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Community and Q&A

REScheck v. Energy Modeling

user-1086760 | Posted in General Questions on

I’d like to start a discussion around the differences as well as the advantages/disadvantages of using REScheck (or COMcheck) and/or an energy model. Although REScheck seems to have been originally written to show energy code compliance cost-effectively, it is often used or mistaken for an energy model – I think primarily because it shows a “% improvement” over code, which is a commonly requested output from energy models when complying with a “above code” program.

I am curious to hear about people’s experience using REScheck.

Some questions for starters… Are the results reliable… enough? Does it merit a larger role than just showing energy code compliance? Is the software user friendly? Should it be showing a “% improvement over code” output in the first place? Is that helpful or just confusing for the industry? Can it be used for preliminary design work prior to creating an energy model?

Thanks for any feedback!


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  1. GBA Editor
    Martin Holladay | | #1

    ResCheck is a type of energy modeling software. Like all such software programs, it has its strengths and weaknesses. Its strengths include the fact that it is free and easy to learn.

    One of its weaknesses is that it has a limited number of inputs, and therefore cannot always accurately describe a building with an unusual wall or ceiling assembly.

  2. user-1086760 | | #2

    Thanks for the response Martin. Based on your knowledge of the program, what do you think is the most appropriate application for REScheck in the design/construction timeline considering its limitations? It seems like it could be helpful in early schematic design or showing energy code compliance; especially for trades such as architects who may not have as much experience in complex energy modeling as an engineer or HERS rater per say.

  3. GBA Editor
    Martin Holladay | | #3

    Most of the time, ResCheck is used for code compliance. But for a builder or designer without access to any other energy modeling software, it can provide an idea of the energy savings that might be expected from various measures or options.

  4. user-1012653 | | #4

    We use COMcheck and I have used REScheck before. We only use COMcheck on remodel jobs to get state code acceptance using the performance methods. Neither is a modeling program, as in tell you loads and usage. They simply tell you if and how far about the code you designate your building is.

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