Energy Calculations
ASHRAE Technical Committee 4.7

General questions about TC 4.7

What are the aims and scope of TC4.7?

ASHRAE’s Technical Committee 4.7 ‘Energy Calculations’ is concerned with identifying, evaluating, developing, and recommending procedures for calculating energy performance of buildings. Accordingly, TC 4.7 procures research projects, organizes program events, prepares handbook information and is responsible for standards relating to energy calculation.

How is TC 4.7 organized?

TC 4.7 is organized as a main committee with four subcommittees. The three topical subcommittees are Applications, Inverse methods, and Simulation and Component Models. In addition, a handbook subcommittee prepares and updates the Energy Estimating and Modeling Methods of the Handbook of Fundamentals. Research, Programs, and Standards are handled by each of the topical subcommittees, with all activities coordinated by one member of the committee.

What is the scope of the Simulation and Component models Subcommittee?

The Simulation and Component Models subcommittee is concerned with the development of deterministic models, algorithms, and computational frameworks for energy calculations. This includes models of both building heat transfer, and HVAC plant/equipment.

Deterministic models are the basis of what are normally thought of as ‘energy calculation programs’ and also ‘component’ and ‘equation’ based simulation programs. Such models are commonly used in the ‘forward’ mode – performance is the output of the model given boundary conditions and model parameters. The input data and parameters of such models can come from design data and historical weather data, but can also come from measurements and a calibration process.

What is the scope of the Data-driven Modeling Subcommittee?

The Data-driven Modeling subcommittee is concerned with development of models, algorithms and computational frameworks for energy calculations that use existing (historical) building energy consumption data.

Such models and algorithms are used to analyze the energy impact of retrofits to existing buildings and in support of energy management decisions. These models can be thought of as working in ‘backwards’ mode and use historical data and fewer estimated parameters. They are aimed at modeling ‘as built’ energy performance.

What is the scope of the Applications Subcommittee?

The Applications subcommittee is concerned with the application of both deterministic and inverse methods to the following activities:
1.     Design of new buildings and systems
2.     Assessing the energy impact of design retrofits
3.     Supporting energy management decisions
4.     In support of energy codes (e.g. ASHRAE standard 90.1).

What is the scope of the Handbook Subcommittee?

The Handbook subcommittee is concerned with developing and maintaining material that appears in the ASHRAE handbooks relating to energy calculation. The subcommittee works with handbook subcommittees of other TCs and the special publications department of ASHRAE in preparing the handbook material on a regular handbook update cycle. TC 4.7 is currently responsible for the ‘Energy Estimation and Modeling Methods’ chapter in the ‘Fundamentals’ Handbook.

How can I contribute to TC 4.7?

TC 4.7 meets at ASHRAEs semi-annual meetings. The meetings are open for anybody to attend – ASHRAE members, non-members and visitors. The committee (and other interested parties) also communicate using an email list. All of the work of the committee is done on a voluntary basis. You do not have to be a formal member of the committee to volunteer for anything although some activities, such as project evaluation subcommittees require meeting attendance for participation. ASHRAE keeps a roster of the committees voting members and corresponding members. If you want to be a corresponding member you can fill in a card at the summer meeting when the roster is updated.

You do not have to be a formal member of the committee to be on a subcommittee. The subcommittees are often looking for volunteers to organize program events and prepare research project proposals (RTARs and Work statements). If you are interested in working on a research proposal you are encouraged to find one or more other people involved with the relevant subcommittee to work with.