Power Use and Generation

BIM for Architecture, Engineering, and Construction Curriculum

Key Terms

The following key terms were used in this lesson:

Lighting Power Density

A measure of the amount of power used to provide lighting per square foot of a building. This provides a convenient way to describe the overall efficiency of the lighting system (which can be used before the actual lighting fixtures are specified).


Switches, timers, and sensors used to turn lights and appliances on and off. Automated controls (as opposed to manual switches) are used to reduce unnecessary power consumption by turning off lights when sufficient daylighting is available or when a room is not occupied.


A measure of the solar energy available at specific geographic locations in the world.

Photovoltaic Potential

An assessment of the energy saving potential of photovoltaic panels that considers the energy that can be produced by panels versus the cost of installing them.  In Green Building Studio, it is expressed as the annual energy savings predicted from installing photovoltaic panels whose cost can be recovered within a maximum payback period.

Payback Period

The number of years required to recover the initial investment in a photovoltaic system through the annual savings that will be realized through the operating life of the system.