Whole building energy modeling is an activity that takes the architectural information from a building design, typical weather patterns, predicted occupant usage and operational profiles to calculate comfort and energy use within a building. Our group conducts research using a variety of modeling and simulation tools such as EnergyPlus (along with Design Builder and Google Sketchup for graphical input), TRYNSYS, eQUEST, and Modelica. To date, our group has analyzed a variety of buildings, both on and off the UCSB campus, for purposes such as energy modeling for control optimization, fault analysis, LEED certification, and retrofit design.
Although complex, the background necessary to begin studying building performance can be accessible to anyone with a technical background. Because of this, we have had several student interns, including high school students, undergraduates and graduate students from UCSB, as well as undergraduates from other universities that have assisted in our research.