Performance Modeling

Photo: Daderot. License: Public domain.


Thanks in part to green building programs like LEED, whole-building energy simulation has become more common. However, it’s not always doing its job.

When modeling is only used late in design, the modeling might have little value beyond keeping score. When using an iterative process of modeling early in design, results of modeling become feedback not only for the current project but also for future projects and design approaches.

Performance modeling is about more than energy. Other kinds of modeling commonly used for high-performing buildings include:

  • daylight simulation

  • hygrothermal modeling

  • thermal comfort modeling

  • climate modeling

There is no substitute, though, for understanding how your building works. These resources can help you learn how to integrate modeling strategies into your other processes.

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    Innovations in product manufacturing are creating new options for designers at an ever-increasing pace. But are the new products and materials what we really want? Can we trust their claims?

  • Full-Blown Energy Modeling


    Like any tool, energy modeling needs to be wielded properly. Savvy designers know that different kinds of models are useful at different times. For example, if you use a calibrated energy model only at the end of the design process, you’re not only misusing this particular technique—you’re also missing out on the dollar and energy savings this type of modeling can provide. This one-hour webcast will show you how to save thousands of dollars in first costs and operational costs.

  • Shoebox Energy Modeling: How to Do Quick, Early Simulations


    Most whole building energy simulations require a mechanical system design, making them unsuitable for early-design modeling. In response, architects and energy modelers are turning to shoebox models, with one or just a few zones.

    Not doing energy modeling yourself? This webcast will familiarize you with concepts that will help you get more out of your energy modeler, whether it is someone on your staff, or an outside consultant.

  • Designing Natural Ventilation: Will the Breeze Follow Your Pointy Arrows?


    While airflow analysis isn't part of most building simulations today, it is part of nearly all low-energy buildings. Unfortunately, many architects aren't well-positioned to take advantage of this opportunity because they aren't trained to set up or interpret most airflow models. This webcast will introduce you to new software that enables you to engage more fully with airflow investigations required to validate design strategies.

  • In-House Daylight Modeling: Three Firms Share How They Do It


    Getting consistent results when your artistic medium is the sun and sky can be one of the best design tricks to have up your sleeve—but it's also one of the most difficult to pull off. Is that window bringing in daylight or causing intolerable glare? Do you really know? The three panelists will show how they have used simulation to determine the difference, with overviews of daylighting, glare, and several case studies.

  • Climate Analysis for Architects


    For a lot of people, computer modeling is synonymous with energy modeling, and climate data is something you just input to your energy model. Kjell Anderson wants you to do energy modeling for your buildings, and he wants you to do it early—as BuildingGreen has advocated—not just for "keeping score" at the end. In this webcast, Anderson will demonstrate tools that are so easy that they can be used on every project regardless of budget or sustainability objectives, typically taking 3 to 5 hours once you have your system down—and almost no time for projects in a city where you have already done an analysis.

  • Designing for Future Weather


    If you practice "climate-responsive" design using features such as natural ventilation, daylighting and rainwater harvesting, then you're well ahead of the curve. But what climate are you designing for? This webcast assembles three top experts working on new tools to help navigate the design dilemmas we are facing today as a result of tomorrow's climate uncertainty.

  • Energy Modeling for Early Design Decisions


    Thanks in part to green building programs and codes, whole-building energy simulation has become more common over the last two decades — but all too frequently, modeling is only used late in design, when it has little value beyond keeping score. If you're not using modeling to make design decisions from the outset, not only are you missing out on hundreds of thousands of dollars in energy savings — you're wasting the thousands of dollars that go into the model, as well as first cost savings. In this webcast, BuildingGreen hosts a group of the world's top energy modeling experts to demystify the steps that leading firms are taking to incorporate modeling into early design decisions, cost-effectively.