All ETDs from UAB

Advisory Committee Chair

Hessam Taherian

Advisory Committee Members

David L Littlefield

Peter M Walsh

Document Type


Date of Award


Degree Name by School

Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering (MSME) School of Engineering


With rising energy costs and a move towards more efficient buildings, developing methods to predict energy usage has become more important than in past years. This study delineates a method for creating and verifying a baseline energy model. This baseline energy model is then modified to test various possible retrofits to identify their potential benefits on the building’s energy usage. This baseline is of the Hoehn Engineering Building located at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). The building being over 30 years old and having little focus on energy efficient upgrades makes it an excellent candidate for energy modeling. The 3D model was created using Sketchup[1] and OpenStudio[2] was used for the data entry. The model was run using EnergyPlus[3] over a one-year period giving, the potential electrical and gas usage of the building during this time period. The model was tested against data drawn from utility bills for three specific years as well as a 10-year average. With the created model, several retrofits were tested containing both capital and non-capital types. This data was compared to the baseline to identify the potential benefits of the retrofits to help identify which would be possibly viable.

Included in

Engineering Commons



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