The Energy Design Process



There are three ways to use computer energy simulation software. The simplest is scorekeeping, which involves a single energy simulation run yielding the energy use for the current building design. The next level of analysis is problem solving. Problem solving points designers toward a proper course of action. This requires multiple energy simulation runs to determine optimum design features. At the highest level is attention directing. Attention directing is about guidance in knowing what questions to ask or what problems should be solved and in what order (Mason and Swanson 1981, 14).

If a search space is envisioned as a mountain range with peaks and valleys with the valleys representing low energy designs, the object of design is to find the lowest valley (Figure 11.1). Scorekeeping, a single run of an energy analysis computer program provides almost no usable design information. The single run’s main usefulness is after the design is finished to show compliance with energy codes and to claim LEED energy and atmosphere points. Problem solving can find a local optimum point but it is not capable of jumping out of the valley it is located in to search for better lower valleys. Attention directing is designed to look at a wider range to find lower valleys and better overall solutions.

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Aug 14, 2021 | Posted by in General Engineering | Comments Off on The Energy Design Process
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