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ARC 524 Building Energy Optimization


This course aims to provide students with an understanding of energy optimization technologies in buildings through computer simulation. The primary tool used is EnergyPlus, a whole-building computational energy simulation program developed by the US Department of Energy. Through this course, students will develop two simulation models: a Baseline Model based on the ASHRAE Standard 90.1 (Appendix G), which is a code-compliant model, and a Design Model that proposes optimal and maximum energy performance. The simulation modeling will include hourly dynamic thermal envelope loads, primary and secondary systems simulation, and economic analysis. Additionally, students will identify and implement Energy Conservation Measures (ECMs) to optimize the energy performance of the building. This process will provide students with insight into a building’s potential for energy savings before construction even begins.

Course Objectives

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

  • Develop Energy Conservation Measures (ECMs)
  • Create code-compliant building simulation models
  • Calculate energy savings
  • Analyze and optimize the energy performance of buildings


Course Tools and Resources

  • Lectures, Presentations, Group Projects and Discussions
  • Site (Facility) Visit to Understand HVAC Systems (Chancellor’s New Residence, The Point)
  • NCSU Buildings’ Energy Use Database for Regression Analysis
  • NCSU Buildings’ Architectural and Mechanical Drawings for Simulation Model Development
  • Energy Modeling Programs: ASHRAE IMT Toolkit & EModel (Regression Analysis Tools)
  • Simulation Program: EnergyPlus w/ Google Sketchup & OpenStudio (Plugin)