Spring 2020 Working Group Updates

The CalBEM Working Groups have spent the first quarter of 2020 drafting new project proposals, deploying surveys, and finding and joining existing work towards common goals. These efforts spring from the plans and priorities conceived at CalBEM 2019 and finalized during the January 2020 webinars – Here’s a quick look at what’s been going on:

Group 1: Creating a Streamlined BEM Process

  • A special topics group is coming together to draft a prototype format for standardized software-readable rulesets. Neal Kruis, Michael Sawford, Scott Criswell, and NREL are collaborating to develop this idea into a whitepaper.
  • Neal Kruis and Supriya Goel are working on the IBPSA-USA Building Data Exchange (BDE) Standard committee to establish a balanced stakeholder standard for BEM-to-BEM data exchange. The group hopes that improved BEM-to-BEM translation capability will improve consistency across public/private compliance tools, prototype development, and sensitivity analyses.
  • At CalBEM 2019 the group agreed that a new, high-level input/output schema to evaluate the implementation of software rules would help to simplify software testing and compliance analysis. To further this goal, Supriya Goel joined the ongoing efforts of ASHRAE SPC 229P/BDE who are developing a national software testing framework.

Group 2: Developing BEM Education and Resources

Two projects scopes have been drafted and reviewed by this Working Group:

  • The first scope focuses on BEM education in California. Initially the group agreed that the benefits of improving the body of knowledge in both energy modelers and “consumers” of energy modeling merited a closer look. The project seeks to identify high priority gaps in educational resources needed to increase the effective use of building energy modeling in designing new buildings and in improving existing building performance.
  • The second project focuses on BEM outputs communicated via reports. It proposes to: 1) Identify high-priority energy modeling use cases where improved reporting may provide significant benefits; 2) Identify existing work on best practice reporting for the high priority use cases; and 3) Produce recommendations for a sustainable approach to development and ongoing support of standardized reporting for high-priority use cases. Developing and standardizing targeted reporting formats could increase the ease with which designers and other collaborators utilize BEM modeling results, and possibly reduce the cost of software development.

Both project scopes are undergoing a final revision before entering a funding solicitation period. Special thanks to Erik Kolderup, Brian Selby, Ruby Yepez, Heidi Werner, and Mike Wilson for their contributions to the development of these project scopes.

Group 3: Advancing BEM Capabilities and Metrics

Working Group 3 has started to answer key questions with a number of projects and proposals:

  • Have you ever wondered about the compliance pathways in Title 24 and some of the backstory of their intention? Neil Bulger and Larry Froess are exploring the standards and software sides of this issue.
  • How could a third-party review process improve the quality of BEM for exceptional compliance based on advanced systems or missing technologies in software? Greg Collins is exploring the value and potential of this topic.
  • Michael Adams is overseeing an ongoing survey of market actors and gathering a prioritized list of all-electric technology gaps in existing building energy modeling tools.
  • How can you model common low energy systems using available processes and compliance software today? Creating a simple how-to guide for modeling key system gaps has been an oft-debated solution to this issue. Greg Collins is drafting a proposal defining the boundaries of this issue and proposing how such a guide could be written.
  • How can we best keep track of the developing 2022 TDV and Source Metrics scheduled for 2045? The group plans to distribute a summary of the March 26th CEC workshop notes, followed by a simple diagram communicating 2022 Compliance Metrics to energy modelers and designers.

Thanks for keeping up with CalBEM this far into 2020! Look for another update here in August. In the meantime, you can RSVP for the November event or join a Working Group mailing list (see below) to get involved! Please send any other questions to elisewall@2050partners.com.