Early Phase Performance Modeling to Right-Size Building Enclosure - PlusSpec

Design to perform 

I received this article from the AIA, I agree with Jillian as no doubt most do.

Thanks to Deanne Crowther from Sourcery Design Sydney Australia

Thanks to Deanne Crowther from Sourcery Design Sydney Australia

Author: Jillian Burgess1

ABSTRACT As energy codes become more stringent, project teams are required to design buildings with lower energy use thresholds. Owners and building officials are increasingly demanding justification for architectural designs and challenging designers to make buildings more efficient and cost-effective to operate. The biggest energy savings can be found early in design, beginning with massing and orientation. Often, energy modeling is done too late in design or performed during construction to assist in post-validating the design. However, significant savings can be found in energy, design, and construction costs by right-sizing the enclosure and glazing design with the mechanical systems. For these reasons, building designers need more reliable scientific feedback early and often during design. This paper presents methodologies for implementing rapid-response modeling early in the design process and takes an iterative approach to modeling design feedback. There are many modeling tools that allow designers to rapidly model various massing strategies and compare impacts on building insolation, shading, and daylight. Building orientation strategies and site specific shading can be quickly analyzed for opportunities or potential excessive gains. In the early phase design, comparative modeling is more effective than predictive modeling, and will give designers faster feedback. Using the same model, both architects and engineers can compare the energy use of various enclosure and mechanical systems, both active and passive. The joint platform gives the design team a method to explore ideas and rapidly generate comparative energy use savings. As the design progresses, opportunities for detailed investigation are identified. Detailed models are broken out and isolated from the main model to perform specific enclosure, glazing, and shading investigations. Isolated studies allow for a faster more iterative design process. The results are fed back into the main model to compare impacts on the overall design and then incorporated into the iterative design of other building components. In bringing mechanical and architectural design energy modeling to the same platform, project designers are able to utilize a rapid iterative approach to energy modeling throughout the design process. New tools available to architects and engineers provide comparative modeling that can be done quickly, and provide rapid feedback early on in the design, generating the biggest impact on energy savings. Simultaneously, predictive modeling tracks the projected EUI (Energy Use Intensity) of the building, to verify that the design is on track to meet code requirements and provide a means for comparison to similar buildings. Early, rapid, and iterative energy modeling allows engineers and architects to “right-size” the building mechanical and exterior systems to drastically optimize projected energy use.

I use Sketchup and PlusSpec in combination in my work flow. The use of Google earth Via Sketchup allows this to be done very efficiently .

TIP: Be careful when creating your model as drawing off axis to suit solar orientation can be frustrating. See https://www.plusspec.com/drawing-off-axis-in-sketchup-or-over-a-google-earth-image-can-slow-you-down-anyone-got-a-better-tip/

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