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Build with Energy Certainty

Energy Engineering

Our advanced planning helps you and your design team strategize and quantify energy efficiency goals while better understanding your facility’s expected energy consumption. Confidently build a greener, more sustainable building with help from the experienced and award-winning energy engineers at VBFA.

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Energy Engineering

Where Forms Meets Function

Building design is about more than the physical space of a facility — it also dictates how the building will perform day in and day out. Thanks to our energy modeling technology, our engineers provide an hourly estimate of energy used by a building over the course of a year. That means you can know with certainty if your facility design will achieve your specified energy goal one, two, or even five years down the road.

Using sophisticated software and virtual modeling tools, we simulate real-world conditions to determine where your building will consume the most energy and why. We then recommend energy-saving design adjustments that will give the greatest impact on consumption before your building takes shape.

Energy engineering is highly valuable for anyone developing a new project with energy consciousness. Not only does it act as an invaluable design assist tool in the early stages of planning, but it also locates energy code compliance issues before construction begins and is a critical component for many third-party sustainability certifications.

Read on to learn more about the energy engineering solutions our VBFA team offers.

Why We Are Utah’s Premier Energy Engineering Firm

Those looking for the most accurate and detailed energy models turn to VBFA for our proven experience and dedicated energy team. Here are just a few reasons our clients return to us again and again:

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Superior Tools

We’ve sought out the most superior modeling tool, Virtual Environment, to go a step further than the status quo in our industry. With our improved platform, our engineers can more fully customize your project to achieve the exact specifications you need.

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Decades of Experience

While the technology has changed, the understanding of key energy consumption principles hasn’t. Our team pulls from years of experience in the most advanced energy efficiency building and design standards — including engineering the first ever net-zero facility in the state of Utah.

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Dedicated Energy Engineering Team

Unlike other firms, we’ve created a focused team of engineers devoted exclusively to energy modeling and innovation. Our priority to energy accuracy is a unique advantage for your project.

“An effective energy model can lead to significant cost-savings when constructing new buildings by increasing efficiency while maintaining occupant comfort.”

– Mack Moulton, Energy Engineer

Recent Work

We’re making many of Utah’s newest and most notable buildings more energy efficient. Browse some of our projects below.



A Lifetime of Greater Efficiency Starts with Smarter Design

While sustainability impacts every area of our engineering services, energy modeling is a service that uniquely highlights our commitment to greener performance in today’s most advanced facilities.

Whatever sustainability goals you are working to achieve, VBFA can make them happen. We understand the unique challenges and opportunities available to net zero or LEED-certified projects because we’ve helped bring projects to fruition that meet the highest standards in energy efficiency available today. Our commitment to realizing your sustainability goals will not only financially benefit your organization for years to come, but will help us engineer a brighter future for all.

Electrical design sustainability | Utah engineering firm in Salt Lake City, UT | VBFA

Our Energy Engineering Services

We’ve successfully engineered projects across Utah and the Intermountain West with the highest possible energy efficiency expectations. Our experience in net zero design and LEED certification gives us the proven skills to deliver the energy expertise you need:

Climate analysis

Daylight Simulation & Climate Analysis

3d building simulation

Pre-Construction 3D Building Simulations

Compliance support

National, State, and Local Compliance Support

Leed energy analysis

LEED Energy Modeling

Life cycle cost analysis

Life-Cycle Cost Analysis

Calibrated energy modeling

Calibrated Energy Modeling for Existing Facilities

About VBFA

Engineering Excellence for More Than 50 Years

From engineering Utah’s first zero energy K-12 project, to being one of the first engineering firms in the state to pursue LEED accreditation, we’ve always had our eye to the future when it comes to sustainability in energy design.

This commitment to progress and professionalism is what allows our team to step up and deliver impressive and unconventional projects other firms can’t. Thanks to the creativity and courage of our newest generation of engineering professionals, we are sustaining the hard-earned VBFA legacy as a prominent industry leader in energy-efficient construction.

