"Best" software for energy modeling for LEED

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Hi,

What do you think is the "Best" sofware for running energy models, particularly for VRF systems?

 

I've got extensive experience with HAP, but HAP requires a lot of work arounds to model VRF systems, would like to evaluate software that is designed to model this type of sytem.

 

I've also looked at EnergyPro to some extent, and while they have what looks like an easier way to deal with VRF, they do not have a way to give me a trial version to see if it's worth the $1000, so looking for other alternatives.

 

 

Tom Morris's picture
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I use IES VE for my LEED models.  It has a great final report in the format of the LEED template.  They also have a pretty good work around for modeling VRF.  I am hoping they will have an explicit model for VRF soon since they have a partnership with Daikin UK.

crduggin's picture
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Most of my first hand experience is with Trace700.  It can be a vary powerful program, but there are a number of quirks you have to get used to dealing with.  They also have a LEED output form.  It's not perfect, but it is much better than digging through a dozen different reports looking for different information when it is time to fill out the LEED paperwork.

Regarding VRF, I recently heard from local (US) Daikin reps that while several programs claim some level of VRF compatibility, currently the only energy modeling software backed by the various VRF manufacturers is EnergyPro.  He did mention that now that ANCI/AHRI Standard 1230 has been approved, that it is likely many of the other energy modeling programs will be catching up with VRF before long.  That's from the manufacturer's point of view, I'd be curious to know how USGBC views the various programs in relation to VRF compatibility.

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Taking a look at IES VE,  looks like it has some good features.  I'll report back when I've downloaded the free trial and find some time to experiment with it.

Thanks for the responses.

Tom

Tom Morris's picture
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Going out on a limb here. I've done some research over the last month.

TRACE 700 is currently the most popular LEED modeling software both in the U.S. and internationally. Why? It's got a great LEED report, it does a lot of the auto-calculations, it has built in LEED libraries galore and it can export an xml. It has free support, and my guess is that most support questions revolve around LEED, so when you call or email you are talking to someone who is raked across the LEED coals for 40 hours a week (and they have industry expert PhD's within 50 feet of them)

IESVE appears to be on the rise for very similar reasons.Can't comment on their support. But they are absolutely and most definitely on the rise in the US, but especially internationally.

eQUEST is very popular for LEED, but that's because it is free. It is good software, but not as catered to LEED as TRACE 700 or IESVE. They are making gains. But please note that the LEED Compliance tool does not work.

Right now, the Lead LEED horse is TRACE 700. 

That said, energy-modeling should be so much more than LEED...

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Bob
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