Indemnity Clause?

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Just a simple question: how many simulation experts and modelers provide
and indemnity clause to their clients? Are we all guaranteeing the results
are true and can be obtained? What happens if predicted results don?t
materialize? Who?s to blame/responsible?

Comments and suggestions please.

Peter Simmonds, Ph.D., FASHRAE, FIBPSA, FFTI

Mobile USA: +1-310-383-9911 <(310)%20383-9911>

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All our proposals include:

"Energy models are simulation tools that estimate energy consumption based on a large number of variables and assumptions, many of which are beyond our control. While we will attempt to create accurate models we make no warrantees or guarantees of actual energy use.?

--

Chris Schaffner, PE, LEED Fellow, WELL AP, Licensed BREEAM Assessor
Founder and President
The Green Engineer, Inc.
Sustainable Design Consulting
54 Junction Square Dr.
Concord, MA 01742
O: (978) 369-8978
C: (978) 844-1464

The Green Engineer, Inc. is a Certified B Corporation and a Massachusetts Benefit Corporation - Employee Owned since 2014

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On the one hand, all of my proposals include a disclaimer intended to make
the client aware of energy model limitations. The clients are not normally
experts in modeling and it's not reasonable to expect they'd know what a
model can and can't do. I want to increase their understanding in advance
of the work.

On the other hand, I'm wondering if anyone has been crazy enough to
litigate a situation where actual results and modeled results differ. Just
for starters, once you construct and begin operating a building, almost
every assumption made by the modeler is immediately, and often greatly,
different. How can anyone expect a close match?

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Andy,
Your points are well made. Perhaps they can be summarized by saying that
the modeler needs to be diligent in creating a well-conceived, well-checked
model? I agree completely!

Dan's point is what I was thinking of, compliments of my commissioning
activity. Systems are rarely built to specifications and *very *rarely
operate per specifications a couple years later. "Real life" has a bunch of
wild cards that can influence performance in a big way.

I'd love to see a lot more attention paid to actual operations and how to
optimize building performance while serving the needs of the owner and
occupants. My standard comment is that 95% of buildings have a 20-30%
energy improvement opportunity. I'd love to see that opportunity recognized
and the improvement realized.

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Just saw Nick's comment...
Performance contracting has incentives for both understanding (what's going
on) and optimizing performance - both very good. We need to bottle that and
convince a lot of people that it's a great supplement for business
profitability.

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Seventhwave (formerly Energy Center of Wisconsin) has a Minnesota state grant to study and pilot a program for ?Performance-based Procurement and Design for New Construction? which seems to be aiming towards a revised contracting and project process with a guarantee by all parties involved (designer, contractor, commissioner). To learn more you could start with https://www.seventhwave.org/sites/default/files/shenry2016_0.pdf.

Paul Riemer, PE, LEED AP BD+C
DUNHAM

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