Whole Building Energy Analysis as a Sustainable Design Tool

January 30, 2009
Publication: ASHRAE 2009 Annual Meeting, Chicago, IL
Author(s): Sean OBrien Michael B. Waite

Buildings in the U.S. are responsible for nearly 50% of the total, nationwide energy consumption and approximately 35% of total CO2 emissions. Further, CO2 production from buildings is increasing at a greater rate than both industry and transportation. If these trends continue, leaky and poorly insulated buildings may soon be seen as the "gas guzzlers" of architecture. Whole building energy design takes into account all aspects of the building envelope and building systems, allowing designers to predict the interaction between occupants, lighting and plug loads, mechanical systems, and walls, roofs, and enclosure components. This session describes the basic elements of a whole building simulation and use case studies and examples to illustrate the impacts of both minor and major changes on the overall energy use of buildings.