WFOE Environmental and Economic Research and Development

Sustainable Engineering Group conducted a research project for Wisconsin Focus on Energy investigating the effects of various building code upgrades on total building energy use. A database of building energy models was created using DesignBuilder software to represent Wisconsin building stock in form, function, and energy usage. Six baseline models were created: a single family home, a K-12 school, a retail store, and three sizes of office building. These models were tailored to conform to current Wisconsin building code, and were calibrated to CBECS (EIA 2003) and RECS (EIA 2009) expected energy consumption in energy use intensity (EUI) and distribution (i.e., end use).

International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) versions released since the last Wisconsin building code update were investigated. Four (4) residential measures and six (6) commercial measures were selected for study inclusion. These represented all concrete (i.e., not geometry or occupancy dependent) IECC 2012 code updates, and a handful of added measures stemming from successful Focus on Energy incentive programs.

Individual and combined code upgrades were implemented in the models using EnergyPlus parametric processing, and resulting changes in energy use were tracked. Incremental first costs were estimated for each measure and used to evaluate the cost effectiveness of the investigated measures, resulting in projected simple payback timescales. IECC 2012 compliance was evaluated along with a proposed Focus On Energy Standard set of upgrades. A stakeholder reviewed final report is available online.[1]



CLIENT: Wisconsin Focus on Energy
YEAR: 2014