End-use Breakdown: The Building Energy Modeling Blog

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Welcome to the Building Technologies Office's Building Energy Modeling blog.

January 19, 2021
BTO Research and Development Oppportunities (RDO) document for Building Energy Modeling (BEM)
DOE Publishes Research and Development Opportunities Document for Building Energy Modeling
DOE has published a peer reviewed "RDO" document that identifies barriers to BEM adoptions and potential roles for BTO in overcoming these barriers.
July 27, 2020
EnergyPlus with Python EMS mock logo (disclaimer: not an actual logo!)
Python EMS: A Unique EnergyPlus Feature Gets a Serious Upgrade
Released in March 2020, EnergyPlus 9.3.0 fast-forwards the Energy Management System feature about 40 years.
September 30, 2019
Systems Analysis allows Revit users to quickly group building regions into thermal zones and connect those to different types of HVAC systems. In this image, the “Core East” zone is connected to a VAV air handler.
Autodesk Brings Detailed EnergyPlus HVAC Simulation to Revit
New Systems Analysis capabilities use EnergyPlus and the OpenStudio SDK to allow Revit users to simulate detailed HVAC systems.
December 27, 2018
Line graph titled "Likelihood of Sub Four-Year Payback," with percentages 0 to 80 from left to right, and a vertical list with topics such as lamp type and occupied hours.
RMI Enlists EnergyPlus to Power its Portfolio Energy Optimization Initiative
RMI is developing a web-based platform to perform portfolio-level analysis, prioritize energy projects, and track and deliver results.
October 16, 2018
Photo of Greg Ward. Photo of Greg Ward. Photo of Greg Ward.
Radiance Creator Greg Ward Receives Prestigious Daylight Award 2018
Daylighting was a niche technique 30 years ago, but thanks to work of researchers like Ward, it is a core element of many high-performance buildings.
December 18, 2017
FloorspaceJS is a new, open-source, web-based 2D floor-plan editor.
The OpenStudio World Is Flat
FloorspaceJS is new open-source 2D floor-plan editor. It will initially complement the OpenStudio SketchUp plug-in and eventually replace it.
October 24, 2017
BuildSimHub brings GitHub's functionality to building energy modeling.
BuildSimHub Brings GitHub to Building Energy Simulation
Startup BuildSim’s new offering brings GitHub’s project management, version control, and collaboration features to building energy simulation.
September 27, 2017
Trane TRACE 3D Plus combines the load calculation and equipment sizing capabilities of TRACE with the annual energy simulation capabilities of EnergyPlus.
Trane Switches Engines with TRACE 3D Plus
Trane is releasing a re-architected TRACE, with DOE's whole-building energy modeling engine EnergyPlus™ inside.
May 9, 2017
Screenshot of the software.
OpenStudio Comes Full Polygon
The original OpenStudio—the EnergyPlus SketchUp plug-in—is going home. Big Ladder Software is taking over the tool, which is being rebranded Euclid.
March 30, 2017
Lucid Leverages DOE Tools and Small Business Program to Deliver Enhanced Energy Data Services
Oakland-based Lucid leveraged DOE’s Building Performance Database and Small Business Voucher program to develop a free energy benchmarking service.
January 17, 2017
simuwatt® Energy Auditor uses a software guided mobile workflow and cloud-based collaboration and analysis to reduce the cost of auditing and modeling existing commercial buildings by 25%. Developed with technical assistance from NREL, simuwatt® leverages DOE’s open-source modeling tools EnergyPlus and OpenStudio. Image: simuwatt.
simuwatt Relaunches Energy Auditor
After a successful Department of Defense (DoD) Environmental Security Technology Certification Program (ESTCP) prototype and pilot, Denver-based si...
December 22, 2016
Finally, a Major Update from OpenStudio
End users may not notice big changes in OpenStudio 2.0.0, but the underlying development platform has been drastically revamped to make third-party ap
October 5, 2016
Screenshot of the software.
Autodesk Upgrades Insight360 with EnergyPlus Annual Energy Simulations
At Greenbuild, Autodesk unveils an upgrade to its Insight360 suite of tools that will allow architects to run annual EnergyPlus simulations.
October 3, 2016
BetterBricks Leverages DOE Tools to Spark Deep Energy Retrofits
NEEA is using EnergyPlus and OpenStudio to help drive building renewal.
September 15, 2016
Screenshots of the OpenStudio platform.
New OpenStudio-Standards Gem Delivers One Two Punch
A new Ruby gem, openstudio-standards, delivers two significant and closely related capabilities.
June 23, 2016
QCoefficient uses model predictive control (MPC) to pre-cool 13 of the 108 floors on Chicago’s Willis Tower. This figure shows cumulative energy use in 30 minute intervals between June 11 and September 28, 2012. QCoefficient’s optimized strategy replaced 1500 MWh of peak-time demand with 600 MWh of off-peak demand, saving approximately $250,000 and 900 tons of CO2 emissions in the process. Credit: QCoefficient.
QCoefficient Uses EnergyPlus to Reduce Willis Tower Energy Bills

Chicago firm QCoefficient uses model predictive control (MPC) to pre-cool large commercial buildings, savings hundreds of thousands of dollars and...

May 23, 2016
The Shockingly Short Payback of Energy Modeling
Energy modeling is often used to evaluate ECM payback, calculating the operational energy savings that accrue after an initial capital investment. One
May 3, 2016
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Hut test site in Champaign, Illinois. ORNL used EnergyPlus to model the performance of the original B-Hut (middle), insulated B-Hut (left) and SIP Hut (right).<br />Credit: Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
When Saving Energy Helps Save Lives
National lab researchers are working with U.S. Military to evaluate energy-efficient base structures and reduce the need for dangerous refueling mi...
April 14, 2016
There’s a Measure for That!
OpenStudio Measures are short programs that can be used to transform models, create custom visualizations and reports, and automate modeling workfl...
March 23, 2016
RESNET’s decision to use EnergyPlus for the central implementation of HERS Index is part of a broad initiative aimed at enhancing consistency of HERS Index scores. <br />Credit: RESNET, DOE.
EnergyPlus Is Going Residential
Hourly energy modeling—and specifically DOE’s advanced hourly energy modeling engine EnergyPlus—is poised to assume a greater role in residen...
February 19, 2016
Screenshot of the SketchUp software with the Sefaira plug-in.
A Good Sign for the Building Energy Modeling Industry
If you are a BEM professional, know a BEM professional, or even follow one on LinkedIn or Twitter, you’ve probably heard the news.
February 10, 2016
Screenshot: Selections from the front page of the BEM R&D roadmap draft and the recommended initiatives table.
BTO Publishes Two Important Building Energy Modeling Documents
This week, BTO published two important and related documents regarding its Building Energy Modeling (BEM) program.
December 7, 2015
EnergyPlus Logo Debuts on Revit Toolbar
Autodesk’s interest in EnergyPlus has been public for some time. In 2013, the company underwrote the translation of EnergyPlus from FORTRAN.
November 19, 2015
Sefaira Serves A Double Helping of EnergyPlus with Collaboration on Top
One of the exciting recent entrants into the building design and analysis software marketplace is London/New York-based startup Sefaira.
November 9, 2015
Design Data Exchange Helps AIA and Member Firms Track and Improve Design Performance
A building’s architecture—its form, mass, envelope design, selection of construction materials, and layout of interior spaces—has a tremendous impact