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Case 13

Weather Correlations to Calculate Infiltration Rates for U.S Commercial Building Energy Models

[ Lisa C. Ng, Nelson Ojeda-Quiles, William S. Dols, Steven J. Emmerich (2017)]

As building envelope performance and heating, ventilating and air-conditioning (HVAC) equipment efficiencies are improved to reduce building energy use, a greater percentage of the total energy loss can occur through building envelope leakage. Although the energy impacts of unintended infiltration on building energy use can be significant, current energy simulation software and design methods are generally not able to accurately account for envelope infiltration and the impacts of improved airtightness. In a previous study, the National Institute of Standards and Technology developed a set of infiltration inputs for several commercial reference building energy models based on Chicago weather. In this paper, the work from the previous study was extended to include cities in eight climate zones including Chicago, and to use the ASHRAE 90.1-2013 versions of the prototype commercial building models developed by the U. S. Department of Energy and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) in EnergyPlus. CONTAM representations of the prototype buildings were created and then used to develop infiltration inputs for the EnergyPlus models based on correlations between annual weather conditions and HVAC system operation.

Case Study Data [ZIP 13.2 Mbs]

Ng, L. C., N. Ojeda Quiles, W. S. Dols and S. J. Emmerich (2018). "Weather correlations to calculate infiltration rates for U. S. commercial building energy models." Building and Environment 127(Supplement C): 47-57.(link is external)

Created March 8, 2018, Updated February 13, 2020