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Building and Environment 43 (2008) 661–673

Contrasting the capabilities of building energy performance simulation programs
Drury B. Crawleya,Ã, Jon W. Handb, Michae ¨ l Kummertc, Brent T. Griffithd

US Department of Energy, EE-2J, 1000 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, DC 20585 0121, USA b Energy Systems Research Unit, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, Scotland, UK c Solar Energy Laboratory, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI, USA d National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Golden, CO, USA

Abstract For the past 50 years, a wide variety of building energy simulation programs have been developed, enhanced and are in use throughout the building energy community. This paper is an overview of a report, which provides up-to-date comparison of the features and capabilities of twenty major building energy simulation programs. The comparison is based on information provided by the program developers in the following categories: general modeling features; zone loads; building envelope and daylighting and solar; infiltration, ventilation and multizone airflow; renewable energy systems; electrical systems and equipment; HVAC systems; HVAC equipment; environmental emissions; economic evaluation; climate data availability, results reporting; validation; and user interface, links to other programs, and availability. r 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

1. Introduction Over the past 50 years, literally hundreds of building energy programs have been developed, enhanced and are in use. The core tools in the building energy field are the whole-building energy simulation programs, which provide users with key building performance indicators such as energy use and demand, temperature, humidity, and costs. During that time, a number of comparative surveys of energy programs have been published, including: 




Building Design Tool Council [1,2] and Willman [3]: a procedure for evaluating simulation tools as well as a report on ASEAM, CALPAS3, CIRA, and SERI-RES. US Army Construction Engineering Research Laboratory [4]: evaluation of available microcomputer energy programs. International Energy Agency Solar Heating and Cooling Programme (IEA SHC) Task 8, Jorgensen [5]: survey of analysis tools; Rittelman and Admed [6]:
E-mail address: (D.B. Crawley).

ÃCorresponding author. Tel.: +1 202 586 2344; fax: +1 202 586 4617.

survey of design tools specifically for passive and hybrid solar low-energy buildings including summary results on more than 230 tools. Matsuo [7]: a survey of available tools in Japan and Asia. American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and AirConditioning Engineers [8]: bibliography on programs in the areas of heating, ventilating, air-conditioning and refrigeration. Building Environmental Performance Analysis Club [9] and UK Department of Energy [10]: comparison of three tools. Bonneville Power Administration: comparison of energy software for the Energy Edge new commercial building program [11]. Ahmad and Szokolay [12]: comparative study of thermal tools used in Australia. Scientific Computing: a series of reviews from 1993 through 1995 in Engineered Systems Magazine [13,14]. Kenny and Lewis [15]: survey of available tools for the European Commission. Lighting Design and Application magazine [16]: survey of lighting design software.

0360-1323/$ - see front matter r 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. doi:10.1016/j.buildenv.2006.10.027

