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Oak Ridge National Lab’s Green Building Simulation Tool Draws Industry Partners

Oak Ridge National Lab's Green Building Simulation Tool Draws Industry Partners - top government contractors - best government contracting event

Several companies have been using an Oak Ridge National Laboratory-developed modeling platform as part of their efforts to make facilities more energy efficient.

The AutoBEM software suite has so far simulated energy use for 98 percent of U.S. buildings since its release last year, and has led to collaborative data sharing with private sector organizations such Google, ORNL said Tuesday.

Google is using AutoBEM to improve the precision of energy efficiency simulations for buildings covered by its Environmental Insights Explorer tool. Launched in 2018, EIE is designed to map data on a city or region’s carbon footprint and renewable energy potential.

The search engine company applies ORNL’s expertise in enhancing energy models and developing machine-learning algorithms to “help cities focus more on what changes should be made, then track the impact of those changes over time,” said Saleem Van Groenou, EIE product manager.

In return, Google is contributing its data to AutoBEM and making it publicly available.

Architecture and engineering firm SmithGroup took ORNL models of all possible combinations of design parameters, building types and climate zones in the U.S. to create an artificially intelligent simulation platform that shows the energy impact of different building designs.

Stet Sanborn,  principal and engineering discipline leader at SmithGroup, noted the partnership between SmithGroup and ORNL has helped the company address its “dramatic need to scale the work we’re doing in response to climate change.”

AutoBEM project leader Joshua New and his team are working to further refine building detail and accuracy in the software.

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Written by Jamie Bennet

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