Spring 2021 Working Group Updates

Group 1: Creating a Streamlined BEM Process

During CalBEM 2020, Working Group 1 flagged complexity in energy codes as a significant barrier to achieving well-understood performance modeling requirements, intuitive compliance reviews, and useful verification processes. The group’s top priority for 2021 is to identify opportunities to reduce the complexity in performance-based codes. In January this group held a webinar reviewing the many simplified performance compliance pathways aiming to reduce the complexity of analysis, reporting, and verification in the compliance process. The team discussed several simplified paths including a simplified whole building performance approach for small, simple buildings, HVAC System Performance compliance path, EUI targets and prescriptive packages.

This summer, Co-Chairs Neal Kruis and Supriya Goel want to dive deeper into each pathway, as prioritized by the group.

Group 2: Developing BEM Education and Resources

The Recommendations for Building Energy Modeling Education in California project is officially underway, spearheaded by Emily Courtney and her team at Strategic Energy Innovations (SEI). The project seeks to identify high priority gaps in educational resources needed to increase the effective use of building energy modeling to design new buildings and improve existing building performance. SEI will make a progress report to Working Group 2 members in July.

Group 2 is continuing to explore the landscape of BEM reporting in California. In May the group will meet to hear speakers discuss the current development status of compliance and noncompliance output reporting, and opportunities for improvement in both:

  • Discussion Topic 1: Status of CBECC Output and Reporting and Development – Opportunities for Change
    • Review of compliance report content development. Sally Blair
    • CBECC Res output data and possibilities. Scott Criswell / David Reddy
  • Discussion Topic 2: Reporting End Uses – Beyond Code Compliance
    • Design assistance. Providing useful information to designers and decision makers. Nick Brown, Dave Intner, Tim Kohut
    • Quality control. Providing information for modelers to help evaluate the quality of their models. Marina Chavez-Blanco / Gina Rodda, Brian Selby, Greg Collins

Group 3: Advancing BEM Capabilities and Metrics

At Working Group 3’s latest meeting, Haile Bucaneg was welcomed as the group’s new Co-Chair alongside Neil Bulger. Halie stressed that strategies for shifting load are more important than ever and provided an overview of the CEC’s new load management standard and the LMS MIDAS* Rate Database structure. This group has also been hard at work collecting feedback on a project that will allow the public to submit efficiency enhancement ideas to California code compliance software teams. *Load Management Standards (LMS) Market Informed Demand Automation Server (MIDAS)

Also on the topic of Advancing Capabilities, CalBEM is now the proud host of the Ecosizer tool, a free educational tool for sizing central water heating systems with heat pump water heaters in multifamily buildings.