

Annual energy cost is used because engineers, architects, building owners, executives, accountants, and occupants readily understand it. Everyone can understand how one item may cost 10 percent less, but not everyone has a frame of reference for British Thermal Unit-hours (BTUh), kilowatt-hours (kWh), tons of carbon dioxide and the like.

A building energy simulation characterizes these relationships between the systems to help fully understand a project’s needs. Simply put, building energy simulation is a tool used by designers to illustrate the implications of their design decisions before a building is constructed.
An energy model is a representation of a building for the purposes of the building energy simulation. It consists of all the design and operating parameters associated with the energy consumptions of that building. Design parameters include wall and roof constructions, window performance values, installed electricity for lighting and user equipment, occupant numbers, ventilation requirements, air and water distribution system descriptions, and cooling and heating equipment details.
Operating parameters include operational schedules for the lights, user equipment, occupants, thermostats and fans as well as HVAC controls and utility data. The simulation takes in the energy model data, combines it with historic weather data, and estimates the performance of the entire building and system components for every hour of the year.
As an accounting tool, energy models are most often used to compare a proposed design against a benchmark. The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system, state energy codes, and federal tax incentives are all examples of using energy models in this capacity.
It is also critical that energy models are regarded merely as tools — the true path to improving building performance is an approach founded on a consistent and integrated design. This approach is an evolution of the design process from the “lost opportunity approach” that provides the minimum legal performance and the “upgrade approach” that maintains the standard design, but incrementally improves the performance of individual components.
Regarding with that, the integrated-design approach targets energy and other performance issues at the most fundamental conception of design and relies on an ongoing holistic design philosophy and interdisciplinary communications to insure optimum performance. It is in the integrated design approach where building energy simulations are essential. A truly integrated design cannot proceed without a better understanding of the building at hand.

That essential knowledge is learned through multiple simulations of the energy model to test concepts and technologies, pinpoint performance of individual components, and characterize the interdependent relationships between building systems. Furthermore, now that the annual performance can be better ascertained, engineers, architects and owners are not limited to relying solely on the peak design conditions. Simply put, with better understanding, there is greater confidence in potential customized and integrated solutions.  

As a cautionary note, the biggest misconception for building energy simulations resides in properly understanding the results. Energy models do not predict the future — there are simply too many unknown variables. Only in the special cases where the energy model has been validated and justified with real data can this comparison be properly used.


Energy Studies

Energy Surveys (ES)  involve an on-site walk through of a facility, identifying weaknesses and energy conservation opportunities, interviewing facility personnel, and scanning the building energy usage history. ES is most useful for organizations that want to know what they can do to reduce their energy usage and costs without modeling (benchmarking) past and future consumption. The consultant will make a thorough evaluation of the building, including a thermal imaging scan, to identify areas of weaknesses. A report will be provided outlining the problem areas and recommendations for improvements from low-cost to high-cost.  A general estimation of "payback" will be included, but will not be quantifiable to the degree of an ASHRAE Level I or II audit.

ASHRAE Level 1 Energy Audit: Walk-Through Analysis/Preliminary Energy Audit

          * An ASHRAE Level 1 is a rapid assessment of building energy systems.
          * Building energy consumption benchmark.
          * High-level definition of energy system optimization opportunities.
          * Outline applicable utility incentive programs.

ASHRAE Level I audits are more intensive than ES. The Level I audit focuses on low-cost/no-cost energy conservation measures, and provides a list of higher cost energy conservation measures. In addition to tasks performed in the ES, in the Level I audit, we report how much in energy and energy costs can be saved from each energy conservation opportunity.

ASHRAE Level 2 Energy Audit: Energy Survey & Energy Analysis
ASHRAE Level 2 energy audits include a building survey of systems and operations.

          * Breakdown of energy source and end use.
          * Identification of energy efficiency measures for each energy system.
          * Range of savings and costs for the energy efficiency measures.
          * Spotlight on Operational Discrepancies.
          * Outlining priorities for limited resources, next steps, and identification of energy efficiency measures requiring more thorough data collection and analysis (see: ASHRAE Level 3).

ASHRAE Level II audits will identify all appropriate energy conservation measures for a facility, and a financial analysis will be performed based on implementation costs, operating costs, and attainable savings. We will provide detailed "payback" data on each energy conservation measure recommended.  In addition, ASHRAE Level II audits will include recommendations regarding changes to operations and maintenance procedures.

ASHRAE Level 3 Energy Audit: Detailed Analysis of Capital Intensive Modifications

          * ASHRAE Level 3 energy audits encapsulate longer term data collection and analysis.
          * Whole-building computer simulation calibrated with field data.
          * Accurate modeling of energy efficiency measures and power/energy response.
          * Bid-level construction cost estimating.
          * Investment-grade, decision-making support.

An ASHRAE Level 3 Energy Auditis an extension of a previously performed Level 2 analysis that focuses on the potential capital-intensive projects identified in the Level 2 audit and involves more detailed field data gathering as well as a more rigorous engineering analysis. It provides detailed project cost and savings calculations with a high level of confidence sufficient for major capital investment decisions.


BLCC Analysis

BCCA is a well-defined procedure for estimating the overall costs of project alternatives. It is commonly accepted throughout the business and engineering community. Basically, BLCCA consists of adding all the initial and ongoing costs of the structure, product, or component over the time you expect to be using it, subtracting the value you can get out of it at the end of that time, and adjusting for inflation.

In order to start working on a BLCCA, at least belowmentionedinformative items need to be gathered before proceeding;

        * The initial cost of each system.
        * The expected life of each system (usually years).
        * The expected average yearly maintenance, operation, and repair costs of each system.
        * Maintenance and repair costs that occur only every several years, averaged over the time between occurrences.
        * Operation, including fuel, electricity, and water use costs as well as ongoing costs such as operator wages, regular cleaning or restocking, etc.
        * Any salvage or other residual value you will get out of the system when you have finished using it in this application.

Application of BLCCA techniques provides our clients and end-users with improved awareness of the factors that drive cost and the resources required by them for building. It is important that these cost drivers are identified so that most management and design effort is applied to the most cost- effective areas of the building.

These techniques do not accurately predict the cost of occupying and operating the building over it’s life, but they do allow economic judgments to be made between alternative technical solutions.