By Celis Brisbin, Programs Manager

Northeastern University Energy Systems Society (NU-ESS) organized a seminar on “Energy Modeling Unveiled” to support the objectives of the Green Apple Day of Service. Thank you to Eversource for funding this program through a mini grant sponsorship.

The attendees were mostly Graduate students across various disciplines interested in energy issues and sustainability. The objective of the workshop was to emphasis the importance of energy models and how they help inform decisions. The presenter discussed the following key points during his presentation.

  • The energy model metrics such as energy use intensity used for benchmarking and comparing buildings of similar use type
  • The significant role played by energy models in planning approval, building design optimization, life cycle cost analysis, utility incentives, obtaining LEED credits, measurement and verification
  • The priority of energy conservation measures ranked based on the goals of the project, location andclimate, load reduction, integrated passive design, renewables and occupant comfort
  • The comparison of a proposed building model to a baseline case satisfying the energy code requirements (such as ASHRAE 90.1) and local zoning ordinance 
  • Quantifying the amount of energy saved by the improved design in the proposed model compared to a base case
  • How baselines and reference points are becoming more stringent over time and pushing the market towards energy efficiency by setting the bar high
  • The importance given by the state to improve energy efficiency and incentives given by the utilities through the MASS-Save program to support the incremental cost of purchasing energy efficient equipment

The presenter also presented case studies from his projects and explained how energy model helps to make data driven decisions. He listed the various energy conservation techniques that can be implemented through modeling and walked through the various phases of a building project. 

This seminar helped the attendees to understand the drivers of energy consumption in various building types and how energy model can help to understand the benefits of various energy conservation measures. NU-ESS welcomes involvement from everyone in the Northeastern community interested in taking a more active role relating to energy, sustainability and environmental issues. The group's leadership will work to organize events, discussions, educational forums and other activities to give the student body an opportunity to extend their learning and experience outside of the class-room. The group also serves as a valuable networking tool to industry throughout Boston, New England, and beyond.

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