Commercial Building Design Pathways Using Optimization Analysis: Preprint

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


Whole-building simulation and analysis has demonstrated a significant energy savings potential in a wide variety of design projects. Commercial building design, however, traditionally integrates simulation and modeling analyses too late in the design process to make a substantial impact on energy use. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) commercial building group created anoptimization platform called Opt-E-Plus that uses multivariate and multi-objective optimization theory to navigate a large parameter space and find economically valid, energy-saving solutions. The analysis results provide designers and engineers valuable information that influences the design. The pathways are not full 'construction ready' design alternatives; rather, they offer guidance aboutperformance and cost criteria to reach a range of energy and economic goals. Having this knowledge early in the design phase helps designers establish project goals and direct the design pathway before they make important decisions. Opt-E-Plus has been deployed on several projects, including a retrofit mixed-use building, a new NREL office building, and several nationwide design guides. Each ofthese projects had different design criteria, goals, and audiences. In each case the analysis results provided pathways that helped inform the design process.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages15
StatePublished - 2010
Event2010 ACEEE Sumer Study - Pacific Grove, California
Duration: 15 Aug 201020 Aug 2010


Conference2010 ACEEE Sumer Study
CityPacific Grove, California

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CP-550-48264


  • commercial building design
  • Opt-E-Plus
  • optimization
  • optimization analysis


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