Designing for Performance: Who, What, When, Why… and How? (1 HSW)


*A Live Webinar is available for those unable to attend the event in person. See registration here: 




Building performance analysis has evolved beyond simple energy code compliance, which was often addressed late in the design process. Architects and their consultants now utilize building performance analysis as a design tool throughout the design process to achieve occupant comfort, study building massing and facade optimization, access to daylight, LEED ratings, and 2030 Commitment goals, just to name a few! Designing for optimal building performance can be a complex undertaking, and architects seek a straightforward time-conscious roadmap to reach their performance goals and maximize design excellence.

Building performance specialist Maria Grimm, mechanical engineer Dimitri Contoyannis, and architect Brad Jacobson will discuss the basics of the building performance analysis process. This session will cover why and when designers should be doing it, who is doing it, and importantly, how it can be integrated into the design process. Maria will kick-off the conversation by going over the importance of setting performance goals, and she will give an introduction to the basic building performance analysis process. Dimitri will present his recent research into the successes and hurdles facing architects who incorporate building performance analysis into the design process. Brad will share lessons-learned and how EHDD has successfully integrated building performance analysis – internally and externally – into the design process.

This presentation will be held in-person at the AIASF, and will be simulcast via internet in collaboration with the Pacific Energy Center.


Don’t miss the other events in this series, held at the AIA San Francisco with accompanying simulcast webinar:

Monday, October 28, 2019; 12 PM:
Designing for Performance: Who, What, When, Why… and How?

Tuesday November 19th 12:00-1:30pm:
Integrating Energy Analysis in the Design Process  

Monday November 25th 12:00-1:30pm:
Can Architects do their Own Energy Analysis and Modeling? (Concept Design Phase)

Wednesday December 11th 12:00-1:30pm:
Effective Integration of Energy Modeling During the SD & DD Phase



  • Define the term ‘building performance analysis’ and how it differs from code compliance energy modeling
  • Understand the importance of setting performance goals and benchmarks and starting building performance analysis early in the design process
  • Understand the building performance analysis timeline and what tasks the architect can tackle versus when to call an expert
  • Learn how architects are currently using building performance analysis – from lessons learned, points of failure, to success stories



Maria Grimm, M. Arch, LEED AP BD+C

Building Performance Specialist & Associate, Meyers+ Engineers

Coming from a background in architecture, Maria began working in high performance design in 2010. Since then, she has worked on a large portfolio of high performance projects and has developed an expertise in passive and low energy design. Maria’s passion for the environment drives her dedication to each project and she strives to find the most pertinent solution for each project because she believes performance is more important than points. Maria specializes in setting high performance energy and water benchmarks and is an expert in indoor environmental quality including daylight design, visual comfort, and thermal comfort.


Dimitri Contoyannis, P.E., LEED AP, Certified Energy Manager (CEM)
Mechanical Engineer, Energy Modeler, Software Development Expert
President, Model Efficiency

Dimitri Contoyannis is President of Model Energy. Prior to founding Model Energy in February of 2019, he was Director of NORESCOs Codes and Standards team. He has more than 15 years of engineering experience and is responsible for overseeing projects with code enforcement agencies, utility companies, standards organizations, and non-profit agencies to support their aggressive energy efficiency goals. He has produced and reviewed energy models in support of utility rebate programs, LEED certification, and mechanical system design. Mr. Contoyannis also has a background in developing energy modeling tools for industry professionals. He previously worked on developing the Commercial Building Energy Modeling Guidelines and Procedures (COMNET) and led rules-based energy software development projects as an employee of Integrated Environmental Solutions (IES).

Mr. Contoyannis led NORESCOs projects with California Energy Commission (CEC) for providing technical support for Title 24 development and activities supporting the CECs Existing Buildings Energy Efficiency Action Plan. He led the project team responsible for the development of the Nonresidential Compliance Software CBECC-Com from 2011 through 2018. He is also actively involved in training CBECC-Com to the modeling community statewide and at local ASHRAE and IBPSA chapter meetings.


Brad Jacobson, AIA, LEED AP
Principal, EHDD

Brad is a Principal at EHDD, an architectural design firm based in San Francisco. His focus is on helping clients lead the way towards a carbon neutral built environment by 2050, starting with all electric, grid optimal buildings today. Six of the firm’s projects have been named AIA COTE® Top Ten Green Projects.



If you have not already done so, please create an account on the website here (you will need this to sign up for all AIA events); AIASF members will automatically have a profile on the AIASF website. You do not need to be an AIA member to register with the website or to attend events – everyone is welcome. While logged into your account, complete your registration by clicking the “register” button at the top right of this page.

If you have any difficulties creating a profile on the AIASF website, logging in, or registering for an event, please contact the AIASF reception at

Leave a Comment