CalBEM 2019: Agenda and Details

California Building Energy Modeling Symposium at the Kimpton Sawyer Hotel - CalBEM 2019
California Building Energy Modeling Symposium at the Kimpton Sawyer Hotel – CalBEM 2019
  • WHO: Building Energy Modeling Stakeholders
  • WHAT: The California Building Energy Modeling Symposium (CalBEM) – Two days of breakout working group discussions focused on the future of California’s building energy modeling (BEM) landscape
  • WHEN: November 13 and 14, 2019
  • WHERE: Kimpton Sawyer Hotel, Maple Specialty Suite, 500 J St, Sacramento, CA 95814
  • HOST: Southern California Edison, on behalf of the California Investor-Owned Utilities

Day 1: Wednesday, November 13, 2019

7:30 amBreakfast and Registration
8:15 amIntroductions
• Welcome and Opening Remarks – Will Vicent, Southern California Edison
• Symposium Structure and Goals – Ted Pope, 2050 Partners
9:00 amKeynote – Designing for Space Exploration
Steve Wall, Principal Systems Engineer at NASA-JPL
9:30 amPanel Discussion – Current BEM Landscape and Framing the Symposium Issues
Setting the stage for working groups from industry leaders. Brief opening remarks and formal Q&A with panel speakers.
• (Moderator) Ted Pope, 2050 Partners
• Matthew Dahlhausen, NREL
• Erik Kolderup, IBPSA
• Brian Selby, CABEC
10:15 amBreak
10:30 am Working Groups – Breakout Session 1 (Overview and Prioritization)
• The Captain and Facilitator will present and/or recruit Working Group presenters to introduce each of the
three sub-topics listed in the Working Groups section below
• The Captain and Facilitator will present the preliminary draft Action Plans
• The Working Group will then prioritize issues to focus on during the remainder of the Symposium breakout sessions
12:00 pmBreak
12:15 pmLunch & Power Talks
• 12:15 pm – Open seating
• 12:45 pm – Power Talks
– Overcoming the BEM Education Gap (Mike Wilson, IBPSA USA)
– Interoperability Please! (Jeffery Landreth, Seeking Balance)
– XeroHome: Solving the Problem of Scale with BEM (Mudit Saxena, Vistar Energy)
– Automated Simulation for Affordable Net-Zero Buildings (Patrick Chopson, Cove Tool)
1:30 pmPlenary Presentation – Advancing Codes and Standards to Meet Evolving Needs and BEM Implications
• Supriya Goel, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
2:00 pmBreak
2:15 pmWorking Groups – Breakout Session 2
• Refine preliminary draft Action Plan for highest priority issues identified in Breakout Session 1
3:30 pmBreak
3:45 pmProgress Report from Working Groups
• Group 1 Captain and/or Facilitator (15 minutes)
• Group 2 Captain and/or Facilitator (15 minutes)
• Group 3 Captain and/or Facilitator (15 minutes)
4:30 pmDay 1 Closing Remarks and Next Day Logistics
• Ted Pope, 2050 Partners
4:45 pmReception
6:30 pmGroup Dinners (Optional)

Day 2: Thursday, November 14, 2019

7:30 amBreakfast
8:30 amRecap of Day 1 and Goals for Day 2
• Ted Pope, 2050 Partners
8:45 amCalBEM Recognition Award
9:00 amBreak
9:15 amWorking Groups – Breakout Session 3
• Continue to refine preliminary draft Action Plans for highest priority sub-topics
11:45 am Break
12:00 pmLunch & Power Talks
• 12:00 pm – Open seating
• 12:15 pm – Power Talks
– Open Source BEM & OpenStudio (Marc Costa, Energy Coalition)
– Modeling for the Masses and Massive Modeling – Revolutionizing the reach, scale and scope of energy modeling (Allen Gilliland III, Build Zero)
– Let’s Play Telephone (Gina Rodda, Gabel Energy)
– EnergyPro Lite: Multifamily Energy Modeling for the Real World (Ben Cooper, Stop Waste)
12:45 pmBreak
1:00 pmWorking Groups – Breakout Session 4: Finalize Draft Action Plans
• Finalize draft Action Plans for prioritized sub-topics
• Schedule post-Symposium meeting(s)
2:30 pmBreak
3:00 pmPresent Working Group Draft Action Plans
• Group 1 Captain and/or Facilitator plus Q&A (20 minutes)
• Group 2 Captain and/or Facilitator plus Q&A (20 minutes)
• Group 3 Captain and/or Facilitator plus Q&A (20 minutes)
4:00 pmClosing Remarks
• Ted Pope, 2050 Partners
• Will Vicent, Southern California Edison
4:15 pmAdjourn

