By Jared Higgins, PE, CEM, CPMP, GGP

As seen in Energy Engineering Journal – Taylor and Francis

Energy modeling professionals who are modeling a building for the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) Energy and Atmosphere (EA) Credit 1 for the first time will spend considerable effort establishing, running, and perfecting the energy model for their project in order to get the most LEED® points available with the associated energy savings. They may also spend additional, frustrated hours once they have received the review comments from the Green Building Council explaining why the model has been rejected and no points have been awarded.

While Appendix G of American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning (ASHRAE) Standard 90.1 contains the detailed roadmap for constructing the energy model required for EA Credit 1, several small aspects are easy to overlook that will cause large headaches further down the road. These aspects include baseline system type, required plant capacities, roof albedo, fenestration exposure, lighting power densities, and many others. Additionally, the roadmap in Appendix G continues to change with each new version of ASHRAE 90.1; therefore, what worked in the 2004 version is no longer applicable in the 2007 version.

Once the energy model has been completed, the modeler must determine which reports are supposed to be provided. While it is easily understood that the Energy Cost Budget Summary and the Performance Rating Method reports need to be provided, several reviewers also require additional reports concerning entered values and equipment energy-use summaries. In addition to the reports, whether any of the construction drawings or equipment submittals will be required with the submission might also be a consideration. With little submission guidance from the ASHRAE Standard or the LEED® Reference Guide, many modeling professionals are unsure as to whether they are providing too much or too little information.