Task 2

Task Objectives

The main objective of this EEB HUB Modeling and Simulation task is to develop and deploy a state-of-the-art modeling platform to the building industry in support of integrated design, construction, commissioning, and operation. A modeling platform can be viewed as a suite of interconnected tools that are strategically deployed to different stakeholders responsible for a building in different periods of its lifecycle. The idea is that empowered stakeholders will be able to make better informed decisions to reduce energy consumption in buildings. The interconnected aspect of tools in the platform should also facilitate negotiations among different stakeholders in the efforts to improve the overall building performance.

Existing Simulation Tools

A detailed literature review revealed hundreds of different building energy simulation tools for design, commissioning, and retrofit stages of a building lifecycle. A comprehensive repository of existing simulation tools is available in the Department of Energy’s Building Technology Program website. A subset of most widely used simulation tools is here categorized based on targeted building industry stakeholders and corresponding building lifecycle stage. The following interactive graph maps the selected subset of simulation tools from different developer organizations.


View simulation tool platforms from:

Credits: Nick Rekstad, Mohammad Heidarinejad, Jelena Srebric

If you would like to provide a feedback on this graph, please e-mail us at tools@eebhub.org

Software Development

A summer 2013 version of the EEB Hub Simulation Platform is accessible at the following web link:


Three different software tools for the design, commissioning, and retrofit stage of the building lifecycle comprise the initial version of the EEB HUB simulation platform. For the design stage, Dr. Leon Glicksman is leading task 2.1 to develop Design Advisor Tool (DAT) that targets non-technical and technical architects. DAT enable architects to evaluate building energy performance of different retrofit design strategies quickly. For the commissioning stage, Dr. Robert Leicht is leading task 2.2 to develop Energy Auditing Advising Tool (EAT) that targets engineers for energy auditing level I. EAT will facilitate walkthroughs and data collection throughout the building commissioning process. For the operation stage, Dr. Richard Mistrick is leading task 2.3 charged with the development of Retrofit Manager Tool (RMT) enabling facility managers to quickly review whether a building could improve its performance via retrofit. RMT will enable reduce order energy simulations for facility managers with minimal inputs. In 2013, these three tools, DAT, EAT, and RMT will be merged into a single platform. Dr. Jelena Srebric is leading task 2.4 to integrate tools into the simulation platform via work and data flow strategies designed to engage building stakeholders.

Demonstration of Retrofit Manager Tool

A prototype version of RMT is accessible at the following web link:


This software was developed based on collaboration between Building Science Group at the Pennsylvania State University and Commercial Buildings Research Group at National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). The methodology identified in the development of VirtualPULSE sponsored by NSF EFRI PULSE was used to establish a prototype of RMT. Furthermore, RMT also benefits from OpenStudio and Building Component Library (BCL). The first version of RMT, RMT01, uses ruby scripts to deploy OpenStudio as the pre- and post-processor. In addition, a live access to the BCL at the NREL server enables deployment of RMT to different building types. Currently, RMT02 is under development to enable faster simulation and post processing.

Note: This is a prototype version of RMT represented by a simple reduced order energy simulation module, and will have other simulation modules released on a quarterly basis in 2013. Dear users, please, notice that this is a prototype version of RMT with runs that typically take around 7 minutes. A faster version of RMT will be available in March 2013.


  1. Penn State’s Building Science Group: Jin Bin Li, Mohammad Heidarinejad, Mujing Wang, Josh Wentz, Jelena Srebric
  2. National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL): Larry Brackney, Kyle Benne, Andrew Parker, Nicholas Long, Brent Griffith
  3. Penn State’s EEB HUB: Jin Sung An

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