Energy Modeling

October 31, 2023

What An Architect DoesEco DesignFrom the FieldGreen ArchitecturePassive House ArchitectureZero Energy

We talk a lot about energy modeling, so thought it would be good to explain a bit about how it works. There are a number of different modeling tools available, some free, some very expensive; but  they all work similarly. We use WUFI-Passive, which is the modeling tool required for Phius projects. Since we do so many Phius projects, and since it’s an excellent and proven tool, we use it on all projects. Here’s how it works:

At this point we get results from the model. It’s exciting to see the energy balance graphs from the program identifying what the major drivers are. This lets us target areas to use more insulation, or change window performance, or increase or decrease shading. It also gives us a site energy consumption that we can use to target annual net zero energy consumption.

Many firms hand off energy modeling to outside consultants. This can work, depending on the consultant, the building, and the goals of the project, but we really believe in integration of design as much as possible. Energy modeling doesn’t take the kind of deep specialized knowledge that, say, structural or mechanical design does, so we encourage architecture firms to dive in and level up!