What are the impacts of incremental energy conservative measures on the overall pEUI (kBtu/ft2) toward net zero of an office building located in Menlo Park, California?



Submitted by:  Olivier

Firm Name: Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill LLP

ASHRAE Climate Zone: 3C

Building/Space Type:

  • Office

Who performed the simulation analysis?  

  • Architect - Internal Sustainability Personnel

What tools were used for the simulation analysis? 

  • OpenStudio + Eplus

What phase of the project was analysis conducted?  

  • Conceptual Design

What are the primary inputs of the analysis?  Orientation, Location, Weather file, Window-to-wall ratio, Double Glazing, SHGC, VLT, R-Value Wall, Plug Load Density, Dayligthing Sensors, Shading, Light Power Density, HVAC system

What are the primary outputs of the analysis?  Overall predicted Energy Use Intensity (pEUI), Heating, Cooling and Lighting pEUI, solar radiations (kWh/m2)


List the investigations questions that drove your analysis process.

How to get to net-zero using: - passive measures - active measures - on-site renewables

How was simulation integrated into the overall design process?


How did you set up the simulation analysis and workflow?

The simulation was set up through an idf file using Energy+ as a simulation engine. Each run was saved and incremented with an additional strategy seeking for energy reduction (ie: glass performance, day lighting strategy, HVAC system selection, plug load reduction and PV renewables)

How did you visualize the results to the design team? What was successful about the graphics that you used to communicate the data?

The results were shown on a power point. The unique aspect of the graphic shows at the bottom of the chart laying out each design option changes and showing at the top the % of energy use reduction. The pie diagram informed as a primer that 35% of the pie could directly be influenced by the design itself, whereas 65% would be more influenced by the systems. Once the energy use was reduced to a minimum, the last chart on the bottom right shows how on a month basis PV panels flat mounted on the roof can contribute to electricity-generating with some month producing more than necessary to offset energy consumption, especially the summer month where the sun angle radiations are more vertical. The colder months would naturally have less energy production but overall the project could show a potential of positive energy generation if the roof area was to be maximize with PV coverage up to 75%.

Most importantly, what did you learn from the investigation?  How did simulation and its outputs influence the design of the project?