For wizard-based use, virtually no experience with energy analysis is necessary. To use eQUEST's Detailed Interface, however, knowledge of building technology is required. Experience with other energy analysis simulation tools, especially DOE-2 based tools, is helpful.
The primary audience consists of building designers, operators, owners, and energy/LEED consultants. eQUEST is also widely used by regulatory professionals, universities, and researchers.
Inputs can be provided at three levels: schematic design wizard, design development wizard, and detailed (DOE-2) interface. In the wizards, ALL inputs have defaults (based on the California Title 24 building energy code).
Graphical summary reports provide a single-run results summary, a comparative results summary (compares results from multiple separate building simulation runs), and parametric tabular reports (compare annual results by endues, incremental or cumulative results). Additional output includes input/output summary reports (rule-of-thumb and other indices), nonhourly simulation results (tabular/text DOE-2 SIM file reports), hourly simulation results (text and comma-separated variable hourly listings for thousands of simulation variables), and California Title 24 compliance analysis reports.
The unique strength of eQUEST is that it is an energy performance design tool that evaluates whole-building performance throughout the entire design process. Its wizards (schematic, design development, and energy efficiency measure) make it possible for any member of the design team to explore the energy performance of design concepts from the earliest design phase. Its detailed interface (a full-featured Windows front-end for DOE-2.2) supports detailed analysis throughout the construction documents, commissioning, and postoccupancy phases. Its execution speed makes it feasible to perform many evaluations of large models, capturing critical interactions between building systems at the whole-building level. Its rule-based processor provides intelligent dynamic defaults in the interface and enables automated quality control checks of simulation inputs and results and automated Title 24 compliance (certified by the California Energy Commission for use with the 2001 and 2005 Title 24 compliance analysis) and automated Savings By Design analysis (a California new construction efficiency incentive program).