5 Reasons Why Being An Energy Modeler is Awesome
1. Working Remote
Most energy modelers who are practitioners work either in architecture, MEP, or consultant firm. Usually, an energy model in the work isn't going to stop construction or affect the design process of other trades. What I'm saying is the nature the work doesn't require you to be there like an ER doctor. Of course, it's helpful to be in the office, especially when you discuss the options you need to do and communicate in person. Work faster and smarter doesn't always happen at a prison, but at a place where you feel comfortable to be creative and successful.
Flexible doesn't always mean work remotely, but it is also how and when you work. Design meetings, LEED, compliance modeling, and incentive modeling all have different timelines and project behaviors and working style. After all, each type of energy model you need is like a completely different twin. Yes, a LEED model, a compliance model or a model for Saving by Design or that Incentive Program are look the same and have one parent (the modeler, you). And yet, they have different needs, requirements, and components - sometimes literally in another software. It will takes sometimes to perfect your workflow and settling in with your favorite software. Our tendency as humans or at least for the lazy ones like me is to find the most efficient way possible when doing repetitive tasks. Once you are surfing on that learning curve, you have more creativity and flexibility in choosing how and when to get things done.
3. Make an impact.
Remember that idealist you in college? Remember all those Disney Original Movies (whether you were 10 back then or watching them with your kids) telling us we can make a difference? Si se puede? (Translation: "Yes, we can!")
Sure, down the road, you learn that the cheapest options and developers have all the steers, while you're crunching to the number to "make things work". But then there are days when you work with designers, developers, and sustainability managers who simply dare to do something different, share the vision you do, and have a baby together that you'll always refer to on your quals. Probably for many of us, this is the driving motivation we can all stand by and be proud of together whether you are in the same firm or not. Cheers to you, squad.
4. You get to be a creative scientist, too.
This is a touch on a nerdier side. If you are an inner creative introvert but went to STEM for job security instead of some art school because you're afraid of turning into a starving comic artist you always wanted to be when you were little, you get to create cool graphics that are based on logical numerical outputs. It's all the buzz these days. Plus you get that little high, admiring all that hard work in producing that one really cool recommendation graph to either validate what's working or highlight a problem that's overlooked.
5. Pick your career avenues.
Sometimes, it feels like you got to be good at everything and have a basic understanding of the trades (mechanical, architecture, electrical, plumbing, a touch of computer science in terms of scripting and data analysis, and sometimes policy/regulations). Even though you're in a niche, you work combine disciplines and interdisciplinary fields, almost making you a wizard. And your wand is that mouse making that magical black box showers the project with unicorn poop. At the end of the day, when you're tired of being the simulation wizard, learning some of the different disciplines allows you to tap that wand to your next adventure.
So there you have it. All the reasons energy modelers are probably magical creatures on our good days. Do you agree with this list? What other reasons have we missed?