The mission of the Energy Modeling Center of Expertise in Sustainability (CXS) is to provide knowledge creation and sharing throughout USACE in the area of energy modeling to develop energy efficient buildings. As we strive toward reducing our dependence on fossil fuel, we must examine how our buildings are designed, constructed and operated in order to reduce energy consumption accordingly. Energy modeling is a means to predict the energy usage of a building by examining the parameters that affect a building's energy consumption and comparing energy saving strategies between a baseline and proposed building. Factors such as building orientation; roof and wall construction; placement of windows; heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) equipment; lighting; internal building operations; etc., affect how much energy a building will use.
Energy modeling, when performed at the beginning of the design phase, helps the design team identify the respective building components, systems and equipment necessary to achieve the specified energy reduction targets. During construction, any contractor requests for variances or product substitutions that could potentially impact the building's energy usage should be compared against the energy model.
The Energy Modeling CXS provides technical guidance on how to utilize commercially available energy modeling software to develop energy models to help us achieve high performance sustainable and energy efficient buildings. By developing accurate energy models to simulate a building's energy usage and understanding the parameters required for the energy model, designers and stakeholders can make informed decisions on design and sustainability features to be incorporated in projects.