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ARC 523 Building Energy Modeling & Simulation


This course aims to teach students how to design sustainable buildings with a focus on energy efficiency and occupant comfort, utilizing advanced technologies such as Energy Modeling and Performance Simulation. The students will gain an understanding of energy consumption in buildings by calculating heating, cooling, lighting, and equipment usage by hand, and then compare and analyze these results with those generated by EnergyPlus, a leading computational simulation program developed by the US Department of Energy. Through a term project, students will also learn to optimize building energy performance while ensuring occupant comfort is not compromised. Upon completion of this course, students will have developed skills in utilizing Energy Modeling and Performance Simulation tools to design sustainable buildings.

Course Objectives

After Completion of this Course, the student should be able to:

  • Discuss sustainable design strategies in terms of energy-efficient heating, cooling, lighting, and equipment in buildings
  • Analyze the energy performance of both new and existing buildings
  • Develop energy simulation models for their projects
  • Develop Energy Efficiency Measures (EEMs) for their projects
  • Discuss optimal design options for energy systems in buildings


Course Tools and Resources

  • Lectures, Presentations, Group Projects, and Discussions
  • Simulation Laboratory
  • Trip to St. Thomas More Catholic School in Chapel Hill, NC
  • More School Buildings’ Architectural and Mechanical Drawings for Simulation Model Development
  •  Simulation Program: EnergyPlus w/ Google Sketchup & OpenStudio (Plugin)


==> For full course syllabus, please click HERE to download.