Building Envelope and Daylighting. BLAST contains three major subprograms: Space Loads The BLAST system predicts energy consumption and energy system performance and cost in buildings.1 Aizlewood and Littlefair [19]: survey of the use of daylight prediction models. TRACE and TRNSYS. and Central Plant. engineering practitioners. SUNREL.2.pdf. Ener-Win. Space Loads Prediction computes hourly space loads given hourly weather data and building construction and operation details using a radiant. diagrams. ARTI 21CR [26]: survey of user requirements (architectural designers. As a result the tables are not yet uniform in their treatment of topics. Some vendors included components as separate 1 This report comprised the initial content of the Building Energy Tools Directory launched in August 1996. convective. / Building and Environment 43 (2008) 661–673          Lomas et al. and utility rate tools. 2. Readers are reminded that the tables are based on vendor-supplied information and only a limited peer review has been undertaken to verify the information supplied.bso. tsbi5 (building simulation).12. PowerDomus.11 www. tables. Climate Data Availability. internal heat gains. Ventilation and Multizone Airflow. HEED. Electrical Systems and Equipment.0 Level 334. BLAST can be used to investigate the energy performance of new or retrofit building design options of almost any type and size. evaluate existing tools relative to user requirements.4. Zone Loads. It requires community input that not only holds vendors to account for the veracity of their entries.bsim. Environmental Emissions. This web-based directory now contains information on more than 330 tools: www. XSun (direct sunlight and shadowing). This task is beyond the resources of three or four authors. DOE-2. solar loads. Waltz [25]: summary of contact and other basic information about a variety of building energy. Validation. Infiltration. Underwood [21]: comparison of the results from two BSim provides user-friendly simulation of detailed. Economic Evaluation. Crawley et al. review whole building. and Availability. Clearly there is considerable scope for improvement in both the layout of the table and in the clarity of the entries. protractors. but injects additional methodologies into the task of tool comparison.uiuc. Natural Resources Canada [22. This includes transmission loads. [17]: IEA SHC Task 12 empirical validation of thermal building simulation programs using test room data. and provide recommendations for further tool development. infiltration loads. software tools. Natural Resources Canada [20]: directory of more than 100 tools for energy auditing. Overview of the twenty programs 2. eQUEST. Air System Simulation. The report described briefly here contains detailed tables comparing the features and capabilities of the programs in the following 14 categories: General Modeling Features. August 1998 www.ARTICLE IN PRESS 662 D. Today BSim is Yet in our study we found that no comprehensive comparative survey of tools had been conducted in the past ten years. HAP. Links to Other Programs. EnergyPlus. and User Interface. lifecycle costing. IEA SHC Task 21 [24]: survey of simple design tools for daylight in buildings including simple formulas. combined hygrothermal simulations of buildings and constructions. SimLight (daylight).1. One of our findings is that the simulation community is a long way from having a clear language to describe the facilities offered by tools and the entities that are used to define simulation models. IES /VES. Energy Express. SimPV (photovoltaic power). The developers of these programs provided initial detailed information about their tools. nomographs. NatVent (natural ventilation) and SimDxf (import from CAD). The detailed report is available on the web: www.1E. US Department of Energy [18]: directory of 50 building energy tools developed by comparative_paper. HVAC Systems. and the temperature control strategy used to maintain the space temperature. Building Loads Analysis and System Thermodynamics (BLAST) Version 3. . and design/ build contractors). building envelope. ECOTECT. HVAC Equipment.energytoolsdirectory. and scale models. It is our hope that this will become a living document that will evolve over time to reflect the evolution of tools and an evolution of the language the community uses to discuss the facilities within tools. This paper provides a small excerpt from a much longer report which compares the features of twenty major building energy simulation programs: BLAST. previously under the name tsbi3. and HVAC component and system simulation and design tools. The package comprise several modules: SimView (graphic editor).B. BSim has been used extensively over the past twenty years. entries and others preferred a general description of component types.energytoolsdirectory. Renewable Energy Systems.23]: evaluation of capabilities of a broad range of simulation engines. [27] includes more than five pages of detailed references for the twenty tools. BSim. Some of the descriptions within the tables employ vendor specific jargon and thus is somewhat opaque to the broader simulation community. ESP-r. DeST. This report by Crawley et al. IDA ICE. Tas. 2. Results Reporting. BSim Version 4. and conductive heat balance for all surfaces and a heat balance of the room air.

