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Spreadsheet based tool for building energy codes: analysis, comparison and compliance

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Buildings in the United States, account for over 68 percent of electricity consumed, 39 percent of total energy use, and 38 percent of the carbon dioxide emissions. By the year

Buildings in the United States, account for over 68 percent of electricity consumed, 39 percent of total energy use, and 38 percent of the carbon dioxide emissions. By the year 2035, about 75% of the U.S. building sector will be either new or renovated. The energy efficiency requirements of current building codes would have a significant impact on future energy use, hence, one of the most widely accepted solutions to slowing the growth rate of GHG emissions and then reversing it involves a stringent adoption of building energy codes. A large number of building energy codes exist and a large number of studies which state the energy savings possible through code compliance. However, most codes are difficult to comprehend and require an extensive understanding of the code, the compliance paths, all mandatory and prescriptive requirements as well as the strategy to convert the same to energy model inputs. This paper provides a simplified solution for the entire process by providing an easy to use interface for code compliance and energy simulation through a spreadsheet based tool, the ECCO or the Energy Code COmpliance Tool. This tool provides a platform for a more detailed analysis of building codes as applicable to each and every individual building in each climate zone. It also facilitates quick building energy simulation to determine energy savings achieved through code compliance. This process is highly beneficial not only for code compliance, but also for identifying parameters which can be improved for energy efficiency. Code compliance is simplified through a series of parametric runs which generates the minimally compliant baseline building and 30% beyond code building. This tool is seen as an effective solution for architects and engineers for an initial level analysis as well as for jurisdictions as a front-end diagnostic check for code compliance.  

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Date Created
  • 2011