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3 Things to Consider When Upgrading your Energy Modeling Software

With frequent software upgrades and projects with long lifespans, timing energy modeling software updates can be a challenge. How do you plan your upgrade to minimize project disruption and meet client needs?

An AEI Building Performance Consultant and Energy Modeling Practitioner shared their thoughts on energy modeling software updates in a recent IBPSA USA article, Ask a Modeler: When and How Should I Update My Energy Modeling Software? moderated by Dr. Andy Berres, IBPSA USA board member, and joined by software developer Edwin Lee, EnergyPlus.

Here are three things to consider when upgrading your energy modeling software:

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1. Timing.

Discuss upgrading your energy modeling software at the beginning of a project. Waiting to upgrade your software until the middle of the project may cause unanticipated changes further down the road. In the beginning, project teams typically expect model numbers and other key project data to change. Waiting to upgrade your software until the middle of the project may cause unanticipated changes further down the road, especially if you’re using prior models for LEED submissions.

2. Enhanced features.

When upgrading your energy modeling software, consider why you should perform an upgrade.

  • What improvements will the upgrade offer the project?
  • How will it ultimately benefit your client?
  • New features that promote efficiency, customization, and speed are often a great reason to upgrade.

3. Testing.

Upgrading to a new version of software will often require reconciliation of old and new data and structure differences. This can be overcome by comparing old files to new ones through the guidance of software developer release notes. This content often includes information about bug fixes, physics, and other changes. In addition, planning proper review time of these notes prior to implementation will allow the transition to be seamless and efficient.

Most project teams have a unique process for converting project data into energy modeling files. When the modeling software is upgraded, teams should re-test all project files to be confident in their new setup.

Read more about planning your energy modeling software upgrades