Energy modeling software can help designers and homeowners predict a building’s energy performance early in the design process, and offers a way to analyze materials or design options prior to committing to a direction. It also helps identify the most cost-effective, energy-saving measures before building.
Energy-10 software was used to analyze the Ramsey home design and suggest revisions (see Access). For instance, although LEED standards require that Energy Star-rated low-e windows be used throughout a structure, Energy-10 demonstrated that traditional clear glazing, instead of low-e coated windows, on the south side of the home would maximize passive solar gain. Modeling also helped achieve a proper balance between energy loss, solar gain, and thermal mass to avoid overheating the house.
REM/Rate, a sophisticated residential energy analysis, code compliance, and rating software, was used for assigning residential Energy Star ratings. Using local climate data, the software calculates heating, cooling, hot water, lighting, and appliance loads, and projects a home’s energy consumption and costs. The REM/Rate analysis indicated that the Ramsey home exceeded the applicable Energy Star requirements by 70%.