• OpenStudio is a cross-platform (Windows, Mac, and Linux) collection of software tools to support whole building energy modeling using EnergyPlus and advanced daylight analysis using Radiance.
  • BEopt (Building Energy Optimization) software provides capabilities to evaluate residential building designs and identify cost-optimal efficiency packages at various levels of whole-house energy savings along the path to zero net energy. (Note: BEopt currently supports single family designs, but multifamily capabilities are expected to be released in July 2015. However, this release will be limited to 5-story buildings, so OpenStudio is a better option for taller multifamily buildings.)
  • SketchUp is a free, easy to use 3-D modeling software
  • SketchUpPlugin can analyze sun and shading on a building and between buildings and objects.
  • National Renewable Energy Lab’s (NREL) PVWatts Grid Data Calculator estimates annual energy production and performance data for solar PV based on typical meteorological year weather data.
  • NREL’s System Advisor Model (SAM) is a performance and financial model designed for renewable energy projects and industry professionals.
  • AutoCAD WS is a free tool that allows you to open and edit DWG files in a web browser.

Additional Section Examples

Leddy Maytum Stacy Architects.

DSA Architects.

Additional Resources: Building Details


Historical Development of the Building Enclosure by John Straube

The Perfect Wall by Joe Lstiburek Thermal Control in Buildings by John Straube

Air Flow Control in Buildings by John Straube

Can Highly Glazed Building Facades Be Green? by John Straube

Thermal Bridges Redux, Building Science Insight-062 by Joe Lstiburek


High Performance Enclosures, John Straube, Building Science Press, 2012.

Fundamentals of Building Construction: Materials and Methods, Edward Allen and Joseph Iano, Wiley, 2008.

Additional Resources: Space Heating, Water Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning + Refrigeration

Energy Efficient Multifamily Housing, Environmental Building News, July 2011 Issue

HVAC in Multifamily Buildings, Building Science Corporation, Building Science Digest-110

Multifamily Design Guide for Energy Efficiency, Energy Design Resources

Solar Ready Buildings Planning Guide, National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)

Ventilation in Multifamily Buildings, Building America Program

Air Sealing Guide, Steve Winter Associates

Pages 117-121, 4.7.3 Prescriptive Requirements – Only applicable to High-Rise Residential and Hotel/Motel, from Chapter 4: Mechanical Systems Serving Non-Process Spaces of the Nonresidential Compliance manual – Second Draft for the 2013 Building Energy Efficiency Standards

The Green Studio Handbook, Alison Kwok, Walter Grondzik, Routledge, 2011.

Heating, Cooling, Lighting: Sustainable Design Methods for Architects, Norbert Lechner, Wiley, 2008.