The best way to learn eQUEST is to dive in. So, that’s what we are going to do here.
To make this course more realistic, i.e. beyond theory and actually useful, you first need to see what you are modeling. Let’s take a case study:
eQUEST Case Study Details
You have a 22,000 sq ft office building in Chicago and you need to replace the boiler. You have several options but the option you want to look into is upgrading to a high efficiency boiler. You might be saying, “big deal” I can do a hand calculation to show this.”
Maybe that’s true, but once you have the model built in equest, you can do additional evaluations that you can only dream of doing on a spreadsheet. This is something we will cover soon but, for now, let’s get back to the model.
You have limited knowledge about building specific details but you know the following:
Option 1 is an 83% efficient standard boiler.
Option 2 is a 96% high efficiency boiler. You don’t know the total installed cost yet, but you do know that the high efficiency boiler will cost one thousand dollars more.
You might feel like you can’t make a justifiable decision based on your limited data, but guess what? eQUEST is smart enough to fill in the blanks.
Creating your First Model in eQUEST
Given eQUEST’s Artificial Intelligence, let’s see how we would run through this case study in eQUEST.
The first thing you have to do is open eQuest by double clicking the desktop icon. You are immediately prompted with several choices: select create a new file from the wizard.
When you select okay, you will be prompted with another choice. There are two wizards in eQUEST: the Schematic Design wizard and design development wizard.
The schematic design wizard is the most simple wizard in eQUEST but it’s still very powerful. The design development wizard is simple but a bit more complicated, and we find that these additional features are unnecessary for a decision making model.
So, we select schematic design wizard and get started.
When you select this, a window will open. This is the wizard screen. It operates just like a book and we can go forward and backward pages.
The interesting thing about the wizard is that when you change certain entries, eQUEST adjusts other entries in the model in order to automatically make your model more accurate.
The most important fields are on screen 1. Just so you know, you can see which screen you are on here in the lower left corner. If you click on it, the menu expands and you can see all the available screens.
If you look carefully, you might notice that not all of the screens are available. eQUEST automatically skips the pages that you don’t need and will make them available if you need them based on your other inputs.
Okay, now we can get started on our model. The first thing you should model is the building as it is it exists as a baseline. In this case that means you are going to model the building as it exists with the regular efficiency boiler.
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