The BEM Collaborative: Architect Outreach

In the first half of 2019, IBPSA-USA and Model Efficiency led a DOE-funded effort to interview building energy modeling (BEM) practitioners, with a primary focus on architects. The objective of the interviews was to learn how the practitioners were able to successfully adopt BEM tools and apply them to various project-design use cases.

This project provided us with a detailed understanding of four key concepts:
1. Motivating factors for adopting and utilizing BEM
2. Barriers limiting greater use of BEM
3. Use cases for BEM at their firm
4. Available BEM Resources

One of the key takeaways from the project was that the interviewees unanimously agreed that there is no go-to resource for new practitioners to learn how to perform BEM analysis or the underlying building physics principles and that practitioners are forced to cobble together an education through various non-uniform means. This situation has contributed to BEM being an unpredictable endeavor where the quality of results and the ability to interpret the results is highly variable depending on the practitioner and how well he/she was able to learn how to properly perform energy analysis.

This report summarizes the BEM Collaborative “Architect Outreach” task and accompanies the final project slideshow deck (available here).

View the full report here.