Rocky Mountain Institute to Participate in ASHRAE Winter Conference

Sessions geared to increase whole-systems energy modeling

Snowmass, Colo. - This week, Rocky Mountain Institute energy modeling experts will join the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) at their 2011 Winter Conference in Las Vegas.

There, RMI staff will present several papers and senior consultants Kendra Tupper, PE, and Ellen Franconi, PhD, will lead a seminar on building energy simulation and a course on energy modeling best practices. In addition, Tupper will be participating in the ASHRAE technical committee charged with updating an often referenced publication on commercial building energy audit procedures.

"With a theme of `Zero Energy Design,' the ASHRAE winter conference offers an excellent opportunity to address the training needs of engineers, and architects possessing basic whole-building energy modeling skills," Tupper said. "RMI aims to increase efficiency and depth of knowledge in deep retrofits through our participation in the conference, and we are looking forward to gathering feedback from energy practitioners on many of our new training resources and tools."

As part of its RetroFit initiative, RMI is working with industry partners such as ASHRAE, the U.S arm of the International Building Performance Simulation Association (IBPSA) and others to increase the number of skilled energy modeling practitioners through education and training, innovative software tools and an industry master plan for providing long-term, quality energy modeling services.

One such education tool to be announced at the conference is the Building Energy Modeling Book of Knowledge (BEMBook) wiki. Developed in partnership between RMI, ASHRAE and IBPSA, the interactive online forum offers a cohesive body of knowledge for building energy modeling and invites visitors to engage and contribute.

"As competitive pressure grows to make efficiency improvements in buildings, energy modelers who are properly equipped to deliver deep energy retrofits, can capitalize on new business opportunities," Franconi said.

RMI's RetroFit initiative aims to drive the adoption throughout the commercial building sector of "deep" energy retrofits. A deep retrofit saves at least 50 percent of energy operating costs with positive financial returns. This is achieved via integrative, whole-building design that recognizes how efficiency gains in one system can affect other building systems and attributes.

Such deep retrofits are rare, and a primary reason is a shortage of energy service providers trained in whole-system design and analysis skills to guide and implement deep retrofit processes.

For more information on how RMI is pursuing the widespread adoption of deep energy efficiency retrofits, and RMI's complete Building Energy Modeling Toolkit, visit the RetroFit Depot at


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

About RetroFit
Energy efficiency in the built environment is a key element of RMI's long-term fossil fuel reduction plan. The RetroFiT Initiative aims to encourage the retrofit of the U.S. commercial building stock to use, on average, at least 50 percent less energy by 2050 via the wide adoption of deep energy retrofits that save far more energy, even more profitably, than today's normal practices. For more information, visit