Modeling High Performance Energy Recovery Systems In Lab Buildings: Modeled vs Actual Post-Occupancy Performance

Heidi Dugan, Konvekta USA

Modeling energy recovery systems in lab building applications can be a very detailed, challenging task. At the end of the day, the building owner wants to know how much money they will save annually on the cost of heating and cooling, but there are many variables used to calculate the annual savings, and they are often a moving target. After the building is occupied, sometimes the projected energy savings are very close to the mode,l and sometimes they are not too close.

This presentation will explain ways to more accurately model the performance of energy recovery systems in lab buildings by using more detailed input for the efficiency of the energy recovery system and also how to calculate post occupancy performance.

The actual performance of the energy recovery system needs to be continuously monitored to obtain the data points required to calculate the actual performance of the energy recovery system. To be accurate, the performance needs to be calculated with every change in value of monitored data. The building owner needs a user-friendly method to review and interpret post-occupancy performance. An ideal approach is to develop a reporting dashboard that can be displayed on the screens of the building management system and also accessed via a secure website. Examples of an effective dashboard will be presented, and the modeled performance and actual post-occupancy performance of several systems will be presented.

Learning Objectives

  • Determine model input required to obtain accurate performance results for an energy recovery system;
  • See where models can go wrong when modeling an energy recovery system in a lab building;
  • Learn how to obtain accurate post-occupancy results; and
  • Learn how to make obtain post-occupancy results in a user-friendly manner.


Heidi Dugan is the President of Konvekta USA. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Engineering and has worked in the environmental technology field for more than 30 years focusing on sustainability & green technologies. When she's not working, she enjoys a variety of outdoor activities with her lovable 90 lb. Bernese Mountain Dog.


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