2. for energy design of buildings and for moisture analysis. 2. Energy Express for Architects provides graphic geometry input and editing. etc. Real-time animation features are provided along with interactive acoustic and solar ray tracing that updates in real time with changes to building geometry and material properties. This includes visualization of volumetric and spatial analysis results. it is most suitable for smaller. DeST has been widely used in China for various prestige large structures such as the State Grand Theatre and the State Swimming Centre. There are five versions in the DeST family: DeST-h (residences). created by CSIRO. simpler. daylighting contribution. Crawley et al. The Ener-Win software is composed of several modules—an interface module. and an energy simulation module. Energy Express includes a dynamic multi-zone heat transfer model coupled to an integrated HVAC model so that zone temperatures are impacted by any HVAC shortcomings. September 2003 simulationresearch. The interface module includes a rudimentary building-sketching interface.1E by creating more than twenty interfaces that make the program easier to use. BAS (building analysis and simulation) performs hourly calculations for indoor air temperatures and cooling/heating loads for buildings.0. originally developed at Texas A&M University.ecotect.1E has one subprogram for translation of input (BDL Processor). DOE-2. April 2005 www. The private sector has adopted DOE-2. commercial and residential buildings. PLANT and ECON). including imported 3D CFD data. and with increasing interest abroad.hearne. ECOTECT Version 5. DeST comprises a number of different modules for handling different functions: Medpha (weather data).1E predicts the hourly energy use and energy cost of a building given hourly weather DOE-2. 2. June 2005 members.000 ft2 (1000 m2) or less. Lighting (lighting). DeST-c (commercial). Ener-Win requires only three basic inputs: (1) the building (Chinese version only) DeST allows detailed analysis of building thermal processes and HVAC system performance. Design data.50. 2.1E Version 121.5. February 2005 www.4. with the output of LOADS becoming the input of SYSTEMS. including annual and monthly energy consumption. SYSTEMS and PLANT are executed in sequence. Each of the simulation subprograms also produces printed reports of the results of its calculations. Energy-10 takes a baseline simulation and automatically applies a number of predefined strategies ranging from .au Energy Express is a design tool. DeST-e (building evaluation).com.dest. solar heating fraction through glazing. tabulated by zones.8. Energy Express for Engineers provides those capabilities along with peak load estimating. (2) the building’s location.6. The output then becomes the input to ECONOMICS. lighting.1E has been used extensively for more than twenty-five years for both building design studies. its main advantage is a focus on feedback at the earliest stages of the building design Ecotect is a highly visual architectural design and analysis tool that links a comprehensive 3D modeler with a wide range of performance analysis functions covering thermal. peak heating and cooling loads. Energy-10 Version 1.ARTICLE IN PRESS enerwin Ener-Win. a building geometric and HVAC description. Bshadow (external shading). Designer’s simulation toolkits (DeST) Version 2. and a life-cycle cost analysis.0. 2. 10. 2. and for developing and testing building energy standards in the US and around the world. 2005 www. energy. Since Energy-10 evaluates one or two thermal zones. and utility rate structure.lbl. including complicated buildings of up to 1000 rooms. and four simulation subprograms (LOADS.8. for estimating energy consumption and cost at the design stage. DeST-r (building ratings) and DeST-s (solar buildings). The user interface allows fast and accurate model creation and manipulation. also show duct sizes and electric power requirements. a sketching module. Version 1. analysis results can be mapped over building surfaces or displayed directly within the spaces. multiple report viewing. analysis of retrofit opportunities.cox. shading.nrel. LOADS. and (3) the building’s geometrical data. VentPlus (natural ventilation). graphic editing of air handling system and thermal plant layouts. DOE-2. simplified HVAC model. Energy Express. peak demand and detailed HVAC model. In addition to standard graph and table-based reports. June 2005 www. a weather data retrieval module. / Building and Environment 43 (2008) 661–673 663 the most commonly used tool in Denmark. simulates hourly energy consumption in buildings. and detailed online help. and CABD (CAD interface). SYSTEMS. Ener-Win Version EC. acoustics and cost aspects. Whilst its modeling and analysis capabilities can handle geometry of any size and complexity. Rapid presentation of reference and low-energy cases is the hallmarks of Energy10.B. comparison of alternative designs and results.gv buildings/energy10 Energy-10 was designed to facilitate the analysis of buildings early in the design process with a focus on providing a comprehensive tool suited to the design-team environment for smaller buildings.

location (zip code).12. February 2005 www. an energy efficiency measure (EEM) wizard and a graphical results display module with an enhanced DOE-2. It supports an explicit energy balance in each zone and at each surface. daylighting. Users control the complexity of the source code.1. and building type.11. simplicity of input data.esru. EnergyPlus Version 1. glass.20a. Loads calculated (by a heat balance engine) at a user-specified time step (15-min default) are passed to the building systems simulation module at the same time step. heat pumps.ucla. Advice. A full Spanish language version is also included. etc. It follows the pattern of ‘simulation follows description’ where additional technical domain solvers are invoked as the building and system description evolves.13. eQUEST allows users to create multiple simulations and view the alternative results in side-by-side graphics. HVAC systems and electrical power flow—simulation environment which has been under development for more than 25 years. ESP-r is distributed under a GPL license. shading. to facilitate the efficient day-to-day work of estimating loads. and ventilation. chillers. HEED requires just four project inputs: floor area. April 2005 www. Hourly analysis program (HAP) Version 4. and other energy-consuming devices.1E.strath. DOE-2. with a variable time step. using constant speed or variable speed pumps. HEED automatically manages up to 9 schemes for up to 25 different projects.carrier. HAP is designed for the practicing EnergyPlus is a modular. people. tutorials and resources for developers.ucla. ESP-r Version 10. designing systems and evaluating energy performance. number of stories. calculates heating and cooling system and plant and electrical system response. chillers and cooling towers. radiant heating and cooling systems. a wide array of graphic output displays. packaged DX units. thermal mass. February 2004 www. An expert system uses this information to design two base case buildings: scheme 1 meets California’s Title 24 Energy Code. multi-domain—building thermal. system and equipment performance. / Building and Environment 43 (2008) 661–673 building envelope (insulation. HEED’s strengths are ease of It is a simulation engine with input and output of text files. windows.55. and interzone air flow. Input data and results from system design calculations can be used directly in energy studies. computational speed. daylighting and lighting system control. Full life-cycle costing is an integral part of the 2.ARTICLE IN PRESS 664 D. 2.commercial. HEED Version 1. 2.9. Context specific Help. It offers energy cost estimating. The EnergyPlus building systems simulation module. glazing. solar service hot water and integrated photovoltaic electricity generation).2 also simulates the performance of fans. plug loads. This integrated solution provides more accurate space temperature prediction—crucial for system and plant sizing. pumps. moisture adsorption and desorption in building elements. eQUEST Version 3. 2. intra-zone air movement.) and system efficiency options (HVAC. inter-zone air flow. boilers. February 2005 www. Part-load performance models are provided for split DX units. The building creation wizard walks a user through the process of creating a building model. environmental control and operations to match the requirements of particular projects. It provides extensive features for configuring and controlling air-side HVAC systems and terminal eQUEST is a easy to use building energy use analysis tool which provides high quality results by combining a building creation wizard. and can be downloaded from heed The objective of HEED is to combine a single-zone simulation engine with an user-friendly HAP provides two tools in one package: sizing commercial HVAC systems and simulating hourly building energy performance to derive annual energy use and energy costs. Tabular and graphical output reports provide both summaries of and detailed information about building.B.aud. when most of the decisions are made that ultimately impact the energy performance of envelope-dominated buildings.2.htm ESP is a general purpose. and a scheme 2 which is 30% more energy efficient. Hydronic loops can be simulated with primary-only and primary/secondary configurations. 2.2-derived building energy use simulation program. occupant comfort and occupant health calculations. January 2005 www. Crawley et al. It is intended for use at the very beginning of the design process. and automatic implementation of energy efficiency measures (by selecting preferred measures from a list). HEED is free.2 performs an hourly simulation of the building based on walls.10.2. The web site also includes an extensive publications list. . Integrated simulation also allows users to evaluate realistic system controls. Within eQUEST. HAP is suitable for a wide range of new design and retrofit applications. example models. lighting. and the ability to quickly compare multiple design alternatives. structured code based on the most popular features and capabilities of BLAST and DOE-2. DOE-2. and a FAQ file are included.

