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Publication Date


Document Type

Honors Project




Smith College-Student housing-Energy consumption-Measurement, Smith College. Lawrence House-Energy consumption-Measurement, Universities and colleges-Energy consumption-Massachusetts-Northampton-Measurement, College buildings-Heating and ventilation-Massachusetts-Northampton, College buildings-Energy consumption-Massachusetts-Northampton, College buildings-Thermal properties-Massachusetts-Northampton, Building, Heating, Energy, Thermal properties, Building energy modeling, Power resources-Mathematical models


Given the high energy reduction goals of many consumers in response to increased costs, greenhouse gas emissions, and government incentives, building heating energy consumption is among the larger energy loads. To reduce building heating energy consumption, energy efficiency retrofits may be performed, such as exterior wall and attic insulation, sealing, and the replacement of old windows with high efficiency (double or triple-paned) windows. Retrofit decisions are often informed by energy consumption values. However, many institutions, municipalities, and companies with multiple buildings often do not have individually metered buildings. As a result, energy modeling programs are used to estimate the heating load. The major challenge with this is the time and money required for generating such models. In order to better inform building energy retrofits without individually modeling buildings, a methodology was developed by Etta Grover-Silva to categorize buildings based on building construction, wall insulation, and attic insulation to determine heating energy consumption per floor area. The methodology categorized buildings into 11 groups, and was designed using representative building models for each category. The work presented in this report serves to evaluate Grover-Silva's work by comparing estimates from this categorical methodology to a detailed model of a building in that category. Lawrence House, the building that was modeled for this work, is a residential building on the Smith College Campus that was chosen because of the higher level of knowledge about the building's construction after its recent retrofit. iii In comparison to the categorical model's estimate of 963 MMBtu of annual heating energy consumption, the detailed model of Lawrence House estimates 2386 MMBtu annually. This large discrepancy is likely due to differences in the assumed heating setpoints and building occupation schedule.




x, 62 p. : col. ill. Honors project-Smith College, Northampton, Mass., 2011. Includes bibliograpical references (p. 30-32)