The OpenBuildingControl (OBC) project is creating Modelica-based tools and content to aid in the deployment of high-performance control sequences.

The OpenBuildingControl (OBC) project is creating Modelica-based tools and content to aid in the deployment of high-performance control sequences like those from ASHRAE GPC 36.


Project Website:
Performers: Lawrence Berkeley National Lab – Berkeley, CA
-- Taylor Engineering – Alameda, CA
-- Building Intelligence Group – Portland, OR
-- Arup – Washington, DC
-- Oracle – Redwood City, CA
-- Integral Group – Alexandria, VA
-- Stanford – Stanford, CA
-- kW Engineering – Oakland, CA
DOE Total Funding: $2,000,000
Cost Share: $1,000,000 from California Energy Commission, $262,500 from partners
Project Term: FY2016 - FY2019
Funding Type: Building Energy Efficiency Frontiers and Innovations Technologies (BENEFIT) – 2016 (DE-FOA-0001383)
Related Projects: Spawn


Studies show that a properly designed, implemented, and maintained HVAC control strategy can reduce commercial building energy consumption by 20-30%, and that control optimization can reduce consumption an additional 10-15%. This opportunity is currently underutilized because the individual processes are not automated and don’t interoperate with one another.

The Open Building Control project leverage open international standard specification and interface languages for control sequences to digitize and automate control design, evaluation, implementation, and commissioning. The Lawrence Berkeley National Lab (LBNL), along with its partners, will develop a platform for design and specification of HVAC control sequences that interoperates with both whole-building energy simulation and automated control implementation workflows. OpenBuildingControl (OBC) will unify control design, evaluation, and optimization via whole-building energy simulation with control implementation, eliminating the manual translation steps currently associated with HVAC control implementation, reducing both error as well as effort and cost. OBC will use automated control sequence translation to interoperate with control execution platforms, both proprietary like commercial building automation systems (BAS), and open like DOE’s VOLTTRON.

This project will also create a digital library of the control sequences developed by ASHRAE GPC 36 “High Performance Sequence of Operations for HVAC Systems.”


This system will reduce the effort, cost, and error of designing, testing, and deploying HVAC control sequences, while providing the industry with a formal process to test and evaluate those control sequences. This project will narrow the performance gap between the design and operation of buildings through implementation and verification of controls. The OpenBuildingControl workflow is projected to reduce building HVAC energy consumption by 20-30%.


DOE Technology Manager: Amir Roth
Lead Performer: Michael Wetter, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory


A View on Future Building System Modeling and Simulation