Predicted Versus Actual Energy Performance in Laboratory Buildings

Vamshi Gooje, Thornton Tomasetti

Energy models are utilized in the early design stages in order to aide in sustainable building design. However, there are variables that will influence actual energy consumption, which may result in the initial design goal differing from the actual building performance. Furthermore, the impact of occupant's behavior, environmental conditions, and malfunctioning controls are a major source of inconsistency between modeled and actual performance. Laboratory Research facilities face a unique set of problems. Due to health safety requirements, the outside Air Changes per Hour (ACH) requirements are in the order of six to twelve ACH and is the primary driving factor for energy consumption in the laboratories.

A post occupancy measure and verification study was performed to evaluate actual energy performance of a laboratory/Office building compared to the predicted energy performance. The study included data collection and review of weather information for the corresponding performance period, sub-metered data for critical energy end uses, utility data and BAS data points. The premise was to verify the influence of human behavior on laboratory energy consumption, where energy is driven primarily by health safety ventilation requirements. The presentation will address the tolerances achieved for various energy sources after calibration process and discuss challenges faced during each of the M&V processes involved.

Learning Objectives

  • Understand the importance of post occupancy study in laboratories.
  • Learn about the processes involved in measurement and verification.
  • Identify challenges in data collection, parsing, calibration and unresolved issues.
  • Understand the significance of human behavior on energy performance.


Vamshi Gooje is a senior associate with Thornton Tomasetti, an international engineering firm. He has over 14 years of experience in the design, building science and simulation industry from residential to large scale commercial buildings. He oversees the building analytics team at the firm. He has a keen interest in measurement & verification efforts to understand the real factors driving energy performance.


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