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Existing Commercial Reference Buildings Constructed Before 1980

The files on this page contain commercial reference building models for existing buildings constructed before 1980, organized by building type and location. These U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) reference buildings are complete descriptions for whole building energy analysis. You can also return to a summary of building types and climate zones and information about other building vintages.

These files are updated regularly. There are two versions of these files on this page. Version 1.3_5.0 was updated September 27, 2010 and Version 1.4_7.2 was updated November 13, 2012.

You can also view related resources:

The DOE reference buildings, in ZIP files, are by building type and climate zone. The ZIP files contain the following:

  • An EnergyPlus software input file (.idf)
  • An html file showing the results from the EnergyPlus simulation (.html)
  • For ZIP files by building type, a spreadsheet that summarizes the inputs and results for each location (.xlsx)
  • For ZIP files by climate zone, the EnergyPlus TMY2 weather file (.epw).
  • For version 1.4, only the IDF file is included.

Reference Buildings by Building Type

In addition to the ZIP file for each building type, you can directly view the "scorecard" spreadsheet that summarizes the inputs and results for each location. This Microsoft Excel spreadsheet is also included in the ZIP file. For version 1.4, only the IDF file is included.

Building Type Version 1.3_5.0
updated 9/27/10
Version 1.4_7.2
updated 11/13/12
Large office ZIP ZIP
Medium office ZIP ZIP
Small office ZIP ZIP
Warehouse ZIP ZIP
Stand-alone retail ZIP ZIP
Strip mall ZIP ZIP
Primary school ZIP ZIP
Secondary school ZIP ZIP
Supermarket ZIP ZIP
Quick service restaurant ZIP ZIP
Full service restaurant ZIP ZIP
Hospital ZIP ZIP
Outpatient health care ZIP ZIP
Small Hotel ZIP ZIP
Large Hotel ZIP ZIP
Midrise Apartment ZIP ZIP

Reference Buildings by Climate Zone and Representative City

Climate Zone Version 1.3_5.0
updated 9/27/10
Version 1.4_7.2
updated 11/13/12
1A Miami, Florida ZIP ZIP
2A Houston, Texas ZIP ZIP
2B Phoenix, Arizona ZIP ZIP
3A Atlanta, Georgia ZIP ZIP
3B Los Angeles, California ZIP ZIP
3B Las Vegas, Nevada ZIP ZIP
3C San Francisco, California ZIP ZIP
4A Baltimore, Maryland ZIP ZIP
4B Albuquerque, New Mexico ZIP ZIP
4C Seattle, Washington ZIP ZIP
5A Chicago, Illinois ZIP ZIP
5B Boulder, Colorado ZIP ZIP
6A Minneapolis, Minnesota ZIP ZIP
6B Helena, Montana ZIP ZIP
7 Duluth, Minnesota ZIP ZIP
8 Fairbanks, Alaska ZIP ZIP

Please send all questions and comments regarding the reference buildings to referencebuildings@nrel.gov.