Users of CBECC-Com should have the following expertise:
- Understanding of the Title 24 energy efficiency standards
- Understanding of the energy modeling process
- For models that use detailed 3-D geometry, experience using SketchUp with the OpenStudio plug-in is required to create the geometric model. Note that CBECC-Com also has a "simplified geometry" input that does not require SketchUp, but rather asks users to enter surface areas/orientations to define geometry.
In-person training courses are offered semi-regularly by the California utilities. The training syllabus and course materials are also available for free download here: http://bees.archenergy.com/faq.html
CBECC-Com is used by:
- Energy Analysts
- Energy Code Regulators
- Energy Policy Research Analysts
- Utility Program Managers
- Utility Program Implementers
Inputs are provided through a graphical user interface (GUI). CBECC-Com has a basic GUI, or alternative GUIs from third-party vendors can be used. A list of approved third-party vendors is provided here: http://www.energy.ca.gov/title24/2016standards/2016_computer_prog_list.html.
The GUI generates an input text file using a data model based on the "Standards Data Dictionary" (SDD). The SDD input file has a file extension of .cibd (text file representation) or .xml (XML file representation). These inputs are designed to be representative of terminology and units that are consistent with the energy code, and information that is readily available from design drawings or manufacturer's published specifications.
When a compliance analysis is performed, the SDD input file is translated to both an OpenStudio model (OSM) and EnergyPlus input file (IDF). The IDF file is ultimately used to perform the energy simulation in EnergyPlus to generate the predicted energy performance of the building.
CBECC-Com provides options for what output files are generated. Upon completion of an analysis, a pop-up results screen will display the performance of the proposed design compared to the code baseline (known as the "Standard Design" in California's Title 24) and will indicate if the building complies with the energy code requirmenets. Additionally, an output report called the NRCC-PRF-01 is created as a PDF form. This is the form used to demonstrate compliance and is part of a submittal to a building department during the building permitting process.
Users also have the option to generate various CSV reports that document the building inputs and outputs, EnergyPlys reports, and SQL output data.
- User inputs are based on real-world terminology rather than arcane energy modeling terminology
- Full capabilities to perform code compliance with automated baseline generation including all of the complex "exceptions" in the code
- Tight control of the analysis process to ensure that the results are valid by restricting the ability to tamper with inputs and outputs, and security protocols to ensure that output reports are fully representative of the analyzed building