ComStock Analysis Tool
ComStock™ allows stakeholders to better understand how the commercial building stock uses energy and assess how technologies and demand-side management strategies can improve that energy use pattern in the future.
ComStock is a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) model of the U.S. commercial building stock, developed and maintained by NREL. The model uses a sample of building characteristics from DOE's Commercial Prototype Building Models and Commercial Reference Building. Unlike many other building stock models, ComStock combines these with a variety of additional public- and private-sector datasets. Collectively, this information provides high-fidelity building stock representation with a realistic diversity of building characteristics.
Understanding how large groups of commercial buildings use energy throughout the day is a challenge. Individual buildings can be modeled or submetered, but doing so for even moderately sized geographic areas can be prohibitively expensive. Utility-load research data can provide key insights but understanding how demand-side management technologies and strategies will impact energy use is difficult. While matching building energy demand with available energy supplies is now more critical than ever, enabling practitioners to take decisive action remains challenging.
Through support from DOE, researchers at NREL developed ComStock, a sister tool to ResStock™. ComStock relies heavily on several extraordinary efforts spearheaded by private industry, DOE, and academia. Involved stakeholders have enabled ComStock to incorporate and operationalize the following data and modeling capabilities:
- National commercial real estate databases
- Detailed subhourly building simulations
- High-efficiency sampling algorithms
- National and regional energy use surveys
- Advanced metering infrastructure data
- High-performance and cloud computing.
These capabilities represent the work of thousands of researchers and will enable high-fidelity information delivery across stakeholder groups.
ComStock's most notable capability is being able to tailor the results to the question at hand. The results of the model are available at multiple levels:
- Spatial: U.S., census division, climate zone, state, county, and Public Use Microdata Areas geographic resolutions
- Temporal: Annual aggregations to 15-minute simulation intervals
- Sectoral: 14 (and counting) building types.
ComStock provides access to results through a web visualization tool. Additionally, the raw results data sets (estimated at ~10 TB) are available for download. ComStock underwent extensive validation and calibration to both timeseries whole-building and end-use data through the End-Use Load Profiles project and was released in October 2021. ComStock leverages and is deeply indebted to DOE's open-source building energy modeling ecosystem of OpenStudio® and EnergyPlus®. To access ComStock results, and for more detail about the tool, visit the ComStock website.
ComStock’s published results data and building energy models can be used by:
Cities to identify potential opportunities for energy efficiency improvements and renewable energy resources. This can help cities reduce energy use and their carbon footprint. It can also help cities plan for future energy needs by providing information about building energy use patterns and trends.
States to inform energy efficiency policy decisions at a broader scale. This can help states to better understand the energy impact of implementing specific energy efficiency policies and plan for a sustainable, resilient, and climate-safe future.
Manufacturers to inform decisions around the design of energy-efficient products and services. This will enable manufacturers to better understand the potential for different product offerings in a market.
Utilities to inform decisions around their internal planning processes such as integrated resources, transmission and distribution grid, long-term load forecasting, demand-side management, and electrification planning. This will enable utilities to better understand the potential impact of their energy efficiency programs.
Commercial Building Owners to evaluate the energy efficiency of a commercial building portfolio. To make informed decisions about which energy efficiency measures to pursue to reduce energy costs and emissions and meet sustainability goals.
ComStock Reference Documentation: Version 1, NREL Technical Report (2023)
Contact ComStock@nrel.gov to learn how ComStock can benefit your organization.