WASHINGTON - The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), in conjunction with three of its national laboratories, has developed and made available commercial building benchmark models for building professionals to use when analyzing whole-building energy performance. The commercial benchmarks are available for DOE’s EnergyPlus simulation software. The models are designed to provide a consistent baseline of comparison and improve the value of computer-generated energy simulations.

DOE’s Building Technologies Program, working with the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and National Renewable Energy Laboratory, developed models for 16 commercial building types in 16 locations representing all U.S. climate zones. These 16 building types represent approximately 70 percent of commercial buildings in the United States.

Users can download the benchmarks by building type or location at www.eere.energy.gov/buildings/highperformance/benchmark.html. Each benchmark building is comprised of:

• An EnergyPlus input file (.idf)

• An HTML file showing the results from the EnergyPlus simulation (.html)

• A scorecard summarizing the inputs and results for each location (.pdfs)

• Appropriate weather data file for EnergyPlus (.epw)

Benchmark models are available for the following building types: large, medium, and small office buildings; warehouse; stand-alone retail; strip mall; primary and secondary schools; supermarket; fast food; restaurant; hospital; outpatient health care; small and large hotels; and midrise apartment.

DOE’s EnergyPlus simulation software models a building’s heating, cooling, ventilating, water, lighting, and other energy flows so designers and engineers can test different system combinations before construction begins. For more information on EnergyPlus, visit http://apps1.eere.energy.gov/buildings/energyplus/.

Publication date:01/05/2009