DOE Software Models Good Building Behavior

By now we’ve all heard the statistics: buildings account for 40 percent of U.S. primary energy consumption, more than the transportation sector, more than the industrial sector. Hoping to reduce that figure, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has released the latest version of its energy saving modeling software, meant to help designers and architects build more energy efficient buildings.

EnergyPlus is an energy modeling software program that calculates the energy required to heat, cool, ventilate and light a building. According to the DOE, the software uses advanced physics calculations to model a range of residential and commercial buildings. The software can be used on buildings with various types of HVAC systems and even on passive and low-energy building designs.

energyplus, doe

image via Shutterstock

In addition to being used by builders and designers, the computer program can also be used by researchers to investigate new building systems and policy makers who want to develop new energy codes and energy standards.  The latest version of the software includes a number of enhancements over the previous version including, and boasts up to 40 percent faster execution speeds on a wide variety of models, the DOE said.

Users can also download a new thermal comfort report, find equipment performance data for rooftop air-conditioners and heat pumps and use a new model for variable refrigerant flow heat pump air-conditioners. EnergyPlus v7.0 is available free of charge for Windows, Mac OS, and Linux. Source code licenses are available, too. Click here for information on downloading the latest version.

Kristy Hessman is a writer and native Oregonian who currently resides in California. Before starting her own company, she worked as a reporter covering business and politics for daily newspapers and The Associated Press.