What is the best, most easily adopted option for energy modelling in-house for an architect?  Rather than outsourcing to a specialist it seems this really needs to be something we can do ourselves and ideally in an efficient way?

We agree, most simple buildings could have an energy model created by architects with sufficient training. We recommend that PHPP and ECCOH are the best tools for the job as they provide a robust analysis with relatively simple inputs. ECCOH is a simpler version of PHPP (Passive House Planning Package). As with all models, you need to understand the inputs and outputs to ensure you’re getting a useful answer. There is a general requirement that the modelling software be compliant with BETEST or ASHRAE 140. If you’re looking at some software look for that compliance aspect.

That being said, many of these external modelling professionals have very quick turnaround processes and that will continue to develop over 2022 and beyond. You might expect a range of $1,000 for a simple building and upwards of $50k for large complex ones. Given that modelling produces a more accurate picture of performance and quite likely will result in overall cost savings (due to optimised design) this could be money well spent.

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