What is Energy Modeling? Sustainable Investment Group

What is Energy Modeling?

October 10, 2016

photo of SIG engineer performing an energy modeling audit

Nick Kassanis, PE

Green or sustainable building is the wave of the future–and for good reason. As evidence continues to mount of humanity’s potent effect on our environment, it is becoming increasingly clear that we must utilize technology to reverse some of the damage caused in the past centuries. But due to the rapid growth in sustainable energy technologies, the state-of-the-art has approached the point where energy efficient options for both structures and for equipment are often the most fiscally prudent decision.  Energy modeling plays a key role as a sustainability technology that can combat the negative effects of excess energy consumption.

In the United States of America, LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is a green building certification program that guides architects, engineers, and other professionals in designing, building, and maintaining structures in such a way as to save energy and, ultimately, resources. One of the important pieces of certifying a building under the LEED standards is energy modeling–and it’s an important piece too, counting as a significant piece of the overall certification. But what is energy modeling and why is it important?

Energy Modeling: The Basics

At its heart, energy modeling is the process of creating a mathematical or virtual model of the structure before its built–or, if the building is undergoing renovations, a model of the existing property–and analyzing its energy consumption and efficiency over the course of the entire year. Utilizing complex mathematical models tracking everything from the sun track over solar panels, air conditioning loads throughout different seasons, the benefits or detriments from particular equipment options, and even the payback over time from operating green equipment, a certified commissioning authority (CxA) professional can create a detail-rich, complex analysis of the effects of various decisions in the building process before the first shovelful of earth is moved.

How Can Energy Modeling Help?

But how does energy modeling help in the long run? Energy modeling allows the property owner to make prudent, sustainable decisions. Energy modeling can predict monthly energy consumption, with enough specificity to run simulations to see which equipment or rooms are the biggest spenders and savers. For the owners of buildings, the benefits are enormous: figuring out the total cost of energy ahead of time can influence everything from methods of construction to the amount of rent to charge tenants. For the engineers and manufacturers, there is no better way to qualitatively ensure that the final product or structure meets up to green expectations.

Learn More

Sustainable Investment Group (SIG) is a LEED Proven Provider®, having worked on over 400 LEED projects with a cumulative footprint of over 50 million square feet. Our highly trained experts offer Engineering Services, LEED Consulting, and also have the expertise to train professionals with LEED Exam Prep Training, passing on our knowledge to train you to save energy at your property. While based in the United States of America, our consultants are willing to travel internationally and have taught classes in Hawaii. For something as important as both saving money on your property and saving the environment, check out Sustainable Investment Group’s energy efficiency services to learn more.

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