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Building Energy Modeling Innovation Summit - Vision Statements


Attendees And Vision Statements

Each attendee was asked to submit a one to two sentence statement expressing what the future of energy modeling would look like in terms of their organization's stake in the industry. 


Vision Statement

Godfried Augenbroe (Georgia Tech) "Building energy modeling is inherently flawed as it idealizes the behavior of an object whose use, state and behavior is messy and to a large extent unpredictable. Rigorous uncertainty analysis therefore needs to transform current practice."
John Bacus (Google Sketchup) "Energy modeling should be so easy, accurate and trustworthy that you do it both early and often during the design process."
Chip Barnaby (Wrightsoft) "BIM that works -- each building has a unified shared model that is assembled and maintained by all participants throughout project life (design, construction, operation, refitting, and destruction).  BEM studies can be efficiently done at any point in the life cycle using automatic "thermal views" and analysis tools that perhaps do not yet exist."
Vladimir Bazjanac (LBNL) "Semi-automated simulation would eliminate the dependence on availability and competence of simulation modelers, the need for modeling labor with its inherent errors and omissions, would deliver reproducible results and do so within a fraction of time it takes to generate simulation results today, and would dramatically reduce the cost of modeling and simulation so it would be affordable to every project that develops an openBIM in its conduct."
Lynn Bellenger (ASHRAE) "Building design teams use energy modeling in the earliest stages of concept design to make informed decisions on the building shape, envelope, and passive design features to minimize building loads and throughout the design process in selecting systems to optimize building performatnce.  This integrated design process is widely accepted throughout the industry and embraced by owners, developers, architects, engineers, contractors, occupants, and operating personnel."
Matt Biesterveld (Trane Commercial Systems) “Practical, comprehensive and accurate building energy modeling software that include complete equipment performance data, robust systems modeling capability, and seamless BIM integration to a wide variety of tools for a holistic approach to building design and analysis.”
 Robert Bolin (Syska) "Building energy modeling tools will be sufficiently sophisticated to model a more comprehensive array of building HVAC system alternatives such as radiant systems and natural ventilation, and provide more effective interoperability with other simulation tools for daylighting, fluid dynamics (CFD) and thermal comfort."
Michael Brandemuehl (University of Colorado, ASHRAE)
“When the energy model and measured data disagree, the data are viewed with suspicion.”
 Martha Brook (CEC) "BEM software used for energy code compliance encourages and credits high performance, low energy buildings.  Energy code compliance processes are integrated into the BEM tools used for architectural and engineering design."
Lane Burt (USGBC) “Building energy models and modelers that are capable of answering the most common and basic questions. Is the model a prediction of future performance, a comparison of only the design to a code baseline, or somewhere in between? If the models and modelers are already capable of sufficiently answering the questions as asked, then are they being asked the right questions?”
Aaron Buys (RMI) "Design teams integrate energy modeling into all phases of design and construction.  Energy codes require energy modeling done by a professionally certified modeler for compliance in medium and large commercial buildings."
Coreina Chan (RMI) "Energy efficiency is perceived to be a low-risk investment, as “safe” or “safer” than government bonds, with attractive yields. Energy modeling is viewed as part of a trusted approach for vetting different investment proposals."
Dru Crawley (Bentley) "Automate the mundane -- liberate the creativity."
Scott Criswell (SAC Software Solutions) "Building energy modeling software users will have access to a variety of free or inexpensive tools that are able to share data and communicate with each other, resulting in more accurate and less time consuming BEM analysis."
 Allan Daly (Taylor Engineering, LLC) “There are two worlds that building energy modelers deal with every day; the “fake” world and the “real” world. The fake world is one where we compare one fictitious building model to another, each generated by lots and lots of rules to come up with building performance predictions that only make sense given a deep understanding of the rules and their rationale. The real world is the one we live in every day where buildings consume resources. My vision for the Building Energy Modeling industry is that we continually move away from the fake world and toward the real world in order to make our work as correct and relevant and transparent as possible.”
Ery Djunaedy (University of Idaho) "In the future, building performance simulation tools will use the magic button to (re-)generate the building description information for different tools in various domains (energy, lighting, airflow, etc) in various levels of resolution (from the architectural elements like the window frame, the individual space, the whole building, up to the whole urban environment). At that time, the building designers can spend more time to actually design the building, instead of re-building the geometry to the specification of yet another program."
Peter Ellis (Big Ladder Software) "Software tools are a highly-leveraged, unhampered extension of the energy modeler's brain--the software equivalent of a super-powered, mechanized exoskeleton."
Caroline Fluhrer (RMI) "Energy modeling is a user-friendly, cost-effective, and trusted approach to minimizing energy use in any type of new or existing energy-consuming facility."
Ellen Franconi (RMI) “The practitioner no longer has to waste their time with drudgery work. Critical methods are standardized. Software does the piece work. Modeling becomes the creative process that it should be.”
Mark Frankel (New Buildings Institute) "The modeling industry shoots itself in the foot when it ‘predicts’ building energy use that does not account for variable occupant and operation strategies downstream from the design process."
Phillip Haves (LBL)  "Simulation is used to support and link each stage of the building life-cycle.  In particular, it provides a means of enforcing accountability for building performance between design, construction and operation."
Roger Hedrick (AEC) "Energy modeling is fully integrated into the design process, and is streamlined to allow its use early and often.  Common data frameworks allow seamless data transfer between design tools, energy models, and code and rating authorities."
Joe Huang (White Box Technologies) "Foster open-source development of software, and reduce the distinction between code developers and users."
Merritt Jenkins (RMI) "Building Energy Modeling programs are validated through empirically verifiable data"
Ron Judkoff (NREL) “Building energy modeling is so quick and easy that the practitioner is freed to be creative and intuitive in the design and optimization of ultra efficient new buildings and retrofits. The energy model integrates seamlessly with BIM models throughout the life cycle of the building.”
John Kennedy (Autodesk) "WYSIWYG - What You See Is What You Get."

