The Energy Modelling Institute (EMI) is an educator and advocate for building energy modelling literacy.
Buildings account for over half of the greenhouse gas emissions in North America, and therefore energy conservation in new and existing buildings is essential to improving building’s performance and lowering emissions. The design of high performance buildings cannot be done without energy modelling.
This imperative is being faced by many design professionals as building codes and municipal bylaws continue to raise the bar on building energy performance. The use of sophisticated energy simulation tools for optimizing building performance is critical, and in many cases, required for documenting compliance. As such, there is growing need for qualified energy modellers.
The energy modeling process can inform multi-million dollar project decisions made by architects, engineers, project managers, developers, governments, etc. The results are also used to verify compliance with building codes and green building rating systems like LEED and Green Globes. In recent years, compliance has been the primary reason a project would engage in energy modeling, focusing on meeting the relevant authorities rules and requirements. While this is important, it has shifted attention away from using energy modeling to achieve tangible project outcomes – real operational energy efficiency and optimization of building systems and project costs.
In Canada there is a lack of experienced and trained energy modellers who can provide value to a project that extends beyond code compliance and LEED points. Furthermore, there is a dearth of energy modeling literacy in non-energy modelers. Energy modeling literacy can be described as a base level of understanding of the energy modeling process that is needed to extract the full value from energy modeling done by others. Through literacy, education, and experience, energy modeling is an effective and essential tool for reducing the environmental impact of buildings.