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What is the Learning Curve Like to Use BEopt?

JWolfe1 | Posted in General Questions on

Hello, 

What is the learning curve like for a never-ever user of BEopt for someone who is generally familiar with technology? Can you figure it out in a few hours or is it something to leave to the professionals? Where do I start?

I would be using it on my personal house I am building rather that doing it on dozens of houses per year. 

Thanks!

https://www.nrel.gov/buildings/beopt.html

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Replies

  1. Walter Ahlgrim | | #1

    I would say it is a long steep learning curve but worth the effort.

    Start by watching this set of training video I was lost before I found them.

    https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLHC0xDtkdjgec8QhVt7exJY3tpSLEFk-d

    Walta

    1. Kyle Bentley | | #2

      Walta,

      I've seen you talk about BeOPT before, how would you rate yourself in its use? Good enough to write an intro article, showing a few easy inputs and results to get the masses started on GBA? :)

  2. Brian Wiley | | #3

    I agree with Walta in that it’s totally worth it. It’s given me a much more clear direction on what needs to be addressed without guessing.

    And I second Kyle’s thought: a BeOpt guide would be amazing.

    I’m sure it depends a bit on the tech fluency of the user, but I found the learning curve to be friendly enough to get the hang of it for my own house within a day. Don’t get me wrong, it’s clunky from a interface standpoint and not always intuitive, but there are some tutorials on YouTube that cover basic operations, and Martin Holladay gave an overview when it was first released that I found really helpful in terms of the output ‘optimization’ mode.

    https://www.greenbuildingadvisor.com/article/beopt-software-has-been-released-to-the-public

  3. Aaron Hawkins | | #4

    I'm in Brian's camp, it took me about a day to get the hang of it. I think it depends on your software savviness, I'm a frequent 3d modeling user, and use a boatload of engineering software. I found BeOpt to be pretty easy to setup, and reasonably intuitive.

    I do agree that some tutorials and explanations would really help most folks. I've only used it for my personal use, and used it for a few projects I have.

    The results of a good BeOpt simulation are extremely valuable, and do allow you to make some design tweaks based on them. For example, I found that if I added additional overhangs, my summer cooling loads dropped very, very quickly.

  4. JWolfe1 | | #5

    Thanks guys, I think I can take a day or two to figure it out.

  5. Walter Ahlgrim | | #6

    I am a big proponent of BEopt but it has been 5 years since I modeled my house. I find written instruction for software use to be mostly unhelpful in that the instruction tell you to click on one something and I have no idea what or where to click and the words don’t seem to help. It is hard to imaging me doing better than the professionally done training videos made by its authors.

    I found it to be hugely powerful tool. If someone cant or will not spend the time required to watch most of the 16 videos seems unlikely they will find the time build and run the model.

    Walta

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