Erik Kolderup (Kolderup Consulting) "Modeling tools efficiently support the evolution of a building model from conceptual design to occupancy (and beyond). These tools support – and perhaps even encourage – evolving geometry, thermal zoning, HVAC system assignments, operating schedules, and other currently time-consuming modeling tasks."
Steve Kromer (EVO/IPMVP) "Building modeling tools that are standarized and modular such that practitioners can share data and algorithms between platforms.

Users could "plug in" to the models with any amount of specific data, and call on standard resources for generalized data. A heirarchy of typical building retrofits would be available. Each ECM would have standard parameters that can be communicated through xml or other data standard.

Users would be able to easily run parametric analysis for their specific building/climate/use to determine manageable or reducible uncertainties." 
Cliff Majersik (IMT)
"Service providers in the energy modeling sector have the resources and credibility they need to quickly and profitably make the busines case for aggressive energy efficiency.  Mutual adoption of a single set of verified modeling procedure guidelines and quality assurance standards by rating authorities, code officials, program administrators, financial markets and the IRS harmonizes modeling requirements, streamlines modeling processes and enhances the credibility of energy models."
Timothy McDowell (TESS) "Moving Building Energy Modeling out of the 1970's and into the 21st century."
Don McLean (IES) "Education about building physics is not only essential in being able to implement energy efficient strategies but also to understanding the limits of the tools that are being used.

