Photo credit: Flanagan Engineering
An Approximation of Reality
According to the U.S. Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy, building energy modeling (BEM) is a multi-use tool that uses physics-based calculations of building energy consumption to analyze and improve building energy efficiency. Energy modeling can be used for design of new buildings, retrofitting of inefficient old buildings, and performance-path compliance with energy efficiency codes and standards such as ASHRAE 90.1. The list of uses for energy modeling grows every year, as software technology and usability steadily improves and allows for larger adoption. Currently, engineers and architects alike use it mainly for conducting energy analyses of 3D building models.