Shaping Tomorrow's Built Environment Today

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Five different software tools / databases to assist you in your work - available for free.

  • ASHRAE: Service Life and Maintenance Cost Database

    The purpose of this database is to provide current information on service life and maintenance costs of typical HVAC equipment. Engineers depend on accurate owning and operating data to make decisions involving the life cycle and functionality of buildings. However, lack of sufficient up-to-date data makes it difficult to provide a solid basis for those decisions. Previous efforts to collect data through traditional survey methods have produced less than acceptable results.   

    ASHRAE Service Life and Maintenance Cost Database

  • Back-of-the-Envelope Calculator

    Free tool shows energy interactions in buildings

    Energy consumption in buildings is a complicated set of interactions among building components. When it comes to understanding energy efficiency opportunities, it’s useful to see how changing one component affects the whole.

    Energy engineers at the Energy Center of Wisconsin developed the Back-of-the-Envelope Calculator to provide greater initial insight into the energy usage and environmental impacts of a proposed commercial building project.

    The calculator is available for free download and lets you see real-time energy connections among building components, isolate the effects of a change to a single energy parameter or produce concept-level energy estimates. Not only can you see real-time energy connections, but you can calculate total CO2 emissions for a building from both electricity and gas consumption.

    The recently upgraded Back-of-the-Envelope Calculator is more versatile as well. It can now be used to analyze multiple-story buildings, instead of just a single-story building. 

    Download the Back-of-the-Envelope Calculator


    The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) recently announced that an enhanced version of its CONTAM indoor air quality modeling software is now available. CONTAM is the popular NIST tool that predicts airflows and contaminant concentrations in multizone building systems. CONTAM is based on a graphic interface that allows the user to draw floor plans on a "sketchpad" and employ "icons" to represent airflow paths, ventilation system components, and contaminant sources. CONTAM has been used by NIST and others around the world to study the indoor air quality impacts of heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning systems in single-family residential buildings, ventilation in large mechanically ventilated office buildings, radon entry and transport in large residential, office, and school buildings, and the design and analysis of smoke management systems.

    CONTAM may be downloaded free of charge here >>

  • Free software models hybrid geothermal systems

    An easy-to-use, but sophisticated method of analyzing various hybrid geothermal configurations is one piece that has been missing from the world of geothermal analysis tools. This new HyGCHP (Hybrid ground coupled heart pump) modeling tool, fills a gap for engineers and designers by modeling hybrid systems that can lower the up-front costs of geothermal. The tool is based on a study by The Energy Center of Wisconsin with assistance from the University of Wisconsin Solar Energy Laboratory, funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, Alliant Energy, and Madison Gas and Electric.

    pdf_icon.png  More information

    pdf_icon.png Getting started

    Download tool >>

  • The EPA Power Profiler

    This tool will generate a report about the elecricity you use. It takes about five minutes to run and will provide you with details about specific air emissions impacts associated with your electricity use (including average annual pounds of CO2/MWh).

    Try it out here >>