A methodology to create prototypical building energy models for existing buildings: A case study on U.S. religious worship buildings

Yunyang Ye, Kathryn Hinkelman, Jian Zhang, Wangda Zuo, Gang Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Prototypical building energy models are of great significance because they are the starting point in conducting analyses for various applications, such as building energy saving potential analysis, building design, building energy market evaluation, and building energy policy-making. However, current prototypical building energy models only represent limited types of buildings in certain countries. To fill the gap, this paper proposes a methodology to systematically create prototypical building energy models. First, a six-step methodology is introduced: model input identification, data collection, data cleaning, data conversion, model simulation, and model calibration. Then, the methodology is demonstrated by a case study of creating 30 prototypical energy models for U.S. religious worship buildings, representing buildings in 15 climate zones and 2 vintages (pre- and post-1980). Finally, to show the applications of the models, the building energy saving potentials from six efficiency measures are analyzed for pre-1980 U.S. religious worship buildings in three ASHRAE Climate Zones. The results show that the maximum energy saving potentials are approximately 30% for the religious worship buildings in all three climate zones investigated, indicating significant opportunities for energy savings in these buildings through their prototypical building model development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)351-365
Number of pages15
JournalEnergy and Buildings
StatePublished - Jul 1 2019



  • Energy saving potential
  • Prototypical building energy models
  • Religious worship building

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

Cite this