Building analysis and modeling inform high-performance buildings

Experience matters, but so do facts and figures. It’s no longer enough to rely on past experience or local energy-code guidelines to determine building-system recommendations. The old carpentry adage—“Measure twice, cut once”—still applies today to the world’s most sophisticated high-performance buildings.

PAE relies heavily on building analysis and modeling (BAM) in order to help clients understand how their buildings will perform—before they are built.

Data drives results

PAE uses BAM early in the design process, when it can be most impactful. We provide our clients and project teams with information that allows projects to stay on budget while achieving optimal performance outcomes. These include increased productivity, employee attraction and retention, and energy and water conservation.

BAM not only maximizes the short and long-term value of buildings while protecting the environment but also makes projects financially viable, since high-performance buildings can be costly. Our BAM services help teams explore system alternatives in order to find an integrated design path that balances building performance with economic goals.

PAE’s BAM services include the following:

  • Energy analysis
  • Water-cycle analysis
  • Envelope and form optimization
  • Natural ventilation design
  • Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) modeling
  • Indoor environmental quality, including comfort analysis, wellness, and productivity
  • Benchmarking
  • Climate-change sensitivity analysis
  • Master planning
  • Carbon and building portfolio management
  • Measurement and verification
  • Incentives program assistance
  • Energy lifecycle cost analysis
  • Building performance audits and retro commissioning

Ongoing analysis

With BAM as our guide, we have designed some of the highest-performing buildings in the world, including the Bullitt Center in Seattle, and continue to support those designs with ongoing analysis of how the buildings are performing.

While we are able to test multiple design scenarios in order to predict performance, buildings are inherently dynamic due to the ever-changing nature of the people living and working within them—and the environment evolving outside them. In addition to providing BAM services upfront, so that buildings are developed to perform optimally, we are committed to post-occupancy measurement and verification.

By following a building’s performance for a year or more after people have occupied the space, we’re able to further refine and optimize as needed. It also helps inform future building designs so that we can keep raising the bar for defining “high-performance.”

To learn more about our experience with BAM and high-performance buildings, view these projects:

Chemeketa Community College, Health Science Complex
Rocky Mountain Institute, Innovation Center
"S" Office Buildings
Fresno State, Jordan Research Center