[Bldg-sim] Trace 700 vs eQuest

Brandon Nichols BrandonN at Hargis.biz
Thu Jan 10 11:15:04 PST 2008

Take a look at the DOE2 docuementation PDF's to get a real feel for the
input capabilities of eQuest.  eQuest is, fundamentally, a "training
wheels GUI" for DOE2.  IMHO eQuest/DOE2 provides greater modeling
options than Trace 700, but the learning curve is "inversely
proportional to the cube of your overall computing systems expertise"
We're a 100 plus person MEP firm, and to master (well, begin mastering)
eQuest/DOE2 we essentially dedicated an experienced engineer/computer
guy to do energy studies for a year.   Several junior engineers rotate
as-needed to help out, since as it stands right now there's a fair
amount of technical front-end work to do for every project in first
defining the envelope before proceeding engineering modeling.  
Same with Trace, but my issue with Trace is that it lacks visual
feedback as to what the model looks like -- I don't (and who really
does) have time to backcheck a pile of output text reports defining the
building envelope.  eQuest provides a crude but effective 3D color-coded
graphic that provides a quick backchck of model features -- essentially
immediate feedback on missing walls, windows, roofs etc.
Am looking forward to the day when drawing data can be read directly by
eQuest or EnergyPlus (E+ has a long-promised SketchUp module in the
works), but it hasn't yet arrived.  We hear that IES can do it for Revit
projects, but we jost don't have any Revit projects in the queue right
Brandon Nichols, PE, LEED(r) AP

600 Stewart Street

Suite 1000

Seattle, WA 98101



d | 206.436.0400  c | 206.228.8707

o | 206.448.3376  f  | 206.448.4450



From: bldg-sim-bounces at lists.onebuilding.org
[mailto:bldg-sim-bounces at lists.onebuilding.org] On Behalf Of Sherie E.
Sent: Thursday, January 10, 2008 5:35 AM
To: bldg-sim at lists.onebuilding.org
Subject: [Bldg-sim] Trace 700 vs eQuest

My company has used Trace for many years with the main purpose to
calculate loads.  Trace has continued to evolve.  However, with the
evolution the program has become more and more detailed for input.
Additionally, the time it takes to calculate results alone can be
extremely lengthy (5+ hours with full year weather data).  Now that the
need for energy modeling especially for LEED has dramatically increased,
I am currently modeling several projects using Trace.  In talking with a
few architects and even a third party energy modeler, they are using
I realize there is a learning curve for energy modeling as well as new
software.  However, my company is looking for an energy modeling program
that allows for straight forward input and reliable/accurate results.
I have downloaded eQuest and spent a few hours looking at the program
and capabilities.  At first glance eQuest appears to not be as detailed
in its inputs.
Does anyone have any experience with Trace and eQuest?  Pros vs Cons for
energy modeling?
Thanks in advance,
Sherie Hensley P.E., LEED AP
Mechanical Engineer
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