The main module is Tas Building Designer. Users can enter exact optical interactions of windows with identical layers of clear or tinted glass and no coatings on the The IES /VES is an integrated suite of applications linked by a common user interface and a single integrated data model. which simulate the dynamic thermal performance of buildings and their systems. November 2004 www. such as zones. 2. IDA indoor climate and energy (IDA ICE) Version 3. PMV and PPD. Tas has 20 years of commercial use in the UK and around the world. The software has heating and cooling plant sizing procedures. /Virtual EnvironmentS modules include:            ModelIT—geometry creation and editing ApacheCalc—loads analysis ApacheSim—thermal MacroFlo—natural ventilation Apache HVAC—component-based HVAC SunCast—shading visualisation and analysis MicroFlo—3D computational fluid dynamics FlucsPro/Radiance—lighting design DEFT—model optimisation LifeCycle—life-cycle energy and cost analysis Simulex—building evacuation The program provides an environment for the detailed evaluation of building and system designs. which include optimum start. Tas Systems is a HVAC systems/controls IDA ICE is based on a general simulation platform for modular systems. which may be directly coupled with the building simulator. Tas Ambiens. IES /Virtual EnvironmentS (IES /VES) Version 5. NMF and/or Modelica programming—for developers.     Wizard interfaces lead the user through the steps of building a model for a specific type of study. allowing them to be optimized with regard to comfort criteria and energy use. a user imports data from Window 4 or 5..equa. April 2005 www.15. PowerDomus Version 1. considering both vapor diffusion and capillary migration. SUNREL has a simplified multizone nodal airflow algorithm that can be used to calculate infiltration and natural ventilation. Standard interface for users to formulate a simulation model using domain specific concepts and objects. and its occupants. which include advanced control functions on aperture opening and the ability to simulate complex mixed mode systems. May 2005 www. and the equipment capacities can be set to unlimited. IDA ICE offers separated but integrated user interfaces to different user categories: moisture content profiles within multi-layer walls for any time step and temperature and relative humidity for each zone. 2.5. radiators and windows. / Building and Environment 43 (2008) 661–673 665 2. Thermal properties are modeled with a fixed U-value and fixed surface coefficients.7. build 15. December 2004 www. surface vapor fluxes and daily integrated moisture sorption/desorption capacity.0. The Internet browser based IDA Room wizard calculates cooling and heating load. Physical systems from several domains are in IDA described using symbolic equations. Tas Version 9. It has a 3D graphics-based geometry input that includes a CAD link. Fans move a schedulable fixed amount of air between zones or from outside.17. Windows can be modeled by one of two methods.14.pucpr.2.e. September 2005 www. IDA simulation environment. i. Crawley et Tas is a suite of software products. is a robust and simple to use 2D CFD package which produces a cross section of micro climate variation in a space. its environment. 2. SUNREL only models idealized HVAC equipment. The third module. It has been developed to model coupled heat and moisture transfer in buildings when subjected to any kind of climate PowerDomus is a whole-building simulation tool for analysis of both thermal comfort and energy use.B.18. temperature and moisture content within user-selectable walls/roofs.edsl. It performs automatic airflow and plant sizing and total energy demand. which performs dynamic building simulation with integrated natural and forced airflow.ARTICLE IN PRESS D. SUNREL Version 1. For the second SUNREL is an hourly building energy simulation program that aids in the design of small energy-efficient buildings where the loads are dominated by the dynamic interactions between the building’s envelope. PowerDomus allows users to visualize the sun path and inter-buildings shading effects and provides reports with graphical results of zone temperature and relative humidity. Tas combines dynamic thermal simulation of the building structure with natural ventilation calculations.iesve.0.14. Its models predict temperature and . Advanced level interface—where the user is able to browse and edit the mathematical model of the system. 2.16. stated in either or both of the simulation languages Neutral Model Format (NMF) or Modelica. The equipment and loads calculations are solved simultaneously. thermal loads statistics.

