With energy modelling, we can compare the effects of different energy conservation measures on a new or existing building. This can mean, for instance, comparing the effects of better insulation as an alternative to or in addition to installing a more efficient heating system. Energy modelling can make it possible to assess likely energy savings as well as the profitability of a given conceptual approach, while taking into account the additional effects of other architectural and electromechanical systems in the building.
Modelling is also used to compare a proposed building design and its energy efficiency with a reference building (also known as a Baseline). The latter is a virtual building with features that meet the energy efficiency standards used to determine minimum performance required for the building (as opposed to a “typical” building on the market). In this type of situation, strict modelling rules must be applied according to the modelling requirements of the energy efficiency standard or financial support that is being targeted. A comparison with a Baseline building is the most common method currently used to assess a new building’s performance for a certification or financial support program, or to ensure compliance with a provincial or municipal regulation in terms of energy efficiency.