In 2021, the RTF updated its suite of commercial building simulation models. The current models are built in EnergyPlus v9.2 using a custom Northwest-specific version of the Big Ladder Software application Modelkit. Most of the model geometries and inputs are based heavily on the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) commercial building prototype models. The model inputs and outputs were aligned to regional monthly billing data, leveraging the data from the Northwest (CBSAs) where available.
The resources below are intended to provide RTF stakeholders with the ability to use these models for their own purposes; however, please note the following:
- the models are intended to be generic and flexible, so that they can be used for a variety of applications; and
- although these models are used and serve as a starting point for RTF-approved work products, the models themselves have not been approved by the RTF for any particular purpose.
Current Version of RTF Models
One main feature of the current RTF models is that they can be easily modified and dynamically generated using Modelkit. Modelkit allows users to make large scale changes to building simulation models, such as swapping out entire HVAC systems, using relatively simple commands. For the latest version of the RTF commercial building models, Big Ladder Software created a custom version of Modelkit called Modelkit Flannel. Users can download the latest version of Modelkit Flannel, along with a how-to user guide, from the link here:
In addition, the RTF is maintaining a master workbook documenting the alignment process with billing data. The workbook contains a summary of model inputs (with sources), model outputs, and model fits to monthly billing data. A public version of the master workbook can be found using the link below:
Note that all RTF models can be generated within the Modelkit environment, and do not need to be separately downloaded as “static” models. RTF staff can provide static versions of the models upon request for users not wishing to use the Modelkit environment and/or generate the models. If you would like a static version, please reach out to RTF staff via email and provide some details of the building types, climate zones, and HVAC system types needed.
From 2021-2023, the RTF went through a process to best align model inputs and outputs with regional monthly billing data and building characteristic data, primarily using the CBSAs. The results of this process were presented to the RTF during the monthly meetings and the presentations are available here.
Archive of Previous RTF Commercial Building Models
Previous versions of the RTF commercial building simulation models, also based in EnergyPlus, can be downloaded using the link below. This link also contains a set of commercial building HVAC interaction factors still used by the RTF.