which would support the range of simulation. Table 1: general modeling features This table provides an overview of how the various tools approach the solution of the buildings and systems described in a user’s model. needs they usually see in their practice. The Equipment Phase uses the hourly coil loads from the System Phase to determine how the cooling. 3. During the Design Phase the program first calculates building heat gains for conduction through building surfaces as well as heat gains from people. / Building and Environment 43 (2008) 661–673 2. low energy buildings and HVAC systems. A few tools support exchange data with other simulation tools so that second numerical opinions can be acquired without having to re-enter all model details. fuel cells. TRNSYS components (referred to as ‘‘Types’’) may be as simple as a pump or pipe. Crawley et al. renewable energy systems. We encourage users to consider adopting a suite of TRACE is divided into four distinct calculation phases: Design. Excel/VBA.wisc. heating. the program sizes all coils and air handlers based on these maximum loads. This table indicates considerable variation in facilities on offer.ARTICLE IN PRESS 666 D. and appliances and impact of ventilation and infiltration. November 2004 www.20. the geometric elements which zones can be composed and exchange supported with other CAD and simulation tools. The modular nature of TRNSYS facilitates the addition of new mathematical models to the program. In building simulations. The Economic Phase combines economic input supplied by the user with the energy usage from the Equipment Phase to calculate each alternative’s utility cost. maintenance cost and life cycle cost. For example in Table 2. Equipment and Economics.19. cogeneration. Certainly geometric detail differs between the tools and users will want to check the vendors’ web sites for specifics. Early design decisions may not require a detailed simulation program to deal with massing or other early design problems. The table indicates that the majority of tools support the simultaneous solution of building and environmental systems. Finally. Comparison among the tools Readers of the report who have specific simulation tasks or technologies in mind should be able to quickly identify likely candidate tools. TRNSYS can generate redistributable applications that allow non-expert users to run simulations and parametric studies. Eight tools claim no support for thermal comfort. how conduction and convection within rooms are solved. and EES) can also be directly embedded in a simulation. Fanger’s PMV and PPD indices and mean radiant temperature are used by a majority of tools that calculate . yet most tools only perform design sizing calculations using dry bulb temperature. The simulation engine then solves the system of algebraic and differential equations that represent the whole energy system. Table 2: zone loads This table provides an overview of tool support for solving the thermophysical state of rooms: whether there is a heat balance underlying the calculations.B. 2. System. 3.0. The majority of vendors claim a heat balance approach although few of these report energy balance (see Table 12). In the vendors’ view there is support for a full geometric TRNSYS is a transient system simulation program with a modular structure that implements a component-based approach.tranecds. the frequency of the solution. Of those that do.g. installed cost. From our experience. lights. The components are configured and assembled using a fully integrated visual interface known as the TRNSYS Simulation Studio. Because the 14 tables comprise 30 pages with more than 250 footnotes in the full comparison report. etc.1. TRACE 700 Version 4. many users are relying on a single simulation tool when they might be more productive having a suite of tools from which to choose. this paper provides only a glimpse of the wealth of information in the tables. especially for environmental systems. In this paper. all HVAC-system components are solved simultaneously with the building envelope thermal balance and the air network at each time step. Increasingly tools allow users to study performance at finer increments than one hour. The web sites and detailed references and footnotes included in the report would then allow a potential user to confirm that the programs indeed have the capabilities. February 2005 sel. the TRNSYS library includes components for solar thermal and photovoltaic systems. a summary of Tables 5. we present portions of Tables 2. and 11. as well as the complete Table 4 to demonstrate the variety of approaches and solutions represented by these programs. New components can be developed in any programming language and modules implemented using other software (e.1.37. 7 and 8. 3.10. and air moving equipment will consume energy. while building input data is entered through a dedicated visual interface (TRNBuild). and the extent to which thermal comfort can be assessed. TRNSYS Version 16. In addition to a detailed multizone building model. or as complex as a multi-zone building model. The following provides brief observations about each of the 14 tables from the full report (Tables 1–5).me. the dynamic response of the building is simulated for an 8760-h (or reduced) year by combining room load profiles with the characteristics of the selected airside system to predict the load imposed on the equipment. 3.2. During the System Phase. Matlab/Simulink. note that almost all the programs deal with internal thermal mass.

