Energy Modeling for Early Design Decisions Video, 79 minutes

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Are you wasting money on energy models?

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.

4 top energy modeling experts show how to incorporate modeling into design decisions early on

BuildingGreen is here to help. Tristan Roberts hosts a roundtable webcast with 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. They'll cover these topics, among others:

  • What are the key software tools that are effective in early design?
  • How much detail do practitioners include in early models to aid early decision-making?
  • How significant are the results that are possible from energy modeling?
  • Do energy models predict the operational performance of buildings?
  • How do successful teams set targets to help achieve desired performance results?

A Q&A session with the entire roundtable will answer your energy modeling questions, including frank assessments of new and popular software tools.

The bar is rising—are your design practices?

Currently, even many of the leading firms are modeling no more than 50% of their projects. But if you're signed onto the 2030 Commitment, or trying to get any amount of LEED points, you're firmly committed to modeling:

  • Current target for 2030 Commitment is 60% savings (goes up to 70% in 2015)
  • Higher levels of LEED certification rely on greater than 40% savings
  • Codes and prescriptive such as ASHRAE, IECC, and Title-24 are about 40% better than current practice

According to our roundtable experts, you just can't get past 40% without the information you get from a model. This webcast will help you prepare to do that, and do it within the tight budgets being demanded by today's projects.


Troy is a senior designer in Cannon Design's healthcare group. His recent projects include Advocate Lutheran General Hospital Patient Care Tower, the first hospital to earn LEED Gold in the Midwest. Troy's work has received awards from the AIA, Healthcare Design magazine, The Center for Health Design, and Contract Interiors.  He has focused his green advocacy on project integration issues, and bringing energy data to bear during early design. 

President of The Energy Studio, which she founded in 2010 to put a focus on energy analysis and sustainability education, Amanda is a registered mechanical engineer and was previously the manager of simulations at a small sustainability consulting firm, where she was responsible for providing her clients meaningful energy modeling analysis. Amanda was named one of ASHRAE's Top 5 New Faces in Engineering in 2004.

Prasad Vaidya is an consultant working on energy policy and energy efficiency program development, and net zero energy buildings. He has consulted on over 150 building projects, facilitating technical analysis and guiding decision‐making. Until recently, he was a principal at The Weidt Group, where he led the development of an online energy simulation tool for energy code compliance for India. He serves as a technical resource to the Clinton Climate Initiative.

Marcus Sheffer has developed a national reputation as a leader in energy management, efficiency, and conservation. After 12 years at the Pennsylvania Energy Office, he founded Energy Opportunities, Inc., and provides technical consulting services on all manner of building energy issues, renewable energy systems, and the environmental impacts of human enterprises. He has been a USGBC/GBCI LEED Project Reviewer since 2003, and from 2004 to 2010 he was Vice Chair and then Chair of the EA TAG.

The webcast will be moderated by Tristan Roberts.