Energy Modeling Adds Heat to DPR’s Sustainability Strategy
Energy modeling helps collaborative teams develop building prototypes and evaluate the performance impacts of building operations
Combining its green building expertise with its leadership in building information modeling (BIM), DPR is now helping customers better predict the cost benefits of high-performance green construction projects using energy modeling.
“By leveraging our BIM capabilities, we are able to modify the characteristics of objects within a building model, such as the type of exterior glass used, and to evaluate these changes on the building’s energy performance,” explained Preconstruction Manager Nils Blomquist, one of DPR’s 210+ LEED® accredited professionals.
Describing energy modeling as one tool in DPR’s overall sustainability strategy, Director of Sustainable Construction Ted van der Linden, said that the 3-D analytical modeling helps collaborative teams, especially integrated project delivery (IPD) teams, “really address the needs of the client and the impact of sustainability on building.”
DPR recently used energy modeling to support the LEED for Existing Building (LEED EB) certification effort of its Sacramento office, built in 2003 and owned in conjunction with ABD Insurance and Financial Services, Inc. The first privately owned office building in Sacramento to be LEED certified, DPR’s 52,300-sq.-ft. office building achieved Silver LEED for New Construction (LEED NC) certification and Gold LEED for Commercial Interiors (LEED CI) certification.
How did DPR’s green building perform? The local industry average energy consumption costs for building operation and maintenance are tracking at $1.99 per sq. ft.; DPR’s 2007 energy consumption costs for its Sacramento office building operation and maintenance measured $1.45 per sq. ft. In other words, the building’s green features saved DPR 37 percent in energy costs last year. “At this rate,” said BIM Engineer Durga Saripally, who created the Sacramento office energy model, “we recovered the premium we spent on the building’s HVAC systems in under three years of operation.”
“Measuring the energy efficiency of the Sacramento office gave us hard data on the value of using energy modeling,” said van der Linden.
In addition to measuring the performance of existing buildings, energy modeling helps collaborative teams develop building prototypes and evaluate the performance impacts of building operations, processes and systems upgrades. “Energy modeling helps client teams make good decisions early on in the process,” said van der Linden.
DPR expects the use of energy modeling to continue to pick up steam. “With energy prices rising dramatically, there is going to be an even greater emphasis for buildings to be increasingly energy-efficient,” said Blomquist. “Owners are going to want to have a clear understanding of the costs and savings associated with the multitude of energy-efficient options and LEED requirements available to them.”
Posted on June 9, 2011
Last Updated August 23, 2022