B. E feature or capability requires domain expertise.1E ECOTECT EnerWin Energy Express Energy10 EnergyPlus eQUEST ESP-r IDA ICE IES / VES HAP HEED PowerDomus SUNREL Tas TRACE TRNSYS Interior surface convection  Dependent on temperature  Dependent on air flow  Dependent on surface heat coefficient from CFD  User-defined coefficients (constants. steady-periodic or fully dynamic design conditions X X X P X X P E X X E X X X X X X X X X X X D.Table 1 Zone loads (11 of the 21 rows from Table 2 of the report) BLAST BSim DeST DOE2. / Building and Environment 43 (2008) 661–673 E ARTICLE IN PRESS X X X X X E R X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X P X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X feature or capability available and in common use. R optional feature or capability for research use. Crawley et al. 667 . O optional feature or capability. P feature or capability partially implemented. equations or correlations) Internal thermal mass Automatic design day calculations for sizing  Dry bulb temperature  Dew point temperature or relative humidity  User-specified minimum and maximum  User-specified steady-state. I feature or capability with difficult to obtain input.

1E ECOTECT EnerWin Energy Express Energy.B. Crawley et al.668 Table 2 Building envelope. / Building and Environment 43 (2008) 661–673 Outside surface convection algorithm  BLAST/TARP X  DOE-2  MoWiTT  ASHRAE simple X  Ito. Kimura. and Oka correlation  User-selectable Inside radiation view factors Radiation-to-air component separate from detailed convection (exterior) Solar gain and daylighting calculations account for inter-reflections from external building components and other buildings X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X P X X X X X X X X X X ARTICLE IN PRESS X X X X X X X X X X X X X X P X P X X X X P X X feature or capability available and in common use. R optional feature or capability for research use. daylighting and solar (9 of the 52 rows from Table 3 in the report) BLAST BSim DeST DOE2.EnergyPlus eQUEST ESP-r 10 IDA ICE IES / VES HAP HEED PowerDomus SUNREL Tas TRACE TRNSYS D. I feature or capability with difficult to obtain input. O optional feature or capability. P feature or capability partially implemented. . E feature or capability requires domain expertise.

Table 3 Infiltration.B.1E X ECOTECT EnerWin X X Energy Express X Energy10 X EnergyPlus eQUEST ESP-r IDA ICE X IES / VES X X HAP HEED PowerDomus SUNREL Tas TRACE TRNSYS Single zone infiltration X Automatic calculation of wind pressure coefficients Natural ventilation (pressure. 669 . mycotoxins (mold growth) X X X P X P X X X X X X X X X X X D. I feature or capability with difficult to obtain input. room air and multizone airflow BLAST BSim DeST DOE2. P feature or capability partially implemented. Crawley et al. E feature or capability requires domain expertise. ventilation. R optional feature or capability for research use. / Building and Environment 43 (2008) 661–673 X P X P X X X X X X O ARTICLE IN PRESS X P X X X X X X O X P X X X X I X X X X X P X X O O X X P X E R X X X O P X feature or capability available and in common use. buoyancy driven) Multizone airflow (via pressure network model) Hybrid natural and mechanical ventilation Control window opening based on zone or external conditions Displacement ventilation Mix of flow networks and CFD domains Contaminants. O optional feature or capability.

