Tool predicts building energy use

The American Institute of Architects (AIA), Washington, announced a tool that predicts a project’s energy use and project modeling. “This tool is a valuable resource for architecture firms and will be used on their entire portfolio, not just for projects seeking green building certification,” said AIA president, George H. Miller, FAIA. “The tool was specifically developed to be simple to use and to be used by firms of all sizes on a variety of building types, large and small.”
   The tool is available by participating in the AIA’s voluntary 2030 Commitment Program. The program asks architecture firms, and other entities in the built environment, to pledge to develop multi-year action plans and implement steps that will advance the AIA’s goal of producing carbon-neutral buildings by the year 2030.
   The Excel-based reporting tool requires the user to enter project use type, gross square footage (GSF), and predicted energy use intensity, in addition to answering some basic yes/no questions such as, Is project Interior only? Is the project modeled?. Based on that information, for modeled projects, the tool will automatically calculate the national average site energy usage index (EUI) for that project type and the project’s percentage reduction from the national average EUI toward meeting the firm’s 2030 goal for the current year (currently 60%). For non-modeled projects, users enter the design standard or code and the sheet will calculate the project’s contribution toward the firm’s 2030 commitment.
   The Excel tool will generate three easy-to-decipher graphs that aggregate the individually listed active projects within the spreadsheet. These three graphs will constitute the report that firms will forward to the AIA under the 2030 Commitment Program. The three charts will show a snapshot of the firm portfolio including the percentage of GSF:

  • of active projects meeting the current reduction goal
  • being modeled
  • for which the firm will gather actual energy performance.

   Firms are asked to track all active design projects for the reporting year, not just those that are seeking green-building certification. Reports developed with the tool are meant to provide a year-to-year summary of a firm’s work. Firms of all sizes and building type expertise will use the same tool and report in the same manner.
   The tool can be used for any type of building project and was developed through a collaboration between members of the AIA Committee on the Environment, AIA Large Firm Roundtable, AIA Chicago Chapter Working Group, and individuals from AIA member firms.—Gary L. Parr

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