HVAC Load Programs

HVAC Load Programs thumbnail

Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) loads are what engineers and architects call the amount of heating and/or air conditioning that a building’s space will require. It is necessary to calculate these loads as accurately as possible so that the HVAC equipment chosen for the building is neither too weak nor too powerful to condition the space. Many HVAC load programs are available to help calculate these loads. The programs use building models of varying complexity, as well as other building data, such as climate, proposed occupancy and space usage to calculate the amount of heating and cooling needed.

eQuest and DOE-2

    eQuest is a free building simulation program that helps calculate HVAC loads. It works with the DOE-2 platform and was developed by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory with significant funding from the U.S. Department of Energy. This program can separate building loads by zone, with more than 60 types of HVAC systems to choose from. In addition to HVAC loads, eQuest calculates energy use, provides energy efficiency suggestions, and calculates both incremental and cumulative savings.

    Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

    Mail Stop 90-3147

    1 Cyclotron Road

    Berkeley, California 94720




    Ecotect combines 3D modeling with load and energy analysis capabilities. Originally developed by Cardiff University in Canada, it was recently purchased by Autodesk, the company that produces AutoCAD, a common computer drafting program in the United States. Autodesk has integrated Ecotect into its Building Information Modeling (BIM) software family, making it easier for many people to use and integrate with their existing software tools. Ecotect not only provides load calculations, but also whole building energy analysis, thermal performance, water usage, solar radiation and daylighting calculations.

    Autodesk, Inc.

    111 McInnis Parkway

    San Rafael, CA 94903



Trace 700

    This program was developed by Trane, a manufacturer of HVAC equipment. It is a load, building system, energy usage and cost analysis software that is used by approximately 2,100 firms around the world according to the U.S. Department of Energy. This program has integrated Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards as well as engineering standards for HVAC from the American Society of Heating Refrigeration and Air-conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE).


    3600 Pammel Creek Road

    La Crosse, Wisconsin 54601



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