Energy Modeling + Systems Optimization

Energy Optimization

We specialize in energy modeling as an optimization strategy. The first step is to minimize demand. We'll demonstrate how heat losses and heat gains are distributed between various components or mechanisms in your building. By tackling the biggest pieces of the pie first, you'll make the most headway towards minimizing heating and cooling demands. This both reduces equipment requirements and eliminates the saved energy from ever having to be used over the building's lifetime--who can argue with that!

Other demand reduction strategies include daylighting, compact design of plumbing systems, on-demand hot water circulation, low-flow water fixtures, and last but certainly not least: occupant education and engagement.

The second step is to provide for the energy demand as efficiently as possible. This is where high-efficiency HVAC and water heating equipment and distribution, high-efficiency lighting and appropriate controls, and high-efficiency appliances come in. Lastly, the third step is to produce the energy as efficiently as possible. Solar PV panels, solar thermal, ground source (geothermal or geoexchange), wind, fuel cells - now it's your turn.

Whole-Building Energy Modeling + Specialty Analyses

It's easy to go wrong with building simulations; the mantra "Garbage In = Garbage Out" is no joke. We understand the fundamental science and calculations of heat, air and moisture transfer and that knowledge is reinforced with decades of real-world observations of building performance and failures. This is critical to be able to fully leverage the capabilities of building energy simulation and hygrothermal analysis tools while also understanding their limitations.

We're adept with a range of energy modeling software, from whole-building simulation tools such as EnergyPlus and Passive House Planning Package (PHPP) to specialty programs such as THERM for two-dimensional heat flow modeling, WUFI for dynamic moisture modeling and Radiance for daylighting and glare. Finally, we have extensive experience with Title 24 code compliance software—EnergyPro, CBECC-COM and CBECC-RES

Envelope Consulting

If the roof doesn't leak, the architect hasn't been creative enough."

                                                                             - Frank Lloyd Wright

At Beyond Efficiency, we'd say the architect should go back to building science school. The proper design and construction of a building's structural system and shell are critical for structural integrity and resilience, long-term durability, heating and cooling demand minimization, HVAC equipment sizing, thermal comfort and daylighting. In fact, we'd say that getting the structure and envelope right is the single most important aspect of creating a building (in parallel with beautiful architecture, of course). It's easy to switch out equipment, finishes and fixtures over a building's lifetime. But you need to get the enclosure right from the start. These days, who wants a maintenance-headache-too-hot-too-cold-energy-hog of a building?

Hire us to complete in-depth plan reviews of your building enclosure systems. We'll encourage simple, constructable approaches and details that will provide the foundation for an extremely energy-efficient, durable building. We'll advise on durability and water management issues, air tightness detailing, thermal bridging issues, building assembly optimization, and window design and shading.

Financial Incentives

We've facilitated dozens of applications for submittal to local or IOU incentives programs such as the Savings By DesignCalifornia Multifamily New Homes (CMFNH) and California Advanced New Homes (CAHP) programs. This involves preparing energy models and reports, gathering equipment specs and other required documentation, submitting to the program administrator, and addressing any requested revisions. Integrated into our standard service is the providing of additional computer runs to analyze potential alternate measures’ impacts on energy performance and resulting incentives. 

Title 24 Energy Compliance

As part of our typical energy optimization scope we'll provide Title 24 energy models and compliance documentation as required for building permit submittal. Need training on new standards and the fine print of the code? Explore our training services.

How to Work with Us

Please contact us so we can discuss the scale of your project and goals and create a customized scope of work.