Honors College Capstone Experience/Thesis Projects

Department

Engineering

Document Type

Thesis

Abstract

Buildings are complex systems - even "simple" residential structures. Many factors go into building energy consumption and the design to reduce it. Computer energy modeling allows the simultaneous consideration and balance of many of those variables. Computer models are only as good as the information provided however. Tools like blower door and duct blaster can be used to aid in verifying the model or to provide more information to build a better model. In order to verify of building computer energy simulation methods, the Western Kentucky University (WKU) Office of Sustainability located at 503 Regents Ave. in Bowling Green KY was selected for blower door analysis. The building is a residential structure constructed in 1931, which was acquired by WKU and repurposed as office space. In 2014, a proposal was made outlining improvements to make the building LEED certified with a goal of making the building net zero in its energy consumption. A blower door test was run pre and post mitigation. Using blower door measurements to assess infiltration and exfiltration of air flow through the building envelope, a post analysis was conducted with the aid of building modeling software. Using collected geometrical and blower door measurements a model was constructed and compared to the previous year's utility record. For this analysis, EnergyPlus™ was used using BEopt as an interface.

Advisor(s) or Committee Chair

Dr. Robert Choate

Disciplines

Computer-Aided Engineering and Design | Energy Systems | Mechanical Engineering | Sustainability

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