Building energy modelers want, and need a universe of useful data. Observing the BEM Summits “Support and Resources” breakout group (which focused on the question, “what tools does an energy modeler need when they sit down to model?”), this point was abundantly clear.
What’s the difference between a building energy modeler and a building energy analyst? This may just sound like semantics, but according to participants at RMI’s BEM Innovation Summit, the devil’s in the details. Building a common language for energy modeling services is essential for defining and growing the market.
The words "government office building" may bring to mind visions of Franz Kafka's notorious clerks' office. Endless rows of literally gray partitions. Government workers packed into a maze of windowless tunnels. God forbid they should have a view of the outdoors, or be able to occasionally move from their cubes to a comfortable chair or table.
With commercial building retrofits starting to take center stage -- bolstered by federal support, spurred by public disclosure of performance benchmarks and popularized by hallmark projects -- demand for energy modeling services may soon be in the spotlight. And while LEED and an increase in whole-building performance analysis has driven demand for energy modeling services, there are several barriers that must be overcome to maximize energy efficiency and achieve aggressive performance goals.
Since the economic collapse, real estate owners have sought ways to cut costs, retain tenants, increase market performance and gain competitive advantage. A deep retrofit can achieve these objectives by turning business-as-usual upgrades into profit centers. Existing buildings are full of energy efficiency opportunities waiting to be realized. While some savings are obvious and easy to reach via one-off upgrades of windows, lighting and appliances, by using an integrated, whole-buildings design approach, profoundly larger energy savings can often be gained at little or no added capital cost.