The Results Are In: Comparing Modeled HVAC Energy Recovery Performance To Actual Energy Recovery Performance In Lab Buildings

Heidi Dugan, Konvekta USA, Inc.

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Modeling energy recovery systems in lab building applications can be a very detailed, challenging task. At the end of the day, the building owner wants to know how much money they will save annually on the cost of heating and cooling, but there are many variables used to calculate the annual savings and they are often a moving target. After the building is occupied, sometimes the projected energy savings are very close to the model; sometimes, they are not too close.

This presentation will explain ways to more accurately model the performance of energy recovery systems in lab buildings by using more detailed input for the efficiency of the energy recovery system and also how to calculate post-occupancy performance. The actual performance of the energy recovery system needs to be continuously monitored to obtain the data points required to calculate the actual performance of the energy recovery system. To be accurate, the performance needs to be calculated with every change in value of monitored data.

The building owner needs a user-friendly method to review and interpret post-occupancy performance. An ideal approach is to develop a reporting dashboard that can be displayed on the screens of the building management system and also accessed via a secure website. Examples of an effective dashboard will be presented.

Learning Objectives

  • How to model to obtain accurate performance results for an energy recovery system;
  • Common pitfalls of modeling an energy recovery system in a lab building;
  • How to obtain accurate post occupancy results; and
  • Examples of comparisons: Design Phase Models vs Actual Post Occupancy Results.


Heidi Dugan is a Senior Vice President for Konvekta USA. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Engineering from the Rochester Institute of Technology and has worked in the environmental technology field for more than 30 years with an emphasis on sustainability and green technologies. Heidi lives in the mountains of Colorado and enjoys hiking, kayaking and being outside with her lovable 85 pound Bernese Mountain dog.


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