Design Tools


Design Tools

In our work we oftentimes find recurring barriers to achieving energy savings in buildings. Sometimes we are successful in securing funding to create tools that will help to remove these barriers. The energy efficiency design tools available here provide design teams with information to support improved decision making in early design stages.

As of May 2021 if a link to a design tool does not work it has not been posted yet or is currently under maintenance and will be available soon.

 


Disclaimer

While the calculations presented in this tool have been reviewed for technical accuracy and are believed to be reasonably accurate, the findings are estimates and actual results may vary. As a result, University of Idaho, Integrated Design Lab is not liable if projected estimated savings or economics are not actually achieved. All savings and cost estimates in the report are for informational purposes, and are not to be construed as design documents or as guarantees.

The user shall independently evaluate any advice or direction provided in this tool. In no event will University of Idaho, Integrated Design Lab be liable for the failure of the customer to achieve a specified amount of energy savings, the operation of customer’s facilities, or any incidental or consequential damages of any kind in connection with this report or the installation of recommended measures

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Sustainable Design & Practice Benefits

Series of infographics to communicate sustainable design & practice Benefits of five different building types for their bottom line impact on efficiency for each building type.

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LM-83 Three-phase Daylight Simulation Script

Annual simulation of dynamic/complex fenestration systems under LM-83 guidelines. This script will generate its own folder structure beyond the starting directories required, which are outlined below.

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CBECS Data Visualization Infographics

Series of infographics to communicate how four different building types consume energy on both a regional and national level. The data used to create them has been gathered from The Commercial Buildings Energy Consumption Survey (CBECS).

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Climate Design Resources - 1st & 2nd Generation Tool Sets

Series of climate design resources to help assist in the conceptual and early design of passive strategies. Through their support, the UI-IDL has developed two generations of spreadsheet calculators that are capable of analyzing building loads and energy consumption impacts of a range of different design strategies over three reference cities.

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Daylight Pattern Guide

The Daylighting Pattern Guide is the newest offering in the Advanced Buildings suite of tools and resources to help design teams create high performance commercial buildings. This no-cost, interactive design tool uses a combination of real-world built examples and advanced simulation to set the stage for substantial reductions in lighting power consumption and overall building energy use.

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The Climate Responsive Design Web Tool

Designed to graphically illustrate the feasibility and potential energy benefits of several climate responsive design strategies. The tool is intended to help designers and owners make correct early decisions that will result in buildings that are more energy efficient. The output of the tool are graphic data plots designed to illustrate not only conventional climate data, such as temperature and relative humidity.

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Thermal Energy Savings Tabulator (TEST)

Provide designers, engineers, and manufacturers a quick and easy way to calculate energy savings from the application of different heat pump HVAC technologies early in the design process. Specifically, the tool supports analysis of air-source heat pumps (ASHP), water-source heat pumps (WSHP), and variable refrigerant flow (VRF) systems.

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Infiltration Equations & Conversions

A key factor in building heat gain and loss may be the infiltration rate, or the rate at which outdoor air is exchanged with conditioned interior air through the envelope. This spreadsheet tool outlines a set of simplified equations aimed at converting typical, real world infiltration measurements into metrics that can be input into EnergyPlus.

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Construction Insulation Value Calculator

This spreadsheet is designed to calculate insulation values of individual material layers and whole constructions of EnergyPlus objects.

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EnergyPlus Fan Energy Calculator

This spreadsheet calculates fan power for both baseline and proposed condition, AND outputs input values required for fan specification.

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CBECS Micro Master v2

This file contains a good portion of the CBECS microdata, which can be filtered for benchmarking and goal setting functions.

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Weather Normalization

These spreadsheets help identify trends and anomalies in a building’s energy use over time. The user enters billing and weather history and the tool will correlate energy consumption with heating and cooling degree days. The tools provide immediate visual feedback on usage trends and helps identify potential issues like extra heating use during the summer.

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