ASHRAE has agreed to fund research that will help to ensure that a common language of “energy efficiency” is spoken by both building information modeling software, and energy analysis and simulation software.
American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers says
that the project will develop open-source reference models by which developers
may test their solutions to interoperability between BIM and energy-simulation
The project will focus on the most common thermal
features in buildings assumed to have the greatest impact on energy use, and
provide guidelines for describing thermal models extracted from BIM and the
rules for extracting those models used in whole-building energy-analysis
“This research will promote the inclusion of
energy efficiency measures in the early design of building model development,”
said Mark Clayton, Ph.D., principal investigator for the project. “It is
expected to greatly increase the efficiency and accuracy of energy analysis and
allow building designs to achieve higher levels of energy
The ASHRAE project, “Development of a Reference
Building Information Model for Thermal Model Compliance Testing,” was awarded
to Texas A&M University.
The $175,311 project is expected to take 15 months to complete.
According to ASHRAE, studies have shown that problems related to exchanging
information among various building design software systems causes more than $16
billion per year of unnecessary expenses.
It is imperative
that standards for data exchange among disparate software systems be
established, said Clayton, the associate director of the Center for Housing and
Urban Development at Texas A&M.
research will enable ASHRAE to foster a standard for interoperability between
various BIM software systems and energy simulation systems and address some of
the costs attributable to poor interoperability,” said Clayton. “More
significantly, improved interoperability is expected to improve the quality of
design and the energy efficiency of buildings.”
is one of 13 approved for funding by ASHRAE at its 2009 annual conference, totaling
approximately $1.6 million.
Some of the other projects
approved for funding will take a look at the development of design tools for
surface water heat pump systems; ventilation requirements for refrigerating
machinery rooms; and thermal comfort in commercial kitchens.
ASHRAE approves BIM, energy-efficiency project
October 1, 2009