Announcements August 12, 2020

Game Changer: “SPEEDing” Up Energy Modeling for Energy Efficient Buildings

A new energy modeling tool, developed in-house at our firm, allows designers to significantly reduce building energy use and carbon emissions—early, easily, and effectively

What if, instead of spending many days and dollars to accurately model a building’s energy use, design teams could get it done for clients in under 24 hours, early on in the project’s design, and for a fraction of the cost?

This is exactly the question our Energy Lab has been investigating for the last 48 months. Now, after extensive in-house research and development, as well as technical collaboration with partners like the U.S. Department of Energy/National Renewable Energy Laboratory, we’re excited to present to the world our solution: Simulation Platform for Energy-Efficient Design, or SPEED.

SPEED is a quick and easy tool that is poised to transform the way we design using real-time energy, daylighting, and solar analysis. It gives design teams the power to rapidly model hundreds, even thousands, of building scenarios—taking into account variations in sizing, massing, stacking, and orientation—to identify the highest performing configurations. Its statistical analysis capability even allows designers to evaluate the impact of highly specific design decisions, like overhang type or window-to-wall ratio. And it does so at the earliest stage of design.

“Currently, energy modeling can be time-consuming and expensive. With SPEED, project teams can perform energy modeling of any project type and scale within just 24-hours,” says Benjamin Welle, Director of Energy Lab. “This helps designers and clients make informed decisions right away, saving time, money, and effort down the line.”

To date, SPEED has been tested with over 100 designers, and its beta-testing phase is nearing completion. Its final iteration is expected in the coming months, at which time our designers will be able to use the tool directly, and in real time, with clients and consultants. The result will be highly optimized energy performance across an even greater number of projects at any given time—and a meaningful reduction in emissions of greenhouse gases.

Interested in learning more? Contact our Energy Lab.

Watch Ben Welle, Director of our Energy Lab, present SPEED on the July 27 Metropolis panel, “New Technologies for Sustainability”