The Environmental Energy Technologies Division of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the Buildings Technology Office of the Department of Energy have launched Simergy, a free graphical user interface that aims to enable the whole-building energy modeling engine, EnergyPlus, to be used more easily and effectively.
Simergy (screenshots pictured) aims to meet the building energy modeling needs of architects, mechanical engineers, energy analysts, and sustainability consultants to enable energy-efficient building design. It was originally slated for release in the first quarter of 2013.
The product gives users access to the powerful modeling capabilities of EnergyPlus in an integrated energy-assessment workflow. Users will benefit from the following key features:
- Capability to manage and evaluate design alternatives.
- Ability to translate building envelope geometry from CAD or Building Information Models to Building Energy Models.
- Extensive sets of libraries and templates for construction materials, schedules and HVAC equipment, and systems for both conventional and low-energy systems.
- Drag-and-drop component-based HVAC schematic editing.
- Summary reports that can be customized to the user’s desired level of detail.
- Interactive detailed results visualization.
New Simergy users have access to help content including short video tutorials of two-to-13 minutes in length that cover different areas and approaches to using Simergy. The videos are currently available on the Simergy website on the Help and Support page. Short video tutorials will continue to be added to the series.
The Facility for Low Energy Experiments in Buildings, or FLEXLAB, will consist of four new outdoor test modules, as well as several testbeds within an existing building. The lab is slated for completion later this year.
When completed, FLEXLAB will allow users to conduct focused research or product development on single components or whole-building systems integration. FLEXLAB will allow experimenters to replace any building system such as exterior building envelope, windows and shading systems, lights, HVAC, energy control systems, roofs and skylights, or interior components such as furniture, partitions, and raised floors.