HVAC tab in model data


You can enter details on the cooling system including the maximum capacity (at zone level).

Cooling capacity

The Cooling capacity can either be entered by hand or can be Autosized using the Cooling Design Calculations. If, immediately prior to a Simulation the Cooling capacity has not been entered (neither by hand nor from a previous Cooling Design Calculation) then a Cooling design autosizing simulation is started to calculate the capacity. The Plant sizing building model option controls the way this works.


You can change cooling capacities by hand if you wish but you should bear in mind that, by default, if Model Options change, all heating and cooling capacities are reset to zero. Set the Plant sizing model option to '2-Manual' to avoid this happening.

Supply air conditions

When using Simple HVAC  you can specify the cooling supply air conditions of the air. This data is used for simulations only - cooling design calculations have a specific equivalent setting.

Supply air delivery temperature

The constant dry-bulb air temperature of the air supplied for cooling the zone.

Supply air humidity ratio

The constant humidity ratio (mass of water per mass of dry air) of the cold supply air to be delivered when cooling is required. The default humidity ratio is 0.009. You should be careful to enter a value that is a valid condition, i.e. it is under the 100% saturation line on the Psychrometric Chart.

Cooling Plant


Select the type of fuel used to generate the cooling energy - choose from:


Cooling system CoP (Simple HVAC only).

The cooling system coefficient of performance is used to calculate the fuel consumption required to meet cooling demand. The value represents the total seasonal efficiency of the entire cooling system and should include the effect of all energy consumption associated with building cooling such as fan and pump energy, chiller inefficiency, control equipment etc.


Cooling system CoP data is specified by zone so you can model different cooling efficiencies in each zone. But generally you should access this data from the building level and allow zones to take on building default.

Chiller CoP (Compact HVAC only).

The chiller coefficient of performance is used to calculate the fuel consumption required to meet cooling demand. It represents the total seasonal efficiency of the chiller excluding losses/consumption due to external pumps and fans but including all energy consumed by such ancillary devices within the chiller.


Chiller CoP data is specified for the whole building.

Cooling distribution loss (%)

The cooling distribution loss is the loss of heat (cooling energy) due to the distribution of cold water/air around the building.  It is used to increase the cooling load prior to calculating chiller energy consumption.

VAV Central Cooling Coils

The central AHU cooling coil data is specified for the whole building and is not accessible at zone level.

Cooling coil type

The cooling coil must be one of:



The default is 2-Chilled water.


Note: you can achieve 'free cooling' without a cooling coil by selecting 1-None but you will only get the cooling effect of the HVAC air on the zone if the outside air + any fan pickup is cooler than the zone air temperature.


The difference between switching cooling off altogether (by unchecking the Cooled checkbox) and setting cooling coil type to 1-None is that in the latter case controlled free cooling is possible due to relatively cool outside air being introduced to the building but when cooling is switched off altogether there is no possibility of controlled cooling through the HVAC system.

Off-coil air temperature set point

This data defines the temperature of the air coming off the coils assuming idealised control. Cooling coils are automatically sized by EnergyPlus before the simulation to provide this off coil temperature given the flow rates in the air handling unit.

Cooling coil setpoint reset type

Select the type of automatic reset control for the central cooling supply air temperature. The choices are:



The 2003 ASHRAE Applications Handbook discusses warmest reset control for constant volume systems (p.41.27) and calls it "Supply Air Temperature Reset for Constant Air Volume (CAV)". A requirement is set out in ASHRAE Std 90.1-2004, Appendix G, paragraph G3.1.3.12: Supply air temperature shall be reset based on zone demand from the design temperature difference to a 10°F temperature difference under minimum load conditions. Design air flow rates shall be sized for the reset supply air temperature, i.e., a 10°F temperature difference.


Tip: using Warmest or Outside air temperature cooling coil setpoint reset can drastically improve energy efficiency by reducing the cooling energy delivered to the airstream to the minimum required for occupant comfort.


The DesignBuilder HVAC template default is Warmest for constant volume systems and None for other system types.

Corresponding outdoor high temperature

When using Outdoor air temperature reset, this is the high outdoor temperature at and above which the Design off-coil set point temperature is applied.

Max off-coil set point temperature

Required when using Outdoor air temperature reset and Warmest options, above. When using Outdoor air temperature this data defines the temperature of the air coming off the coils when the outdoor temperature is at or below the outdoor high temperature below.


When using Warmest reset, this is the upper limit on off-coil cooling set point temperature.


In both cases, this value should be higher than the Design off-coil set point temperature.

Corresponding outdoor low temperature

Required when using Outdoor air temperature reset, this data is the low outdoor temperature at and below which the Min off-coil set point temperature is applied.


Unitary Multizone and VAV

When using the 2-Unitary multizone 5-CAV and 3-VAV Compact HVAC system types, the AHU cooling coil operation is defined by AHU cooling coil operation data.


Note: only one set of zone thermostatic control data is used per Unitary multizone system - this is the zone for which Thermostatic control zone for unitary system is selected.

Unitary Single zone and Fan Coil Units

Cooling operation schedules are set at zone level and there is no central plant apart from the chiller.


Note: for all systems, cooling setpoint temperatures are defined on the Activity tab.

Zone setpoint schedule

This schedule data is used in conjunction with the cooling setpoint temperatures on the Activity tab to define the cooling demand in the zone by creating a cooling setpoint schedule. The schedule defines the times when full and setback setpoints should be met and the setpoint data on the Activity tab define the actual setpoint values. See Defining setpoint temperature schedules for more on this.