The LEED™ Gold certified Schlitz Audubon Building is a nature center on a bluff overlooking Lake Michigan just north of Milwaukee, WI. During the project we acted as an energy modeling consultant during the design and development phase of the project and created a TRNSYS based geothermal bore field design tool that allowed the project energy consultants to size the field and to investigate the system performance consequences of both under and oversized designs.
In late 2005, we worked with Professor Michael Utzinger from the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee’s School of Architecture and Urban Planning to install measurement equipment and to record ambient temperature, humidity, carbon dioxide level, wind speed and direction as well as indoor temperature, humidity, and carbon dioxide level at the SANC building. We then used a popular air-flow modeling tool called CONTAM, to develop air flow simulations of the building and its surroundings. By tuning several of the model parameters we were able to closely match the results of the test for the rate at which carbon dioxide is expelled from the building under various natural ventilation control strategies. Natural ventilation is increasingly being used in buildings as an energy saving measure and, as such, is being considered and designed based in large part on the results of simulations. It is of critical importance then that modelers be confident and competent in their application of simulation tools. The SANC air flow study went a long way towards teaching us how to better assess the natural ventilation potential for proposed buildings.
Final Report: “Optimizing the Performance of Building Integrated Photovoltaic Systems; Development and Validation of Simulation Models” Wisconsin Focus on Energy, 2005Bradley, D.E., and D.M. Utzinger, “Natural Ventilation Measurements and Simulation At Two Milwaukee Nature Centers,” IBPSA (International Building Performance Simulation Association – World Conference) Conference Proceedings, August 2006