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Exceeding Your Expectations is What We Love to Do

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is LEED certification?

LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. According to the U.S. Green Building Council, LEED is the most popular and widely adopted green building rating system in the world. Its framework outlines a healthy, efficient, and cost-saving building design standard that can be applied to nearly any type of building. Today, millions of people around the world live, work, and visit LEED-certified buildings.

What are the 4 levels of LEED certification?

LEED offers four levels of certification that are determined by point values associated with credits available within the LEED framework:

  • Certified (40–49 points)
  • Silver (50–59 points)
  • Gold (60–79 points)
  • Platinum (80+ points)

The LEED credit library is extensive, and includes nine categories ranging from Location and Transportation to Materials and Resources. Credits are available in each category and offer a varying number of points. To achieve LEED certification, your building must meet a minimum of 40 points. Buildings can be certified through LEED for building design and construction, interior design and construction, or for updates to existing buildings.

How do you get LEED certification?

The U.S. Green Building Councils outlines the following four steps to achieve LEED certification:

    1.  Registration: You must first register your project by completing key forms and submitting payment.
    2. Certification: You then receive the certification decision from GBCI based on their review.
    3. Review: Your LEED application is reviewed by Green Business Certification Inc., an American organization responsible for third-party environmental credentialing.
    4. Certification: You then receive the certification decision from GBCI based on their review.

Does VBFA use LEED-approved energy modeling software?

Yes. VBFA uses Virtual Environment by IES to support our energy analysis for all projects, including those projects aiming for specific LEED certification requirements. VE offers fast, accurate, sub-hourly, thermal building simulation for spaces of any size or complexity. With the ability to integrate with our other BIM tools, VE allows for greater manipulation, customization, and understanding of complex energy patterns compared to eQUEST — a platform with wide adoption in the energy engineering field.

What is energy modeling?

Energy modeling is the process of replicating energy systems in a virtual capacity in order to better understand how they will operate. Energy modeling is a widely used term that can be applied to multiple types of models and fields. Building Energy Modeling, or Building Performance Simulations, are more commonly used terms to describe energy modeling within the design and construction industry.

What are the benefits of energy modeling?

Energy modeling is incredibly beneficial in determining the footprint of a project before it is developed. Through a holistic representation, energy performance can be assessed, adapted, and refined to best meet the goals and specifications of a project and its owner. The energy performance predictions created energy models are highly accurate which offers quantifiable results that can lead to effective budgeting and cost savings.

What is BEM?

BEM stands for Building Energy Modeling. BEM is a physics-based software simulation of a building’s total energy use. By inputting the exact specifications of a current or future building, a BEM program can combine building data with local climate data and apply physics to calculate energy factors such as thermal loads and the system response, occupant comfort, and custom energy costs. BEM programs can complete a full year of calculations in increments of 15 minutes to an hour. They also account for system interactions like the ones between lighting and heating/cooling.

What is an ENERGY STAR rating?

Since 1992, ENERGY STAR has been the government-backed symbol for energy efficiency. ENERGY STAR’s reach extends to products, buildings, homes, utilities, and more. When it comes to building standards, ENERGY STAR uses a 1-100 score; this allows you to quickly understand how your building’s overall energy consumption ranks when compared to others. For example, a score of 40-60 represents median energy performance, while a score of 75 or higher indicates your building is a top performer. Top-performing buildings may be eligible for ENERGY STAR certification, a distinction that demonstrates your commitment to energy efficiency.

What is energy engineering?

One of the newest engineering disciplines, energy engineering is concerned with energy efficiency, sustainability, energy services and systems, and environmental compliance. Energy engineers primarily focus on auditing buildings and manufacturing processes to develop the most efficient and sustainable ways to design and operate them.

Utah Engineering Consultant in Salt Lake City, UT | MEP Engineers | VBFA

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