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Energy Simulation Starting Point~ A Shell Game

Hilton hotel atlanta example building shell model window film
Figure "A" square building model

Figure “A” Rectangular Building Shell

Figure "B" T-Shape building Model

Figure “B” T-Shaped Building Shell

Hilton hotel atlanta example building shell model window film

Figure “C” Actual Building with Appropriate Shell








An important aspect of being an energy solutions provider is to be able to determine energy savings through energy modeling simulation thereby allowing the customer to consider the improvement in the building performance as a result of changing one (or more) component(s).

An outline of the steps of construction and QA can be as follows:

  • Construct building shells significantly similar to the actual building,
  • Use engineering skills and available building audit data to create similar energy systems,
  • Perform simulation Quality Assurance (QA) through
    • Utility bill analysis,
    • Comparison to Energy Star Energy Use Intensity1 (EUI), and
    • Comparison to proportional energy use (PEU) for that location
  • If an Investment Grade Audit (IGA) has been performed you can integrate much more of the energy systems audit data

Note the first step is constructing a building shell that is significantly similar to the actual building.  Let’s assume your building is the hotel picture in Figure “C”.  What if your energy solutions provider returned a 30-page report with a building that looked like Figure “A” or Figure “B”?  Consider now your option to receive a report where your simulated building looks like Figure “C”.  Or alternatively, consider your subcontractor turned in the report in Figure “A” and your competitor’s subcontractor turned in the report using Figure “C” as its starting point.

There is a saying here – they could both be wrong but they can’t both be right.  The rest of the steps above will come into play to determine whether both are wrong but even if the results in Figure “A” came close, what confidence would you have?  Start at the beginning – make sure you are receiving building shells that are significantly similar to your actual building.  Then you can proceed to generate baseline results that are statistically correlated to actual consumption. Contact us today to get started with a free building analysis and if we see potential savings that meet your criteria our team offers M&V to confirm our modeling results. We look forward to hearing from you or your engineering team, call us at 866.925.2083 x 808 or info (at)


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