agenda version 8e

Power Talks

Selected attendees will have an opportunity to deliver rapid-fire Power Talks. Power Talks can be provocative and even a bit promotional but should be respectful and should strive to achieve the following elements:

  1. Concise – The talk should be five minutes or less with limited or no presentation slides.
  2. Relevant – The topic fits into the Symposium’s goals to: 1) educate users, 2) improve capabilities & accuracy, and/or 3) streamline & simplify processes.
  3. Motivational – The talk delivers an energizing message that excites meeting participants to address the challenge or issues.

If attendees are interested in delivering a Power Talk, they are welcome to reach out to Elise Wall at for more information. Power Talk nominations will remain open until 9/20.

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Working Groups

Working Groups will focus on discussing potential solutions (imagined or inspired by solutions seen in other jurisdictions) to issues identified in the sub-topics. Attendees will select a Working Group in which to participate prior to the Symposium or on Day 1. Attendees are encouraged (but not required) to stay with that Working Group throughout the Symposium.

Each Working Group will have a designated Captain, Facilitator, and Notetaker. The Captain will be selected based on their experience and involvement related to the Working Group sub-topics, while the facilitator will be charged with keeping the process moving smoothly. The Notetaker will take notes during the Symposium and will assist with developing the report-out presentations during the Symposium. Prior to the Symposium, these individuals will work with the Symposium host (SCE) and facilitators (2050 Partners and Red Car Analytics) to structure the Working Group breakout sessions (e.g., sub-agenda, presentations, handouts, activities, etc.) and to develop preliminary draft Action Plans. During the year following the Symposium, the Working Groups will coordinate to finalize and execute the Action Plans that they develop.

The Working Group sub-topics were chosen with the following criteria in mind:

  • Responsive to feedback from BEM stakeholders,
  • Addresses issues that are not being addressed in another forum, or adds value to an existing process but is not duplicative, and
  • Focuses on issues for which the Working Groups can reasonably develop useful draft Action Plans within the two days of the Symposium.

After reviewing the Working Group descriptions below, please complete the pre-Symposium survey on Working Group preference here.

Group 1: Creating a Streamlined Process for Building Simulation

This group will focus on opportunities to streamline compliance processes through software enhancements, new innovative methods in validation or types of performance compliance, and software application interoperability.

Pre-Symposium Materials are now available for review.

Captain: Supriya Goel, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
Facilitator: Neal Kruis, Big Ladder Software
Notetaker: Alex Chase, 2050 Partners

Key Sub-topics:

    1. Future of Public and Private Code Compliance Software – What strategies could CA explore to expand compliance software to be more accessible, easier to use, and easier to develop by the market? Shaping a Ruleset Validation Standard is one example related to the idea of moving regulatory bodies out of the role of creating software and yet maintaining a level of control and calculation quality.
    2. National Alignment – What efforts are being undertaken by national code agencies or green building rating groups to streamline energy modeling compliance and new performance pathways for users? What alternate strategies should CA agencies for codes, programs, or local incentives consider which may be currently implemented or being piloted elsewhere?
    3. Software Interoperability and New Developments – With energy modeling tools improving and expanding to now include whole eco-systems of software, what needs exist for interoperability? Where the need exists today for multiple models, how could interoperability be enhanced to streamline or change the current dilemma of non-interoperability?

