Energy Modelling in Design

Lecture Week 5 on 22/8/16 by Alistair  Coulstock at Cundall

Carbon emission research comes from Joseph Fourier in the 1820’s whereby he studied the impact that the atmosphere had on trapping gases. Despite this, the Green Building Revolution has only occurred in the last 20  years or so and only governmentally mandated (r.e. NABERS, Green Star etc) in the last 10-12 years (in Australia).

Energy efficient assessment:

There is the Deemed-To-Satisfy (DTS) Energy Efficiency Building Solution. To achieve compliance through a DTS assessment, all separate elements of the building must comply with the National Construction Code Section J (Energy Efficiency). An alternative assessment method is the Verification Method (JV3) to find a Building Solution, which is more complex.

The 2030 problem:

Approximately 20% of all energy use currently occurs in/around buildings. We need to solve this problem efficiently, effectively and quickly  before we are faced with the looming 2030 problem. The population of Sydney alone will have increased by 40% by 2030 and we’ll use up our annual resources in 6 months. The greenhouse gas output also contributes to heating up the external temperature by 2 degrees (celsius), and rainfall will have fallen by 5%.

Therefore, why do we have energy modelling? If you can’t measure it, you can’t reduce it.

What’s involved?


  • Setting the target
    • based on building type, market, client knowledge, potential marketing
  • Energy modelling process
    • develop 3D form of building (as shown above)
    • apply to location with associated weather conditions (Tri file data excludes anomalies which is generally ideal)
    • ensure building orientation is correct (correct between northern/southern hemisphere where required)
    • assign thermal attributes to the building’s construction (infiltration, convection, conduction, radiation)
    • input heat generating features: people, equipment, lights etc
    • determine total heating and cooling load to achieve comfort conditions
    • apply heating, ventilation and AC system to the building (as shown below)
    • determine energy consumption, carbon emissions and operating costs of HVAC equipment
    • determine energy generation from on-site sources


Benefits of JV3 Modelling

  • cost savings can be mad ein comparison to DTS
  • Trade offs in facade orientations can be made
  • Complex shading elements can be incorporated
  • Infiltration rates can be incorporated into calculations

Areas for improvement then get broken down into simpl/short term goals, medium term goals and long term options; which may or may not be taken on board by the client as there may be substantial upfront cost, despite the long term savings that can be achieved.

Further Resources

Screen Shot 2016-06-04 at 7.34.58 PM


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