Building Permit Energy Model

Hi All,

I am currently designing a house and am required to provide energy modeling as part of the building permit submission. I have two questions I am hoping some can help me with.

Can I use ladybug tools to create an energy model for comparison? If yes, where do I start?

If no, what software option do I have available to me?

Thanks in advance for any help and guidance.

Hi @bobby.wr7,

If you download the latest version of LadyBug Tools it comes with a folder called samples.

In here you can find different folders. Honeybee is used for energy simulation.

In Honeybee Energy you can find different examples about how to setup an energy model.

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This means you need to check if a simulation result out of Ladybug Tools will be accepted?
In most areas there are regulations how this has to be calculated.
Strangely (depending on building type and location) in some countries these official ways of energy simulation lead to oversized heating because they don’t account for solar and internal gains.

So it is for sure useful to start like @Erikbeeren suggested, because the result out of a Ladybug simulation if done right is closer to reality than most “official” ways of calculation.

That depends on your location?


EnergyPlus (EP), the underlying simulation engine used by Honeybee can be used for building energy models according to the Ashrae 90.1 standards, which is an underlying basis for building or energy codes around the world. If this is true for your location too, then most likely you can use Honeybee for your permit, but it’ll most likely require a complex, customized Honeybee model since the majority of workflows are primarily based on simpler models where most energy parameters are based on defaults.

Furthermore local standards will often deviate from 90.1 in various ways (i.e. here in Ontario there’s an addendum for more rigorous envelope performance under the Ontario Building Code), so identifying exceptions will require more research on your part. Honeybee also only exposes a subset of the entire EP functionality, (although you can access most of this with custom workflows), so this could limit Honeybee’s usefulness, again based on your local standards.

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@Erikbeeren & @Martin6 Thank you for the reply and direction on where to start. Greatly appreciated.

@SaeranVasanthakumar I am located in Alberta. What software are you using to energy model?

@bobby.wr7 Alberta will likely be sticking closely to Ashrae 90.1 so that’s good. Previously when I’ve worked on teams where we’ve developed models for OBC, the modeling team has used IES, which is primarily a reflection of their comfort with that tool over EP, not EP’s inability to build a model to code.