Sign In, Renew, Sign Up

Search AIA

Search AIA Go

Practicing ArchitecturePracticing Architecture

Page Tools

Reed Insight and Community


Building Energy Performance into the Design Process

The AIA Guide to Energy Modeling--Download it Now

Architecture, the art and science of designing buildings, is both celebrated and castigated for the former, while the latter is sometimes ignored. Previously, the electron-by-electron performance of how buildings function and consume energy were largely left to engineers and building scientists. But the impending reality of climate change and the dire need for a carbon-free economy has pushed this responsibility back onto architects’ desks. Why architects? The common refrain: Buildings account for 40 percent of all energy use in the nation, consuming more energy than either industrial or transportation uses.

The only way for architects to build a more sustainable future is to understand how the buildings that will populate it will perform—in terms of water usage, climatic conditions, materials—and perhaps most importantly, in terms of energy. To deal with this new set of responsibilities, the AIA has created the Architect’s Guide to Integrating Energy Modeling in the Design Process; an exhaustive, step-by-step guide to the seamless integration of energy modeling early and often throughout the entire building design process

Written and assembled by a committee of architects, sustainability experts, and government building science officials, as well as AIA staff, the guide surveys a wide swath of the building design and construction industry to present baseline best practices for empirically evaluating the energy performance of buildings. Beyond defining and making a case for energy modeling, this primer walks readers through different types of energy modeling and the individual tools and software available for it. As a relatively new technical specialty, the guide also discusses how to bring energy modeling to other building team members, like engineers and—most important of all—to clients. From initial exploratory design concepts to code compliance and ongoing energy maintenance for completed buildings, this manual covers the entire spectrum of design and building.


Recent Related:

How Do I Make Energy Models of My Buildings? Part I

How Do I Make Energy Models of My Buildings? Part II

With Energy Modeling, Virtual Models Lead to Real Sustainability


Download the Architect’s Guide to Integrating Energy Modeling in the Design Process (7 MBs)

Architect Live: Energy Modeling Practice Guide, with Maurya McClintock, Assoc. AIA


Back to AIArchitect September 28, 2012

Go to the current issue of AIArchitect


Footer Navigation

Copyright & Privacy

  • © The American Institute of Architects
  • Privacy