[Bldg-sim] DOE Commercial Building Benchmark Models for eQuest or EnergyPlus to eQuest Converter

Joe Huang yjhuang at whiteboxtechnologies.com
Tue Apr 26 23:19:58 PDT 2011

Since this topic has been brought to my attention from four separate 
sources in the last two months, I've decided to
post a little history about my role in the development of what's now 
called the DOE Commercial Building Benchmarks
(CBB) which may answer some of your questions

When I was still working at LBNL, I had worked for over ten years, 
mostly for the Gas Research Institute but later for
DOE, in developing prototypical buildings first for 60 multi-family 
(1988), 128 single-family (1990), and then 481` commercial buildings 
(1992), all implemented in DOE-2.1E.

In 2004, I was asked by DOE to update the commercial building 
prototypes  (16 building types x 2 vintages x 5 climate zones) to then 
current ASHRAE 90.1 requirements, refine the building geometry or 
architectural layout to "real" buildings (something I wanted to do), 
convert the files from DOE-2 to EnergyPlus (something that DOE wanted me 
to do), and then share them with NREL and PNNL. That project lasted for 
two years (2005-2007), and resulted in the first version of what's now 
called the DOE Commercial Building Benchmarks, which were turned over to 
DOE, NREL, and PNNL in June 2007, just at which time I retired from LBNL 
(no cause and effect implied here, by any means!).

I've heard from others that NREL has continued to work on them, which is 
good because my modeling of the HVAC system and plant in EnergyPlus was 
shaky (more about why this was so later). However, since I've had 
virtually no  communications with NREL about this since my retirement,  
I have no idea of what NREL has done with the (EnergyPlus) files since 
then. I suppose my retirement was a  convenient excuse  for keeping me 
out of the loop,
although any of my friends or acquaintances know well that I'm still 
quite active in the field.

Most of the enquires I get about the CBB, like this current post, ask 
whether there are DOE-2 or eQUEST  versions.
This strikes me as very ironic, since my original work was all in 
DOE-2.1E, and even when I converted them to EnergyPlus, all the 
development work was done in DOE-2 and then converted to EnergyPlus 
using doe2ep, a
DOE-2.1E to EnergyPlus conversion program that I'm also responsible for 
a Californiia Energy Commission project.
In fact, on my deliverables to DOE, NREL, and PNNL, there were always 
two subdirectories - DOE-2 and EnergyPlus,
although  unsurprisingly the DOE-2 files were always ignored.

To tell the truth, I was never comfortable with the CBB released only as 
EnergyPlus files, because I felt that the real value of the CBB lie in 
the building characterizations, which should be independent of the 
simulation program used.  I'm also
not thrilled that the CBB exist as a hundred-some separate EnergyPlus 
IDF files (please correct me if that has changed. That's fine if one 
wants to simply rerun the files, but what would be the point of doing 
that?  In most cases, people want the files as templates  to explore 
various alternatives.

So, what is the current status of  the DOE-2 files that I created for 
the CBB Version 1?  They are publicly available on my  Web site as 

Joe Huang
White Box Technologies, Inc.
346 Rheem Blvd., Suite 108D
Moraga CA 94556
yjhuang at whiteboxtechnologies.com
(o) (925)388-0265
(c) (510)928-2683
"building energy simulations at your fingertips"

Jeff Haberl wrote:
> Hello,
> I'm told by a good authority that these files were created originally as DOE-2.1e files and then converted to Energyplus. However, the only versions available are EnergyPlus. There might be a possibility that these could be made available if enough people could use them.
> Jeff
> 8=!  8=)  :=)  8=)  ;=)  8=)  8=(  8=)  8=()  8=)  8=|  8=)  :=')  8=)8=?
> Jeff S. Haberl, Ph.D.,P.E., FASHRAE..............jhaberl at tamu.edu
> Professor............................................................Office Ph: 979-845-6507
> Department of Architecture.............................Lab Ph:979-845-6065
> Energy Systems Laboratory.............................FAX: 979-862-2457
> Texas A&M University.....................................77843-3581
> College Station, Texas, USA, 77843..................URL:www.esl.tamu.edu
> 8=/  8=)  :=)  8=)  ;=)  8=)  8=()  8=)  :=)  8=)  8=!  8=)  8=? 8=)8=0
> ________________________________________
> From: bldg-sim-bounces at lists.onebuilding.org [bldg-sim-bounces at lists.onebuilding.org] on behalf of David Hostetter [dhostetter at centerpointeng.net]
> Sent: Tuesday, April 26, 2011 7:01 AM
> To: bldg-sim at lists.onebuilding.org
> Subject: [Bldg-sim] DOE Commercial Building Benchmark Models for eQuest or      EnergyPlus to eQuest Converter
> All,
> Does anyone know if the DOE Commercial Building Benchmark Models are available as eQuest files, or if there is a way to convert EnergyPlus files to eQuest?
> Thanks in advance!!
> Sincerely,
> David P. Hostetter, E.I.T.
> Mechanical Designer
> CenterPoint Engineering Inc.
> 2 Market Plaza Way
> Mechanicsburg, PA  17055
> Phone:  717-795-8575
> Fax:  717-795-9110
> dhostetter at centerpointeng.net<mailto:dhostetter at centerpointeng.net>
> CenterPoint Engineering's Mission Statement:
> CenterPoint Engineering provides innovative engineering solutions to transform our customer's vision into reality in a timely, accurate, and cost effective manner. By empowering associates, we will create a healthy economic environment for all stake holders as a world class organization.
> This e-mail message and any files transmitted with it are intended for the use of the individual or entity to which they are addressed and may contain information that is privileged, proprietary and confidential. If you are not the intended recipient, you may not use, copy or disclose to anyone the message or any information contained in the message. If you have received this communication in error, please notify the sender and delete this e-mail message. The contents do not represent the opinion of CenterPoint Engineering except to the extent that it relates to their official business.
> _______________________________________________
> Bldg-sim mailing list
> http://lists.onebuilding.org/listinfo.cgi/bldg-sim-onebuilding.org
> To unsubscribe from this mailing list send  a blank message to BLDG-SIM-UNSUBSCRIBE at ONEBUILDING.ORG

More information about the Bldg-sim mailing list