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      We have built a software that does a more general version of our consulting. While its not nearly as advanced as the software we use, its often a great place to start, and something you can use yourself!
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    • Building Energy Helper, LLC

      For about two years Building Energy Helper has been providing high quality consulting services working on projects ranging from a few thousand square feet to hundreds of thousands of feet in size. We pride ourself on fast & reliable service at an unbeatable price. Our efficiency, passion, expertise, and very focused service listing all factor into our ability to offer services at such ultra competitive rates.
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    • BEhelper

      Separate from our consulting services we have been developing software specifically made for non professionals. Currently the software is free to use, and we would love for you to try it! We are working to improve it every day, and are always looking for feedback.
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GOT QUESTIONS ABOUT BUILDING ENERGY MODELING & AUDITING?

 - WE GOT ANSWERS

 

  • 1. testing
  • 2. meeting energy code
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  • 1. How long does a typical energy code analysis project take?
     

    General Analysis Time -

    A small typical building energy code timeframe takes about a week (or 5 days). This can vary depending on what information is available. This process starts with you just contact us to get it started! 

    When Time Is Critical -

    Customer Projects are queued up as they are ordered, so if there is a large rush on your project its best to immediately, and start the process. If this is the case we would suggest checking out our quick start option (button below) as it can greatly improve project speed, AND can save you a lot of $$$$!

    Many Thanks,

    Brad

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  • 2. What is needed from the architect to complete a energy code analysis?
     

    General things that may be needed to complete a energy code analysis

    A typical energy code analysis for a commercial building needs the architect to supply information so the building can be simulated & modeled properly. There normally other ways to gather this information, but it is normally most efficient for the architect to supply it. Information comes as a document (DWG or a PDF), but could also come from the architect simply telling the energy consultant. A few things that are need is listed below, though not comprehensive, it contains most of the major items we need.

    Building energy code analysis needed information:

    • Floor Plans (PDF or DWG)
    • Sections (PDF or DWG)
    • Elevations (PDF or DWG)
    • Building Schedule (when it will be operated once its open)
    • HVAC info (Type, Sizing, and Efficiency)
    • Window properties ( Product name, or SHGC/U-value/VT)
    • Site Location
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  • 3. What are these different paths for passing energy code all about?
     

    Getting started - Understanding the paths to pass building energy code.

    Ok, so when dealing with energy code we keep hearing about these different paths or approaches for how our building can pass, but what are they talking about? We hear people say "Prescriptive" or "Performance" or  "trade-off".
    In general these are three different ways you can typically choose to pass the energy code. Yes, you get to choose which of the paths you go, but choose wisely! There are many trade-offs depending which route you go, especially on cost.

    Let's start with the most basic (and easiest to understand)

    The "Prescriptive" path is simply making sure all your building components are better then the minimum quality stated by code for your building type, construction, and location. Let's look at an example. Suppose your design had a insulation on the roof at R-20 (decent, but not great). Then you went and looked up what was required by the local energy code you found that your types of buildings needed a roof with R-30 or better! Using the "Prescriptive" path, you now need to upgrade the roof insulation for your design (and drawings) to R-30. Ok, now that, but for windows (SHGC, U-value), walls, doors, lights (interior & exterior), HVAC, and more.

    Next up, math!

    The "Trade-off" path is geared toward the shell or exterior of a building. It works as a giant summation where all parts of your design must be equal or less than all parts of the code minimum. So you may have worse insulation than the code says is the minimum, but if you have awesome amazing windows, you might be able to pass anyway. This is a pretty good path if not for two things. First is that collecting all that information to add up is not easy. Second is that most of the time we find the shell/exterior of the building is exactly where design are failing

    Technology to the rescue!

    The "Performance" based path is one that looks at your design as a whole building, and then says if we made a version of this building exactly to code, would it be better or worse? The key here is this allows for an efficient building component (say lights) to compensate for a totally different competent (say wall insulation). There are many, many ways to find efficiencies in a design. This approach lets designers uncover those potentials, so they can design the building they want to, while also helping the planet. Often this path requires a computer to simulate how the design will use energy.

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  • 4. The Difference between IECC and ASHRAE90.1
     

    So what is the difference between the IECC & ASHARE90.1?

    Well... not much in truth. Actually, the IECC often references ASHRAE90.1 by name. While there are sometimes subtle differences, If you have one under your belt, then you can probably tackle the other. 

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  • 5. What Happens If Our Design Wont Pass?
     

    Uh Oh! The Design Doesn't Pass Energy Code! Now What?? -

    This happens quite often. Energy usage is a complex matter with a lot of things impacting each other, as well as overall energy usage. After our full building energy analysis it becomes quite clear where the building stands. The GOOD NEWS however is that once we have run that analysis we can now easily go back and run tests to find the worst contributors as well as hidden opportunities. In almost every case a original design has failed, we have been able to find a relatively minor adjustment(s) that can make huge impacts. So don't worry, we are in this with you, and will make it our mission to find the best path forward for you & your design.

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More Awesome Resources

Building Energy In General

Architecture 2030 - Solution
For a quick overview of the importance and ways to make an impact.

Department of Energy

A Great Source of Tips, Tricks, and the Latest Research.

NREL

Building Energy News, Research, and Publications. 

USGBC

LEED's Green Home.

ASHRAE

The Built Environment's Standards. 

EIA

Building Energy Consumption and Efficiency.

 

Architecture 2030

Designing To Solve Climate Change.

Solar Decathlon

Students Designing Solar-Homes. 

NIST

Quality Energy Related Products.

USGS

Energy and Environmental Information. 

Energy Star

Energy Efficient Choices For Tools and Products .

 

CBECS

Data For The Commercial Buildings Around U.S.

Education From LEED

Start Or Continue Learning About Building Green. 

IECC

International Energy Conservation Code.

ASHRAE 90.1

ASHRAE's Standard 90.1 For Energy Efficiency.