Improving Residential Building Simulations Through Large-Scale Empirical Validation

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


Residential building energy simulations are increasingly used for energy-efficient building design, codes and standards analysis, home certifications and ratings, utility programs, and technology assessments. Various software tools exist to perform residential building simulations, and these tools often use different models, inputs, and assumptions. This leads to inconsistencies that can undermine confidence in the predicted results. Validation of these tools can increase confidence by ensuring their accuracy and consistency. One way to validate simulation tools is through empirical testing, which compares predicted energy usage to measured utility billing data. This paper describes the process of data collection, data standardization, and empirical validation, and illustrates its use with our residential EnergyPlus®-based software. The data and process can be extended to other simulation tools and contribute to improving residential building simulations more broadly.

Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages8
StatePublished - 2022
Event2022 Building Performance Analysis Conference and SimBuild, IBPSA 2022 - Chicago, United States
Duration: 14 Sep 202216 Sep 2022


Conference2022 Building Performance Analysis Conference and SimBuild, IBPSA 2022
Country/TerritoryUnited States

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 American Society of Heating, Refrigeration, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE). All rights reserved.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CP-5500-81581


  • empirical validation
  • residential building simulations
  • weather normalization


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