The goal of this project was to estimate building energy performance for different design iterations using a minimal number of inputs. The Energy Performance Calculator, an Excel-based energy modeling software, can be used to estimate the energy performance of a building in its early stages of design. IMAGINE Lab researchers wanted to improve upon the Energy Performance Calculator by requiring fewer inputs and providing a platform where calculations can be done faster and accessed on a variety of devices.
The Energy Performance Calculator is based on the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 13790, a calculation that provides fast feedback in reduced order modeling. The calculator requires many parameters including the area of opaque surfaces and windows per orientation; the area and other specifics of each thermal zone; the overall heat transfer coefficient (U-value) for walls, windows and the roof; and shading factor. Because the tool in not directly connected to a model of a building, it takes time to gather and enter building data for each design iteration.
IMAGINE Lab researchers translated the Excel calculator into C# program language and directly connected the program to the parametric design. Researchers can now calculate energy performance faster while using fewer parameters.