Report offers ways to drive high quality building energy analysis

RMI's Building Energy Modeling Innovation Summit report details critical industry actions

Snowmass, Colo. - Today, Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) announced the release of a new report, "Collaborate and Capitalize: Post-Report from the BEM Innovation Summit," outlining opportunities to advance the future of energy modeling and increase collaboration in the building energy modeling community.1

The report's recommendations are an outcome of RMI's March 2011 Building Energy Modeling (BEM) Innovation Summit, which convened key industry stakeholders to develop implementation plans that address key barriers currently hindering widespread solutions for low-energy buildings with reduced electric demand.

Developed in partnership with the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Engineers, the U.S. affiliate of the International Building Performance Simulation Association, the U.S. Green Building Council, and the Institute for Market Transformation, the Summit convened a fragmented industry for the first time to improve modeling tools, processes and capacity.

In the resulting report, RMI briefly describes the motivation for the event, provides a recap of summit discussions, and presents implementation plans for several key action items.

Implementation plans include recommendations to advance cost-effective and high-quality building energy analysis that can result in deep energy savings, and identifies critical industry needs in the categories of
 Methods and processes,
 Simulation engines and platforms,
 Support and resources for practitioners,
 Education, training and certification and
 Market drivers and customer demand.

The report specifically highlights that education is critical for potential customers of energy modeling services, and that key opportunities exist to clearly communicate the value proposition for building energy modeling in a variety of applications.

"While building energy modeling can be of beneficial value to a diverse population of potential customers, modeling is currently only used by a small population in a fraction of its potential applications," said Kendra Tupper, PE, senior consultant at Rocky Mountain Institute.

To capitalize on the full value of BEM services, the report proposed an awareness campaign targeted at potential customers to:
 Clearly communicate the value proposition for including building energy modeling in a variety of applications.
 Arm potential customers with case studies that demonstrate the tangible benefit modeling has brought to different "real" projects.
 Teach potential customers when and how to incorporate modeling into their decision-making processes.

Additional key recommendations support improvements to existing professional certification programs by including clearly defined skill sets and required expertise for energy modelers as they progress along a career path.

"While multiple certification exams currently exist, most Summit attendees agreed that a single, more stringent certification exam could better enable potential customers and employers better assess the skill level of an energy modeling practitioner," Tupper said, "and ultimately improve the quality and credibility of energy models.

View the full report at http://rmi.org/rmi/ReportsBEMInnovationSummit

For more information, contact Kelly Vaughn, Public Relations Specialist at kvaughn@rmi.org.

1. While the content presented in this report was developed in a collaborative consensus process, it does not imply an endorsement of all statements and proposed solutions by each attendee or partnering organization.

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About Rocky Mountain Institute
Founded in 1982, Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) is an independent nonprofit organization whose mission is to drive the efficient and restorative use of resources. RMI's work supports a vision of a world thriving, verdant, and secure, for all, for ever. Its strategic focus is to map and drive the business-led transition from fossil fuels to efficiency and renewables. For more information, visit www.rmi.org.