eQUEST – Building Energy Use Analysis Tool


eQUEST is a sophisticated, yet easy-to-use building energy use analysis tool which provides professional-level results with an affordable level of effort. This freeware tool was designed to allow you to perform detailed analysis of today’s state-of-the-art building design technologies using today’s most sophisticated building energy use simulation techniques, but without requiring extensive experience in the “art” of building performance modelling. This is accomplished by combining a building creation wizard, an energy efficiency measure (EEM) wizard and a graphical results display module with an enhanced DOE-2-derived (software) building energy use simulation programme.

eQUEST features a building creation “wizard” that walks you through the process of creating an effective building energy model. This involves following a series of steps that describe the features of the design that would impact energy use, such as:

  • architectural design
  • HVAC (heating, ventilating, and air conditioning) equipment
  • building type and size
  • floor plan layout
  • construction materials
  • area usage and occupancy
  • lighting system

The eQUEST building creation wizard first requests the most general information about the building design, and then delves into progressively deeper detail. In all, the building description process comprises 23 data-entry steps – each represented by a “wizard” screen. At each step of describing your building design, the wizard provides easy-to-understand choices of component and system options. It also offers advice in the form of “intelligent defaults” for each choice. In addition, eQUEST automatically skips steps that do not apply to the chosen design.

Although the building description process can get quite detailed, it isn’t necessary to complete every single step in the wizard. If chosen, the user can “bail out” of the description process once he/she is satisfied with the level of detail. At that point, the wizard fills in any missing information using the eQUEST “intelligent default” process.

After compiling a building description, eQUEST produces a detailed simulation of the building, as well as an estimate of how much energy it would use. Although these results are generated quickly, they are quite accurate because this software utilises the full capabilities of DOE-2 (the latest version of a well-respected and popular building energy simulation program developed over the last 20 years by the U.S. DOE). Within eQUEST, DOE-2 performs an hourly simulation of your building design for a one-year period. It calculates heating or cooling loads for each hour of the year, based on the factors such as:

  • walls
  • windows
  • glass
  • people
  • plug loads
  • ventilation

DOE-2 also simulates the performance of:

  • fans
  • pumps
  • other energy-consuming devices

During the simulation, DOE-2 also tabulates your building’s projected energy use for various end uses, such as:

  • lighting
  • plug loads (computers, appliances, copiers, etc.)
  • heating
  • cooling
  • ventilation
  • pumping

eQUEST offers several graphical formats for viewing simulation results. For instance, the user can display graphs of estimated overall building energy on an annual or monthly basis. The user can also compare the performance of alternative building designs. In addition, eQUEST allows you to perform multiple simulations and view the alternative results in side-by-side graphics. It offers:

  • energy cost estimating
  • daylighting and lighting system control
  • automatic implementation of common energy efficiency measures (by selecting preferred measures from a list)

The current version of eQUEST provides even more comprehensive analysis capability. It allows the advanced user to input additional building details to analyse complex buildings. A three-dimensional view of


NODES strategic objectiveContribution
Enhance accessibility and integration 0
Enhance intermodality 0
Enhance liveability +
Increase safety and security conditions 0
Increase economic viability and costs efficiency +
Stimulate local economy +
Increase environmental efficiency ++
Increase energy efficiency ++

Good practice

The Epsten Group is a high-performance building specialist. Moreover it is a multidisciplinary sustainable design and consulting firm providing a diverse range of services in all phases, from programming to occupancy. The Epsten Group provides energy simulations in the eQUEST software tool.



kW Engineering aims to optimise building design to achieve energy and carbon reduction. To simulate energy use, kW Engineering uses eQUEST.


Potential interchange performance improvement

Imagine a building energy simulation tool comprehensive enough to be useful to ALL design team members, yet so intuitive ANY design team member could use it, in ANY or ALL design phases, including schematic design. eQUEST is aptly named because it provides something that you have been looking for, but have been unable to find: a sophisticated, yet easy-to-use building energy analysis tool. With eQUEST, you will be able to provide professional-level results with an affordable level of effort.


The eQUEST software tool is free of charge.

The tool runs on Windows 8/7/Vista/XP, and previous versions of Windows dating back to Win98. eQUEST does not run on Mac OSX, iOS, Android, or other operating systems.