Practice Exercise: Building Envelope Systems

Practice Exercise: Building Envelope Systems


The focus of this exercise is to explore how the features of a building’s envelope affect the predicted energy performance.

Design Goal

Use this Revit model as the starting point for this exercise:

This early version of a building model for a proposed design includes these building elements:

  • Generic Walls (with no windows)
  • Floors
  • Hallway Walls & Stairs

Your goal for this exercise is to use the Insight web interface to find a combination of settings for building envelope-related design factors to deliver a Predicted Mean EUI of 54 kBtu/ft2/yr or lower.


Design Tasks

  1. Analyze the Initial Building Model
    1. Open the provided building model in Revit and use the Analyze > Energy Optimization > Generate tool to send it to the Insight web interface using the existing Energy Model.
    2. Open the Insight interface by clicking the Analyze > Energy Optimization > Optimize tool in the Revit application or by opening the web interfaced directly at this web link.
    3. Open the Settings panel in the Insight web interface and choose to report the results in Imperial Units (kBtu/ft2/yr) and display the values as Energy Use Intensity (EUI). The inital Predicted Mean EUI should be around 83kBtu/ft2/yr.
    4. image
    5. Open the Insight in the web interface, and set the these values as baseline assumptions:
      1. Operating Schedule to 12/5
      2. Roof Construction to R38
    6. Save the settings as a Scenario, so you can easily return to them.
    7. Click this button.

      Then rename the Scenario to Baseline Scenario.

  2. Use the Insight Factor tiles to find a combination that will deliver the target Predicted Mean EUI of 54 kBtu/ft2/yr or lower.
    1. Use Insight to Explore the Impact of Building Envelope-Related Design Decisions
      • Consider these Factors:
        1. Thermal Properties of Wall Surface (Wall Construction) for all orientations
        2. Glazing % (Window-to-Wall Ratio) for each orientation (North, South, East, West)
        3. Thermal Properties of Glazing Surfaces for each orientation
        4. Window Shading amount for each orientation
    2. Use Insight to Explore the Potential Impact of Power and Lighting Measures (versus Building Envelope Measures)
      • Use the Insight Factor tiles to explore the impact of:
        1. Plug Load Efficiency (the equipment and appliances that draw power)
        2. Lighting Efficiency (based on the efficiency of the lighting fixtures)
        3. Daylighting & Occupancy Controls
      • How lower can you drive the Predicted Mean EUI by adding these power and lighting measures to your recommended building envelope choices?.
    3. Use Insight to Explore the Benefits of Adding Photovoltaic Panels to Your Design
      • Use the Insight Factor tiles to explore the impact of Photovoltaic Panels, varying the:
        1. Surface Coverage
        2. Panel Efficiency
        3. Payback Limit (how many years you will allow for the panels to pay for themselves
      • How low can you drive the Predicted Mean EUI by adding these Photovoltaic panel measures to your overall design strategy?

What to Submit

  • Your best result Predicted Mean EUI achievable for each of the three test cases outlined above:
    • achievable through building envelope choices
    • achievable through building envelope + power & lighting choices
    • achievable through adding Photovoltaic panels to the mix.
  • For each test case:
    • include a screenshot from Insight showing the Predicted Mean EUI and the range of values resulting from your assumptions. For example:
    • image
    • include a listing of your recommended settings to achieve this result.
Click the + New Button and add a card for your building envelope recommendations to this gallery.

Building Envelope Best Results | Winter 2024