1E X X ECOTECT EnerWin X X Energy Express X X Energy10 X EnergyPlus eQUEST ESP-r IDA ICE X IES / VES X X HAP HEED PowerDomus SUNREL Tas TRACE TRNSYS Simple energy and demand charges Complex energy tariffs including fixed charges.670 Table 4 HVAC systems/components and renewable energy systems [summary from report Tables 5. Table 5 Economic evaluation (energy costs portion of Table 11 of the report) BLAST BSim DeST DOE2. P feature or capability partially implemented. I feature or capability with difficult to obtain input. X+O) Discrete HVAC components (98 identified. . Crawley et al. X+O) Idealized HVAC systems User-configurable HVAC systems Pre-configured systems (among 34 identified. O optional feature or capability. R optional feature or capability for research use. O optional feature or capability. E feature or capability requires domain expertise. X+O) 1 2 2 0 0 1 2 2 0 12 X X 14 14 X X 20 16 X X P X X 7 28 24 X X 23 X X 32 X X 28 X 28 X 10 X 8 X R 1 X 23 X 26 X X D. 7 and 8 (9 pages)] BLAST BSim DeST DOE2. block charges. I feature or capability with difficult to obtain input. ratchets Scheduled variation in all rate components User selectable billing dates X X X X X X X X X X X X X X P X X X X E X X X X X X X X X X X X X P P X X X X E X feature or capability available and in common use. E feature or capability requires domain expertise. demand charges. / Building and Environment 43 (2008) 661–673 0 16 5 20 51 24 34 39 0 24 8 15 66 61 40 52 38 43 7 15 3 26 63 82 ARTICLE IN PRESS X feature or capability available and in common use. P feature or capability partially implemented. R optional feature or capability for research use.B.1E 1 ECOTECT EnerWin 4 0 Energy Express 0 Energy.EnergyPlus eQUEST ESP-r 10 2 4 2 7 IDA ICE 1 IES / VES 3 HAP HEED PowerDomus SUNREL Tas TRACE TRNSYS Renewable Energy Systems (12 identified.

9. Users would need to check the vendors’ web sites for further detail. Yet most of these loads are simply scheduled inputs. 3. At the beginning of the table is an indicator as to whether HVAC systems are composed from discrete components (implying that the user has some freedom in the design of the system) or that there are system templates provided. None of the tables include items related to indoor air quality yet even though this has certainly been an issue that has been raised in various international conferences and research journals. a number of vendors now offer support for displacement ventilation. but readers should check with vendors to see what the specifics are. We urge readers not to count the boxes ticked. This table is diverse because it reflects the diversity that vendors currently support. Crawley et al. Most tools claim support for internal thermal mass.7. which has sections for other environmental control systems and components. but the specifics are not yet included in the table. Readers should also consult Table 8. Automatic sizing is offered by quite a few tools. vendors have few facilities for such assessments.6. Table 7: HVAC systems This table provides an overview of tool treatment of solar radiation outside a building as well as its distribution within and between zones. It remains for a later version of the report to begin the substantial task of confirming the equivalence of like-named entities and imposing an overall structure. Table 7 and 8 in their current form mask even more diversity: even if two vendors offer component X.B. each of them has likely taken a different approach to implementation. almost all tools support various types of pumps while few claim to have heat exchangers in the early sub-section—but most mention heat exchangers in a later section on air-to-air energy recovery. As expected. either from the outside or between rooms or in conjunction with environmental systems are treated. most vendors support only 1D conduction.4. 3.3. Table 6: electrical systems and equipment This table provides an overview of how electrical systems and equipment are treated in each tool. Not stated in the table are assumptions that tools deal with the sun and that sunlight entering a room is accounted for. Such diversity requires the user scan the full table for items of interest. without further investigations it would be difficult for a reader to confirm whether a particular vendors offering is appropriate or what aspects of HVAC performance are assessed. what is required of the user to define such designs or the performance indicators that are reported. The table indicates that most vendors view lighting control as worthy of support but few tools yet accept the full complexity of blinds or translucent fac . However. 3. Inclusion in the table is mostly for additional facilities. with additional sections for demand-controlled ventilation. It is notable that some tools now claim to support CO2 sensor control of HVAC systems.ade elements. how interactions with the sky and ground are treated. ranging from curve fits to entities that take into account the underlying physics.5. support airflow via a pressure network model. As with renewable energy systems. Clearly this table will expand in future versions. DX coils seem to be included in multiple sub-sections. Table 5: renewable energy systems This brief table provides an overview of renewable energy systems. CO2 control and sizing. support for electrical engineers is sparse. Table 4: infiltration. But users are often confronted by restrictions in solar and visible radiation treatment that can be traced to the age of the underlying computational methods. somewhat fewer claim to deal with natural ventilation and fewer still.8. 3. / Building and Environment 43 (2008) 661–673 671 comfort. There appears to be increasing support for basic cogeneration facilities. 3. Users of most tools are able to get reports on . Interestingly. With a few exceptions. Most tools offer a range of zonal and room air distribution devices. The table also covers outside surface convection. tool vendors associated with the manufacture of system components tend not to support much in the way of nonmechanical design options. but for now readers should look for further information from the vendor sites. For example.ARTICLE IN PRESS D. As expected. 3. ventilation and multizone airflow This table provides an overview of how air movement. The table indicates that there is a sub-set of tools supporting additional inside surface convection options. All tools claim to provide at least a single zone infiltration model. 3. Table 8: HVAC equipment This table provides an overview of the HVAC components as well as components used in central plant as well as components associated with domestic hot water. The majority of This table provides an overview of HVAC systems. Table 9: environmental emissions This table gives an overview of the emissions associated with the energy use of buildings and environment control systems. Table 3: building envelope and daylighting tools claim support for building power loads. but to dig deeper to confirm whether what is on offer actually is appropriate for use in a particular simulation project and we would be most interested in updating the table to reflect additional information. The table is based on entries suggested by vendors and is not yet complete in terms of its coverage of such designs.

