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Business Case | Modeling: Cost vs Value vs Scope vs Other Factors

June 15, 2021 @ 12:00 pm 1:30 pm


1.5 LU/HSW

Speaker: Anica Landreneau, Assoc. AIA | Director of Sustainable Design, HOK

The value of energy modeling in nonresidential building projects: HOK calculated the payback time of energy modeling for a number of the firm’s projects.

  • When HOK assessed the cost to run models and the energy savings (projected and then validated later in operations), the firm found most projects save the cost of modeling in the first 1-2 months of operations, a few might take up to 4 months, and even complex projects, projects with lots of modeling iterations (like those pursuing ambitious zero carbon goals), or small projects where modeling fees may be disproportionate to the annual energy savings, take up to 6-7 months. But in all cases, HOK found that payback was pretty much always under a year, when examined through the lens of operational energy savings.
  • When HOK also employed early energy analysis as a way to leverage load reduction strategies to right size mechanical systems, the firm identified opportunities to reduce construction costs (reduce number or size of chillers, for example), thus finding immediate payback for energy modeling.
  • HOK will describe the ASHRAE Standard 209 that defines best practices for Energy Modeling as a tool for scope definition and clarity between Owners, Architects and Consultants. HOK will also explain how Architects can use energy benchmarking in the design process as a risk management strategy.