Introduction

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. In addition, model inputs and outputs are in the process of being aligned with data from Northwest Commercial Building Stock Assessments (CBSAs).

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, modeling framework, and process of aligning models with CBSA data are continuing works in progress;
  • 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.

Creating “Dynamic” Versions of the RTF Models, with Modelkit

One main feature of the current RTF models is that they can be easily modified and dynamically generated using an app called 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:

Modelkit Flannel v0.7.1 Download

Note that all RTF models can be generated within the Modelkit environment, and do not need to be separately downloaded as “static” models below; however, users not wishing to use the Modelkit environment and/or generate the models themselves can download pre-run, “static” versions of the models below.

“Static” Versions of the Models

Users who do not wish to generate the Models via Modelkit can still download “static” versions of the models, with model output, using the link below. This link contains all RTF commercial building prototypes simulated for all nine RTF climate zones and across a variety of available HVAC system types. Note that these models are currently considered works in progress and under review by the RTF.

Commercial Building Model Download

Aligning Models with CBSA Data

As the RTF continues to use the commercial models for its work products, it is undergoing a process of trying to best align model inputs and outputs with data from regional CBSAs. Rather than going through a lengthy process of aligning all models at once, the RTF is currently aligning models on an “as-needed” basis, aligning models as they are needed for specific RTF assessments.

The RTF has begun this process with a subset of model prototypes used for conservation measure assesments of ductless heat pumps (DHPs) and secondary glazing systems (SGS) in commercial buildings Presentations showing the RTF's model alignment process can be found using the links below::

In addition, the RTF is maintaining a master workbook documenting the alignment process. The workbook contains a summary of model inputs (with sources), model outputs, and model fits to CBSA monthly billing data. A public version of the master workbook can be found using the link below: 

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.

Previous RTF Commercial Building Model Download