Building Energy Modeling Project Portfolio

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BTO manages three types of of projects. 

  • Core projects are long-running projects based at DOE National Labs. 
  • Competitively awarded projects are two or three year projects awarded either through limited solicitations to the DOE National Labs or through open solicitations like the Emerging Technologies Program's annual BENEFIT solicitation, Commercial and Residential Building solicitations, and DOE's Small Business Innovation and Research (SBIR) and Small Business Voucher (SBV) programs. You can learn about upcoming BTO solicitations at and about upcoming small business solicitations at
  • Center-led projects are associated with federally-created research and development centers, usually involving DOE counterparts in foreign countries. Centers and their associated projects typically have five year performance periods. There are currently no active center-led projects in the BEM portfolio.

All projects are prospectively Merit Reviewed by external reviewers. They are also retrospectively Peer Reviewed by external reviewers once or twice during their performance period. Core projects are divided into three-year performance periods for Merit and Peer Review purposes.

Core Projects

EnergyPlus is DOE's open-source state-of-the-art whole building energy simulation engine.
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OpenStudio is an open-source software development kit (SDK) for energy modeling with EnergyPlus.
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Spawn-of-EnergyPlus (Spawn)
Spawn-of-EnergyPlus (Spawn) is a next-generation product based on open-standards for co-simulation (FMI) and equation-based modeling (Modelica).
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ASHRAE Standard 140 Maintenance and Development
A team led by ANL will shepherd ASHRAE Standard 140 "Method of Test for BEM Programs" for the period of 2019-2021.
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Radiance is a set of open-source lighting simulation tools capable of accurately calculating lighting metrics and rendering photorealistic scenes.
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Fenestration Software Tools
Tools for characterizing and simulating the performance of fenestration and façade components of systems support both design and product ratings.
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ResStock is a robust statistical methodology for modeling the energy use of building stocks and the impacts of energy-efficiency measures.
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AIA 2030 Commitment Design Data Exchange (DDx)
DOE collaborates with AIA to develop and maintain the Design Data Exchange (DDx), an online portal for 2030 Commitment reporting and research.
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Virtual EPB
ORNL researchers are working with the Electric Power Board (EPB) of Chattanooga to develop a digital twin of every building in the service territory.
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Competitively Awarded Projects

BENEFIT-2016: Open Building Control
A team led by LBNL researchers is developing a toolkit to improve the portability and deployability of high-performance control sequences.
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Researchers at LBNL and ORNL are adding moisture transfer modeling capabilities to the popular 2D/3D heat transfer program THERM.
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BENEFIT-2016: Data Center Toolkit
Researchers at UC-Boulder are creating an open-source tool for simultaneously optimizing cooling and airflow in data-centers and computer rooms.
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Lab RFP-2016: Validation and Uncertainty Characterization
This project leverages well-characterized, well-instrumented test facilities at ORNL and LBNL to empirically validate BEM engines like EnergyPlus.
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CBI-2016: BayREN Integrated Commercial Retrofits (BRICR)
A team led by the Bay Area Association of Governments is using OpenStudio to prioritize retrofit projects for small and medium commercial buildings.
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Lab RFP-2018: URBANopt
URBANopt is a simulation platform and SDK for low-energy districts and campuses supporting simulation of shared thermal systems, DERs, and microgrids.
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Lab RFP-2018: EnergyPlus 10X
A team led by LBNL and ORNL is undertaking a three-year effort to reduce EnergyPlus execution time by a factor of 10!
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SBIR-2018: BuildSimHub
BuildSimHub will add energy simulation and calibration capabilities to their git-based model management platform.
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SBIR-2018: Simulating Buildings while the Design is still in the Architect’s Imagination
GARD Analytics will develop algorithms and an online tool for generating energy models from program owner requirements.
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SBIR-2018: Portfolio Level Energy-Efficiency Simulation Platform
Maalka will add energy simulation and ECM evaluation capabilities to their building energy data platform.
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SBIR-2018: CAD-Integrated Web-Based Building Performance Simulation Platform
Ladybug Tools will use DOE's Radiance lighting engine to develop a cloud-based daylighting simulation service.
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SBIR-2018: Developing BEM Applications for the Reinsurance Industry
Prisere will add energy modeling to its analytical workflow to allow insurance and reinsurance companies to properly value energy-efficiency.
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SBIR-2018: M&V and EPC Process Automation
EnergyAnalytics LLC will leverage OpenStudio SDK to help automate the energy performance contracting process for microgrid projects.
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SBIR-2018: XeroHome: A Whole-Building Energy Modeling Based Targeting Tool for Existing Residential Energy Improvements
Vistar Energy will develop XeroHome, a web-based incremental energy modeling workflow for residential energy-efficiency improvements.
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SBIR-2018: Building Energy Calibration based on Parameter Estimation and Machine Learning
Golden Analytics will develop more accurate energy model calibration algorithms by leveraging high-level parameters and temporal disaggregation.
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Completed Projects

CBERD-2013: Building Energy Simulation and Modeling
A team led by LBNL and IIIT-Hyderabad is working on a range of use-cases including early-stage design, code compliance, and model-predictive control.
BUILD-2014: User-Oriented Modeling Tools for Advanced Hybrid and Climate-Appropriate Rooftop Air Conditioners
Students at the University of California-Davis will develop data-driven models for advanced rooftop air conditioners for EnergyPlus.
Test Procedures for Building Energy Simulation Tools
This project maintains and develops ASHRAE standard 140, which analytically, comparatively, and (soon) empirically tests BEM engines.
CORE-2012: Autotune
A team led by researchers at ORNL is developing algorithms for automatically calibrating energy models to exceed ASHRAE guideline 14 requirements.
BENEFIT-2014: A New Hybrid Approach to Energy Modeling
LBNL researchers are developing inverse modeling algorithms to recover infiltration rates and internal thermal mass from zone temperature streams.
SBIR-2014: Commercial-Grade, Scalable Support and Training Services Platform
Small business Big Ladder Software of Denver, CO will develop content for training and support services offerings for DOE's BEM engine EnergyPlus.
CORE-2013: Energy Modeling Community Resources
NREL is working with RMI and IBPSA-USE to develop online resources for energy modelers and their clients, including architects and building owners.
SBIR-2014: Integrated Energy Analysis and Validation Environment
Small business Energy Analytics of Avon, CT will use DOE's OpenStudio platform to integrate M&V into the building design and construction process.
SBIR-2014: Minimizing User Burden in Building Energy Analysis
Small business ThermoAnalytics of Calumet, MI is developing analysis algorithms to extract envelope thermal properties from infrared (IR) images.