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Community and Q&A

Update on energy modeling software recommendation?

hallie17 | Posted in Green Building Techniques on

I know Martin wrote about the various energy modeling programs and their limitations back in 2013. I think BEOpt was relatively new at that time. I’m interested in knowing how people are liking it compared to other simple, free programs for use during the design phase. For instance, what would be most useful for an architect wanting to incorporate energy modeling into her typical design process, including for clients for whom energy efficiency is on the list of priorities, but not necessarily at the top? Would I be best off hiring a consultant to do the work or should I do it myself since I have easiest access to the data needed in the CAD model of the house?

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  1. BullOak | | #1

    IMHO it really depends on your building science background and how much your schedule allows you to spend time on it.

    Assuming we're talking strictly residential, most of us architects are going to be most effective hiring it out, with a couple caveats:

    If you work in Revit and already have a subscription, the integrated energy modeling is pretty good once you get used to building models in a way that accommodates it - proper thermal properties on your materials, allowing for studs, etc. If you have staff, it will require training. Not the most user friendly but it's the closest I've seen to an integrated package that avoids duplicating work.

    CoolCalc is pretty user friendly, and free, but a fair amount of work to get reliable results.

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