Create a graphical representation of your building by entering one or more “blocks” to your building. Blocks may be combined to define the general footprint and shape of a building. The TSPR tool is designed to permit modeling a building with multiple blocks that represent building areas with distinctly different energy assets or physical configurations.
See also: TSPR Snapshot #3 - Creating a Building Geometry training video and additional videos and documentation at waenergycodes.com/online_training.
Note: surfaces on blocks that are adjacent to another building or a portion of a building not being modeled may be identified as an ‘interior surface marking project boundary’.
Block Guidelines for TSPR Buildings
It is recommended to use simplified geometry and to minimize the number of blocks entered. Most buildings can and should be considered as one block. Create additional blocks if any of the following situations apply:
- The building is a mixed-use building. Each block can have only one occupancy type (office, library, education, or retail). Create an additional block for each unique use type. The general guideline is to create a unique block for a use type only when the area of the use type is >10% of the GFA of the TSPR building being analyzed, or >2,000 ft2 (whichever is smaller). For example:
- For a 50,000 ft2 building with 44,000 ft2 of office space, and 6,000 ft2 of retail space, create 2 separate blocks since the retail space is retail is 12% of the GFA.
- For a 50,000 ft2 building with 48,500 ft2 of office space, and 1,200 ft2 of retail space, 2 separate blocks are not required since the retail space is 3% of the GFA and is less than 2,000 ft2. The retail portion may be analyzed as Office (unless one of the exceptions listed below applies).
- The portion of the building is served by different HVAC systems. Each block can be served by only one type of HVAC system (DOAS systems can be added as ventilation systems along with a primary heating and cooling system to each block; see DOAS systems for details). Therefore, a single block shall be created for each unique HVAC system and use type combination. Multiple HVAC units of the same type may be represented in one block. Guidance for entering efficiencies for multiple HVAC systems is provided in the Plants, Air Handler and Zone Equipment sections. See also 'Atriums and Corridors'.
- The building footprint cannot be simplified by the available basic footprint shapes: rectangle, L shape, H shape, U shape or T shape (see block inputs for details).
- The building has areas with different numbers of floors (e.g., one portion of the building is 3 stories and another portion is 10 stories), or floor heights. Each block can have a single definition of floor-to-floor or floor-to-ceiling height. Where floor heights differ by more than two feet, unique blocks should be created for the floors with varying heights. For example: atriums would need to be modeled using a separate block.
- The building has both above grade and below grade floors. Each block can include either above grade or below grade floors. For buildings with both above grade and below grade floors, separate blocks should be created for each. For buildings with floors partially above grade and partially below grade, if the total wall area of the floor(s) in consideration is greater than or equal to 50 percent above grade, then it should be simulated as a completely above grade block, otherwise it should be simulated as a below grade block.
- The building has walls with different fenestration types. Each wall on a façade of a block shall have similar vertical fenestration. The product of the proposed design U-factor times the area of windows (UA) on each façade of a given floor cannot differ by more than 15 percent of the average UA for that façade in each block. The product of the proposed design SHGC times the area of windows (SHGC-A) on each façade of a given floor cannot differ by more than 15 percent of the average SHGC-A for that façade in each block. If either of these conditions are not met, additional blocks shall be created consisting of floors with similar fenestration.
For a building model with multiple blocks, the blocks should be configured together to have the same adjacency as the actual building design.
Create a New Block
- Select the Add (plus) icon from the left-hand sidebar.
- Assign a name to your block.
- Enter geometry, orientation and footprint dimensions (see block inputs for details).
- Click the Create Block button to save your entry.
An iconic representation of the building block will be displayed on the Building Project Workspace screen.
Edit an existing block
- Select the blue Edit link under the Block name of the block you wish to edit, as displayed on the left-hand sidebar.
- Click the Update Block button to save your changes.
- Remove a Block by selecting the yellow trash can icon.
Additional Simplification Guidelines
When creating a block (see below), keep in mind the following requirements from section D601.2 of the WSEC:
- The conditioned floor area and volume of each block shall match the proposed design within 10 percent.
- The area of each exterior envelope component from Table C402.1.4 is accounted for within 10 percent of the actual design.
- The area of vertical fenestration and skylights is accounted for within 10 percent of the actual design (see the Construction page for assigning components to blocks, editing window layouts and surfaces).
- The orientation of each block is accounted for within 45 degrees of the actual design.