Group 2: Educating Users: Development of Key Resources and Guidelines

Group 2 will focus on enhancing resources for the energy modeling community of technical users and agencies, including enhancing shared resources, developing robust methods and documentation for compliance with codes, incentives, and state programs, and prioritizing the most educational items.

Captain: Roger Baker, California Technical Forum (Cal TF)
Facilitator: Erik Kolderup, Kolderup Consulting
Notetaker: Elise Wall, 2050 Partners

Pre-Symposium Materials are now available for review.

Key Sub-topics:

    1. Creating a Robust Reporting Process – In both code compliance and in green building standards, review of results and documentation of calculations is necessary. What best practices exist for enhancing compliance of models that are created, such as peer review and automated checks of modeling files? For documentation itself, where could enhancements or simplifications be made in state documents for codes and program administrators’ documents for incentives and where are examples for such available in the industry, be it states or through private rating systems such as LEED?
    2. Cal TF Technical Position Paper (#10) – This sub-topic discussion is intended to provide feedback on Cal TF TPP #10: TPP #10 Draft Available Here. Cal TF will be seeking input on refining recommendations that emerged from the Cal TF Charrette, including how to sequence (short, medium, and long-term) and prioritize recommendations.
    3. Educating a Larger Workforce & Advancing Skills – As energy modeling and software inform more elements of the built environment, what ways can the BEM community further attract talent and teach the necessary skills to support this expanding scope? What gaps exist today? What are the priorities for enhancing workforce education? What educational resources could be developed to enhance the general knowledge for properly modeling in specific software or in general?

Group 3: Capabilities and Accuracy: Advancing Simulation Capabilities & Metrics

Group 3 will focus on increasing the accuracy of software and advancing capabilities to address evolving policy objectives in the short-term and long-term. Sub-topics reflect immediate technical challenges for software and the need to identify short and long term solutions to address them.

Pre-Symposium Materials are now available for review.

Captain: Larry Froess, California Energy Commission
Facilitator: Neil Bulger, Red Car Analytics
Notetaker: Ryan McFadyen, Southern California Edison

Key Sub-topics:

    1. Advancing Metrics – Status on the future of carbon metrics and other metrics being developed, including T24-TDV and other carbon accounting.
    2. All-Electric Buildings and Technology Gaps – With more projects aiming to reduce carbon emissions and state long term goals energy modeling simulation tools must be able to represent the technologies being used in all electric buildings today. What technologies and capabilities are most important to this effort
    3. Developing Interim Calculation Methods for Key Technologies – Alternative calculations and methods for code compliance in CA require a technical submission and public engagement process. As a process is determined for ways to engage with the CEC, what information can be gathered for key technology gaps today to provide specifications, supporting documentation such as new physics-based models, laboratory testing, and field installation verifications.

Please complete the pre-Symposium survey on Working Group preference here.

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Draft Action Plans

Draft Action Plan templates will be created for each Working Group. The Working Group Captain, Facilitator, Notetaker, and Symposium organizers will work on developing preliminary draft Action Plans prior to the Symposium as a starting point for discussions. The Action Plan structure will include a problem statement for each sub-topic. Each problem statement will have one or more goals. Each goal will have one or more actions to be taken. Each action will include detail priority, status, lead stakeholders, other stakeholders, key barriers, schedules and notes.

During the Symposium, the Working Groups will prioritize sub-topics during breakout session #1 and will then work on refining and developing problem statements, goals, and actions for the prioritized sub-topics. Our hope is that the Working Groups can develop fairly robust draft Action Plans for at least two of the sub-topics.

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Post-Symposium Working Group Webinars

After the completion of the Symposium, the Symposium host and facilitators will coordinate with the Working Group leads to continue working on the Action Plans and plan to host a follow up webinar meeting in January 2020 to discuss updates and subsequent activity for 2020. The tentative dates for each Working Group webinar are listed below:

  • Working Group 1: 10am – Noon PT, Thursday, January 9, 2020
  • Working Group 2: 9am – 11am PT, Tuesday, January 21, 2020
  • Working Group 3: 10am – Noon PT, Thursday, January 30, 2020

Dates may be adjusted based on feedback from Working Group attendees during breakout session #4.

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