Commercial Building Energy Saver: An energy retrofit analysis toolkit

TitleCommercial Building Energy Saver: An energy retrofit analysis toolkit
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsTianzhen Hong, Mary Ann Piette, Yixing Chen, Sang Hoon Lee, Sarah C. Taylor-Lange, Rongpeng Zhang, Kaiyu Sun, Phillip N. Price
JournalApplied Energy
Date Published9/2015
KeywordsBuilding Technologies Department, Building Technology and Urban Systems Division, buildings, buildings energy efficiency, Commercial Building Systems, conservation measures, energy efficiency, energy use, energyplus, External, Retrofit Energy, simulation research

Small commercial buildings in the United States consume 47% of the total primary energy of the buildings sector. Retrofitting small and medium commercial buildings poses a huge challenge for owners because they usually lack the expertise and resources to identify and evaluate cost-effective energy retrofit strategies. This paper presents the Commercial Building Energy Saver (CBES), an energy retrofit analysis toolkit, which calculates the energy use of a building, identifies and evaluates retrofit measures in terms of energy savings, energy cost savings and payback. The CBES Toolkit includes a web app (APP) for end users and the CBES Application Programming Interface (API) for integrating CBES with other energy software tools. The toolkit provides a rich set of features including: (1) Energy Benchmarking providing an Energy Star score, (2) Load Shape Analysis to identify potential building operation improvements, (3) Preliminary Retrofit Analysis which uses a custom developed pre-simulated database and, (4) Detailed Retrofit Analysis which utilizes real-time EnergyPlus simulations. CBES includes 100 configurable energy conservation measures (ECMs) that encompass IAQ, technical performance and cost data, for assessing 7 different prototype buildings in 16 climate zones in California and 6 vintages. A case study of a small office building demonstrates the use of the toolkit for retrofit analysis. The development of CBES provides a new contribution to the field by providing a straightforward and uncomplicated decision making process for small and medium business owners, leveraging different levels of assessment dependent upon user background, preference and data availability.

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