The authors recommend this table to the reader because it highlights issues that could be critical in their understanding of simulation tools. It is interesting to note that simulation tools are among the most disk filling of applications. Where do we see the next generation of this report? First. users can create reports based on performance indicators that they choose. 4. This report does not attempt to deal with whether the tools would support analysis over the lifetime of the project—from design through construction into operation and maintenance.13. many users are relying on a single simulation tool when they might be more productive having a suite of tools from which to choose. and availability This table takes a different format from the others and allows brief discussions of aspects of each tool that did not fit into the other tables and footnotes. We also found that there was a relatively new level of attention and interest in publishing validation results. There is also the issue of trust: Do the tools really perform the capabilities indicated? What level of effort and knowledge is required by the user? How detailed is the model behind a tick in the table? For open source tools. Most tools assume considerable proficiency with third party graphing and spreadsheet applications. Some show conformance to a particular national or international standard. everyone can check the model and adapt it.10. there was not a common language to describe what the tools could do. 3. readers are advised to check the references given for the specifics of the validation work. R (research use). we envision this report as a community resource which will . or convergence criteria. or I (difficult to obtain input data). Clearly there is scope for this table to expand so as to highlight the diversity of vendor support. Conclusions As we began working on the report. In general. we note that there are many nuances of ‘capability’ that the developers found difficult to communicate. There are other environmental impacts that are available to support national standards. Extensive explanatory footnotes are also provided. Although vendors would not accidentally tick a box in error.B. yet no tool vendor makes any claims about writing to enterprise class database formats. There was much ambiguity. 3. While the tables in the report may indicate a tool has a capability. 3. The tables attempt to clarify this by providing more depth than a simple X (has capability): they include P (partially implemented). Table 10: economic evaluation This brief table provides a few hints as to vendor support for energy cost analysis and life-cycle cost analysis. which will continue to require additional work to resolve in the future. solution methods. The footnotes and references for the validation exercises are. links to other programs. For the other tools. mixed and would appear to be sensitive to region-specific standards and laws. For example. We may need a way for users to provide feedback and ratings for these in the future. simulation use is only useful if users can get access to indicators of performance. 3. perhaps among the primary findings of this report. / Building and Environment 43 (2008) 661–673 major greenhouse gases. Table 14: user interface. many tools allow user-specified correlations. In many tables. We encourage users to consider adopting a suite of tools. Table 13: validation This table gives an indication of the steps that vendors have taken to test software.11. From our experience. Several program developers also indicated that they plan to make the simulation inputs available to users for download in the near future. we found that even among the ‘mature’ tools. O (optional). In some cases the validation is against an analytical standard. A few tools provide in-built facilities to graph and carry out statistical operations. in others validation is comparison between tools. It will be interesting to see if some tool-specific formats disappear in preference to this emerging standard. Crawley et al. Table 12: results reporting At the end of the day. This table does not address how difficult it is to gather and support the underlying data requirements for environmental emissions. there are several levels of resolution— one tool may do a simplified solution while another may have multiple approaches for that feature. only very detailed BESTEST-like procedures can give the answer.14. 3. which would support the range of simulation needs they usually see in their practice. One trend over the last few years is the growth in the number of locations supported by the EPW file format as well as the number of tools that use this format.ARTICLE IN PRESS 672 D. Table 11: climate data availability This table gives a summary of climatic data related issues. Early design decisions may not require a detailed simulation program to deal with massing or other early design problems.12. The table indicates a considerable diversity in the data that simulation tools generate as well as the format of the reports. E (expert use). Probably there is no such thing as a life-cycle cost definition that would be agreed upon by every tool vendor that offers the facility. There is still a cacophony of climate file types and many tools support a range of formats. at best. Support is.

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