Quality Assurance and Quality Control of Building Energy Modelling for Program Administrators

Building energy modeling (BEM) is an essential tool for achieving carbon-neutral and net zero designs.

As such, BEM is increasingly used to certify green buildings, establish incentives for utility programs, document compliance with energy codes, optimize the design of new buildings, and inform project retrofits.

BEM tools use physics-based equations to calculate building energy use at hourly or subhourly timesteps. Using this inherently complex analysis within a BEM program framework is further complicated by numerous factors. Program administrators mitigate these challenges using a variety of tools and practices.

However, quality assurance (QA) and quality control (QC) frameworks are specific to the BEM programs, with little cross-pollination between program administrators and no consistent methodology for evaluating outcomes. A holistic approach to mitigating the implementation challenges of BEM programs would improve the quality and consistency of modelling outcomes and increase the BEM programs’ administration effectiveness.

This report describes how a proposed classification system may be used to address all aspects of a BEM program’s QA/QC framework including the:

  • supplemental modelling requirements
  • simulation tool requirements
  • methodology for verifying achieved performance
  • documentation requirements
  • submittal review process, and
  • BEM program’s quality assurance procedures.

Such guidance would set requirements for the BEM program’s quality assurance and quality control to help program administrators achieve a substantial improvement in the consistency and credibility of modelling outcomes.