气候行动 11月 14, 2022

The Need for Speed

A new modeling platform developed with the U.S. Department of Energy just might make it easier than ever to realize high-performing places
Computer-generated analysis of building design options

SPEED, short for Simulation Platform for Energy-Efficient Design, makes it easier than ever to realize high-performing spaces. The recently released software, created in collaboration with the U.S. Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, enables design teams to test the performance of thousands of building design options in a super short period of time, reducing the risk of costly back-and-forth with engineers. Perhaps most important, it puts the best performance design options in clear view.

Here, we take a look at the potential for SPEED to help Measurement Technology Laboratories, a global leader in aerosol particulate research, development, and manufacturing, bring its sustainability vision to life.

Powered by artificial intelligence, SPEED is much faster—and, therefore, much cheaper. It’s also more comprehensive. Used at the earliest stages of design, it runs through thousands of variables, including building shapes, program and massing choices, and shading options. And it does this within 24 hours.

Measurement Technology Laboratories’ future Long Meadow Campus in Minnesota will host an advanced aerosol physics research and development center and shared state-of-the-art laboratory space. Its sustainability goals are significant and include mass timber construction and net-zero operational carbon.

“We want to create a space that is human-centric and breeds innovation while also minimizing our impact on the environment,” says Tyler Bradley, vice president at Integrate, the company’s development group.

Energy use reduction is one of the most meaningful ways to minimize environmental impact. But with a typical energy modeling process, Measurement Technology Laboratories would be limited to evaluating only certain performance aspects—like cost, daylight levels, and thermal load—of very few design options. What’s more, those evaluations would require time-intensive reiteration among designers, engineers, and cost estimators.

Powered by artificial intelligence, SPEED is much faster—and, therefore, much cheaper. It’s also more comprehensive. Used at the earliest stages of design, it runs through thousands of variables, including building shapes, program and massing choices, and shading options. And it does this within 24 hours.

As exploratory design ideas for the Long Meadow Campus began to take shape, SPEED provided the design team with clear metrics on the potential carbon impact of multiple building form options. It also shaved off time ordinarily spent researching regulatory requirements by incorporating local energy code and carbon mandates.

“SPEED helped us realize that a hyper-efficient HVAC system would have the most impact in reducing energy consumption in this particular building.”
Tony Layne, Design Director, Perkins&Will

Finally, it produced customized charts on energy use, building envelope performance, and thermal impact—important data visualizations for a company whose very business is rooted in metrics and data analysis.

“SPEED helped us realize that a hyper-efficient HVAC system would have the most impact in reducing energy consumption in this particular building,” says Tony Layne, who leads the design team on the project. “We also discovered that window overhangs and shade-producing fins on the south-facing façade would have minimal impact. Early and comprehensive modeling is crucial with projects like this, and SPEED can really help.”