Improving the Accuracy and Speed for Building America Benchmarking

Secondary Author(s)

Gu, Lixing; Sen Sharma, Raju; Colon, Carlos

Report Number



Buildings; Water Heating; Building America Benchmarking; Software simulation; Energy analysis; Hot water distribution; Ventilation energy use


The Building America Benchmarking process is time consuming as one has to use detailed software products to simulate the building and a spreadsheet to create the parameters of the Building America Benchmark building. FSEC has created a BA Toolkit that allows programmers to incorporate calls to functions and procedures to produce the Building America Benchmark characteristics. This will enable programmers to more easily incorporate Benchmark analysis in their software. The tool has been tested against the Department of Energy developed Building America spreadsheet and found to produce the same results. The Benchmarking process goes into great detail to determine hot water use for the benchmark and the prototype homes. However, the benchmark process has not included hot water distribution effects which can be much larger than many of the water use differences currently painstakingly calculated. FSEC has developed a simple routine and verified it against measured data as a method to simulate distribution effects to a reasonable amount of accuracy. This can be incorporated into or run separately from other software should the Building America program determine to include these elements. FSEC has also accomplished another enhancement for Building America teams and that is extracting ventilation fan energy use form DOE reports. As part of this effort, but outside of this funding, FSEC added capability within EnergyGauge USA to simulate mechanical air handler ventilation with a controller that could close a damper after a certain amount of runtime or turn on to assure a certain amount of runtime, or both. FSEC has added capabilities for modelers to more accurately and potentially more readily perform Building America energy analysis.

Date Published





Buildings--Energy conservation; Computer software--Development; Energy consumption; Hydraulic power networks; Ventilation

Local Subjects

Buildings; Water Heating


FSEC Energy Research Center® Collection

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