A competitive market promotes innovation, which is necessary to produce dynamic building simulation technology critical to climate change mitigation strategies."
John Melchert (The Weidt Group) "Energy modeling should provide design teams and owners continuous feedback throughout the design and life of the building."
Linda Morrison (Ambient Energy) "The industry gets concrete energy consulting feedback that guides excellent building performance design decisions and is reflected in actual performance during occupancy at a price that is appropriate for project complexity and standard for even the simplest projects."
Dan Nall (WSP Flack & Kurtz) "Building energy simulation programs will utilize BIM models for input with clever graphical tools easily to simplify data into energy modeling input format.   Standard formats for performance data for various specific pieces of equipment will be recognized and manufacturers will make information available in that format much as they make BIM blocks available. System portions of building energy modeling programs will be object oriented and will feature graphical network creation and drag and drop for equipment 'objects'.”
Satish Narayanan (UTRC) “Critical decision makers in building delivery chain, from concept to detailed design and commissioning, are equipped with necessary analysis tools to rapidly optimize whole building energy performance and ensure robust building operation.”
Ron Nelson (IMT) "Design and operation teams confidently model building energy performance starting with the schematic design phase and continuing through the operation and maintenance phase. The simulations are so reliable that control algorithms employ BEM and weather forecasts to optimize energy efficient operations and to issue alarms when forecast energy consumption is not realized."
Mike Opitz (USGBC) "Energy models are used robustly and broadly as tools to assess design trade-offs, but in the design context are NEVER treated as predictions of actual energy use after the building is operational.  In fact, energy modelers as a group must quit using the term "predicted energy use" when they only mean "as designed" or "as simulated". This will avoid implying that design-phase models are intended to predict actual operational energy use, a common misconception that has needlessly hindered the broader acceptance of energy modeling as an essential assessment tool for 20 years."
Aleka Pappas (Group 14) "As energy modeling services expand and the tools improve, the market will pursue greater innovation resulting in significant energy savings."
David Reddy (360 Analytics) "Develop tools and techniques that integrate energy modeling into all phases of the building life cycle, starting with design phase, through post-occupancy verification, and beyond to ongoing evaluation of building performance."
Michael Rosenberg (PNL) "Energy efficiency design guidance, first and life-cycle cost information, and energy code compliance feedback are seamlessly combined in a software tool that can provide feedback at all stages of a buildings life. The software tool has an intuitive user interface, supports multiple data exchange capabilities with other software tools, and provides robust and accurate cost, energy, and code compliance reports."
Amir Roth (DOE) "BEM is a key component in an integrated bid-design-construction-commissioning-operation chain that produces the next generation of high-performance, low-energy buildings and deep building retrofits. BEM also supports meaningful, performance-driving standards and financial incentives. Standardized interfaces and protocols facilitate information flow and back-flow throughout building lifetime, enable automated compliance checking and financial credit administration, and feed public databases which support building rating and policy analysis."
Cherlyn Seruto (RMI) "When stating "I model" in response to the question "what do you do for a living?", your audience associates your profession with one robust in influencing positive energy efficiency decisions in the building industry, as opposed to strutting on the runway in front of flashing cameras."
Kevin Settlemyre (Sustainable IQ) "(BIM + BEM) provides validated workflows, within and across tools, facilitating an integrative design process enabling a large number of users/teams to develop timely cycles of energy analysis, test innovative system designs (w/o workarounds), and leverage the results to inform design decisions (with confidence) starting from the earliest stages of a new or retrofit project process through to proactive use of calibrated energy models to inform building O&M, so that the bar on building performance can be raised..."
Muthusamy Swami (Florida Solar Energy Center) "While it is good that standards are being written in code-enforceable language, they also need to consider writing it in unambiguous software-implementable language so that there is consistent application of codes and standards.  Submission is a critical element of the code and rating processes.  Developers and approving authorities should consider automation in the submission and approval process to ensure quick feedback and turnaround."
Kendra Tupper (RMI) “The quality and credibility of modeling have improved due to existence and application of standardized methods that have been vetted by the industry, as well as a mandatory certification program that determines the skill level of an energy modeler. The toolsets support innovation and creativity and can seamlessly transfer data amongst various tools.”
Norm Weaver (Fort Collins Utilities Energy Services) “Defining best practice modeling based on a "standard playbook" of tools and strategies, a minimum training standard for modelers, using common metrics for reporting and--more importantly--for quality control.  Encouraging an approach that recognizes the impact of uncertainty across both model inputs and outputs and incorporating a metric for uncertainty in reporting results.”
Michael Wetter (LBL) "Energy analysis tools are based on modern technologies, sound science and open standards that makes them flexible, transparent, intuitive and extendable by users to meet today's needs and to innovate future applications. Modeling and simulation are used across the building life-cycle to accelerate the invention and adoption of new products and systems, to improve the design of buildings, and to improve the operation of buildings."
Tom White (Green Building Services) "It will become common knowledge that powerful simulation software tools cannot be expected to produce predictions of building energy use with spot on accuracy – there are just too many variables. Architects and engineers, however, will come to appreciate the potential of these software tools to highlight unexpected energy savings opportunities in both design and operations, because their insights will be founded on an understanding of how buildings behave as complex, adaptive systems."
Chris Wilkins (Hallam-ICS) "Improve the efficacy of tools and practitioners’ skill in applying these tools while at the same time increase the awareness of other stakeholders as to the both the benefits and limitations of the energy modeling process.  It is far too common for actual building performance to lag predicted performance and for the expectation of stakeholders to far exceed the ability of the energy modeling process to deliver."
Bill Worthen (AIA) "Architects and engineers understand how energy modeling can be used as an iterative, early design tool, throughout all stages of design, to help meet green building codes, like the IgCC."
Peggy Yee (GSA) "Owners will have the tools to make informed decisions throughout the building lifecycle to achieve organizational sustainability goals, by simulating selecting, and measuring building performance."
Marlin Addison (M.S. Addison & Associates)
Peter Alspach (ARUP)
Joe Deringer (Super-Per-B)
Brent Griffith (Energy Plus)
Gail Hampsmire (Low Energy Low Cost)
Jeff Hirsch (James J Hirsch & Associates)
DJ Hubler (Johnson Controls, Inc.)
Sonal Kemkar (DOE)
Nick Long (NREL)