The Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) has made a modeling software suite designed to provide details on every building within the U.S. and support the creation of digital twins that represent these buildings.
Automatic Building Energy Modeling or AutoBEM can use publicly available data to help urban planners identify areas that require an update, ORNL said Wednesday.
AutoBEM uses satellite imagery and other public data sources to provide information on a building's size, energy makeup and other externally observable characteristics such as floor count, window count and heating, ventilation and cooling systems.
Joshua New leads ORNL’s research team, which publicly released the AutoBEM models earlier in 2021.
“To build AutoBEM, we looked at many of the available data sources and created partnerships with the people that are in the business of generating this data, like satellite, aerial and street view imagery, LiDAR data and other types of databases,” New said.
DOE expects the tool would help buildings contribute to the department's goal of achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, as buildings represent 40 percent of U.S. energy consumption.