Building Energy Software Tools
Formerly hosted by US Dept. of Energy    

Commercial Building Energy Saver

Ratings
5
Reviews 2

Commercial Building Energy Saver (CBES), intended use for small and medium office and retail buildings in California, provides energy benchmarking and three levels of retrofit analysis considering the project goal, data availability, and user experience. CBES offers prototype building models for seven building types, six vintages, in 16 California climate zones and roughly 100 energy conservation measures (ECMs) for lighting, envelope, equipment, HVAC, and service hot water retrofit upgrades. CBES Preliminary Retrofit Analysis utilizes the DEEP database, a data bank for screening and evaluating retrofit measures for commercial buildings generated from 10 million building energy simulations conducted using EnergyPlus and the U.S. National Energy Research Scientific Computing (NERSC) supercomputer. CBES Detailed Retrofit Analysis employs advanced automated calibration algorithms to attune inputs prior to simulating energy savings of ECMs. For the detailed retrofit analysis, on-demand energy simulations using OpenStudio and EnergyPlus calculates the energy performance of the building with user configurable ECMs. CBES is flexible enough that the user can jump to any level of evaluation, after the common inputs are provided. For those who wish to extend beyond California, a national version can be found at the 2030 whole building retrofit toolkit portal. CBES targets broad audience including building owners, facility managers, energy managers, building operators, energy auditors, designers, engineers and consultants.

Expertise Required: 

User skill includes beginner to advanced, with different packages tailored to skill level.

Audience: 

CBES targets a broad audience including building owners, facility managers, energy managers, building operators, energy auditors, designers, engineers and consultants.

Input: 

Input requirements are different for each toolkit feature:
(1) Benchmarking (basic information): building type, year built, zip code, gross floor area, investments criteria, energy price, CO2 emission factors, monthly energy data;
(2) No- or Low-Cost Improvement: basic information plus temperature file and electricity load file;
(3) Preliminary Retrofit Analysis: basic information plus additional upgrade information in lighting-interior, windows, cooling system and heating system;
(4) Detailed Retrofit Analysis: basic information plus geometry, construction, internal loads, exterior lighting, schedules, HVAC, water heater, utility rates;

Output: 

Output requirements are different for each toolkit feature:
(1) Benchmarking: Annual energy consumption, EnergyStar score, EnergyIQ
(2) No- or Low-Cost Improvement: Seasonal electricity use and the building’s gas consumption compared with other buildings
(3) Preliminary Retrofit Analysis (based on the DEEP database): Recommended energy conservation measures based on input criteria; annual site energy and CO2 emissions, annual economic analysis, annual energy and cost saving percentage, performance of single measures
(4) Detailed Retrofit Analysis (based on real-time EnergyPlus simulations): Recommended energy conservation measures and selected packages of measures; annual site energy and CO2 emissions, annual economic analysis, annual energy and cost saving percentage, performance of single measure

Strengths: 

The CBES toolkit is one of the most comprehensive toolkit available for the retrofit of small and medium commercial buildings. It is unique in that it provides flexibility giving results dependent upon data availability and user experience. This tool is also one of the few tools to use real energy data coupled with auto-model calibration to bring simulation results closer to actual building performance.

Country: 
USA
Major Capabilities: 
Whole-building Energy Simulation
Model Input Calibration
Energy Conservation Measures
Keywords: 
EnergyPlus
Commercial
Language: 
English
Platform: 
Linux
Windows
Mac OS X
Web/Saas
Pricing: 
Free for Non-Commercial/Academic Use
Free To Try
Help and Support: 
Third Party Support
Last Software Update: 
06 July 2015
Last Entry Update: 
27 October 2017
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Reviews

Very useful and practical software in energy saving. I'm not real building owner or occupier, but I used this soft as scholar. It could offer recommendations for the energy efficient retrofit, such as costs, benefits and etc. I think this can improve the analysis of green retrofit both in academia and industry.

The Commercial Building Energy saver is a powerful retrofit tool. It has multiple layers of analysis and provides users simple and friendly user interface.