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Energy and Environment Directorate

Jian Zhang

Jian Zhang

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
Portland Office
Portland, OR 97204
(503) 417-7573


Dr. Jian Zhang is the Group Leader for the Building Simulation & Design Group (BS&DG) in the Electricity Infrastructure and Buildings Division (EI&BD) at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL). He is responsible for the BS&DG's strategy development and implementation, staffing plans, facility and equipment refreshment, operational discipline, workplace culture, and external recognition of individuals and teams within the group. He focuses on developing and stewarding capabilities of the group’s 50+ staff in building energy modeling (BEM), software tool development, and analysis workflow automation for energy policy impact analyses and integrative building design processes.

Jian joined PNNL in 2009 after completing his Ph.D. degree in Building Engineering at Concordia University, Montreal, Canada. He grew his technical career at PNNL to be a Chief Research Engineer and focused on the research areas of BEM, building energy codes, and energy efficiency. He has been a primary architect of PNNL's prototype building model infrastructure to support the Building Energy Codes Program and other large-scale BEM capabilities and represented them broadly. Jian has served as the principal investigator on projects from multiple U.S. DOE Building Technologies Office programs and ARPA-E with an annual budget of $2-3M. He had a diversified project portfolio in BEM tool development, occupancy-based HVAC controls, building envelope, indoor air quality, and building performance standards.

Research Interests

  • Building Energy Performance Simulation
  • Analysis of Energy-Efficiency Building Design
  • Building Energy Codes Development and Support
  • Testing and Numerical Analysis of Heat, Mass and Air Transfer in Buildings

Education and Credentials

  • M.A.Sc and Ph.D., Building Engineering, Concordia University, Canada
  • B.Eng., Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning Engineering, Shenyang University, China
  • Voting member of ASHRAE Standing Standard Project Committee 189.1
  • Editorial board member of Journal of Building Physics

PNNL Publications


  • Pang Z., Z. O'Neill, Y. Chen, J. Zhang, H. Cheng, and B. Dong. 2023. "Adopting Occupancy-Based HVAC Controls in Commercial Building Energy Codes: Analysis of Cost-Effectiveness and Decarbonization Potential." Applied Energy 349. PNNL-SA-188153. doi:10.1016/j.apenergy.2023.121594
  • Ye Y., C.A. Faulkner, R. Xu, S. Huang, Y. Liu, D.L. Vrabie, and J. Zhang, et al. 2023. "System Modeling for Grid-Interactive Efficient Building Applications." Journal of Building Engineering 69. PNNL-SA-174884. doi:10.1016/j.jobe.2023.106148


  • Lou Y., Y. Ye, W. Zuo, and J. Zhang. 2022. "Energy Prediction Impact of the Space Level Occupancy Schedule for a Primary School." In Proceedings of Building Simulation 2021: 17th Conference of IBPSA, September 1-3, 2021, Bruges, Belgium, edited by D. Saelens, et al, 17, 1564 - 1571. PNNL-SA-162098. doi:10.26868/25222708.2021.30426
  • Nagda H., J. Zhang, T.J. Pilet, C.A. Antonopoulos, C.E. Metzger, P.K. Gunderson, and T.D. Ashley, et al. 2022. "Experimental Studies and Energy Modeling for Evaluating Performance of Various Deep Wall Retrofits." In Proceedings of the 15th International Conference on Thermal Performance of the Exterior Envelopes of Whole Buildings (Buildings XV), December 5-8, 2022, Clearwater Beach, FL, 528 - 536. Peachtree Corners, Georgia:American Society of Heating Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE). PNNL-SA-171684.
  • Ye Y., X. Lei, J. Lerond, J. Zhang, and E.T. Brock. 2022. "A Case Study about Energy and Cost Impacts for Different Community Scenarios Using a Community-Scale Building Energy Modeling Tool." Buildings 12, no. 10:Art. No. 1549. PNNL-SA-171316. doi:10.3390/buildings12101549
  • Zhang R., M. Kong, B. Dong, Z. O'Neill, H. Cheng, F. Hu, and J. Zhang. 2022. "Development of Testing and Evaluation Protocol for Occupancy Sensing Technologies in Building HVAC Control: A Case Study of Representative People Counting Sensors." Building and Environment 208. PNNL-SA-179421. doi:10.1016/j.buildenv.2021.108610


  • Lei X., Y. Ye, J. Lerond, and J. Zhang. 2021. "A Modularized Urban Scale Building Energy Modeling Framework Designed with An Open Mind." In ASHRAE Winter Conference, February 9-11, 2021, Virtual, 127, Paper No. VC-21-C015. Peachtree Corners, Georgia:ASHRAE. PNNL-SA-155817.
  • Ye Y., Y. Chen, J. Zhang, Z. Pang, Z. O'Neill, B. Dong, and H. Cheng. 2021. "Energy-Saving Potential Evaluation for Primary Schools with Occupant-Centric Controls." Applied Energy 293. PNNL-SA-156703. doi:10.1016/j.apenergy.2021.116854


  • Antonopoulos C.A., C.E. Metzger, J. Zhang, M.C. Baechler, A. Desjarlais, P. Huelman, and G. Mosiman. 2020. "Wall Upgrades for Deep Energy Savings in Residential Buildings: Interim Results from a Multi-Year Study." In 5th Residential Building Design and Construction Conference (2020), edited by Ali M. Memari and Sarah Klinetob Lowe, 55-70. University Park, Pennsylvania:Pennsylvania Housing Research Center (PHRC) at the Pennsylvania State University. PNNL-SA-147532.
  • Ganguli S., H. Nagda, C.A. Antonopoulos, J. Zhang, C.E. Metzger, and M.C. Baechler. 2020. "Scaling Deep Energy Retrofits for Residential Walls - Energy, Cost, and Economic Assessment of Five Wall Systems." In ACEEE Summer Study on Energy Efficiency in Buildings, August 17, 21, 2020. Virtual, Online, 5-129 - 5-143. Washington, District Of Columbia:American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy. PNNL-SA-152405.
  • Hart R., M. Myer, M.A. Halverson, Y. Chen, M.I. Rosenberg, Y. Xie, and M.T. Tyler, et al. 2020. National Cost-effectiveness of ANSI/ASHRAE/IES Standard 90.1-2016. PNNL-28206. Richland, WA: Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. National Cost-effectiveness of ANSI/ASHRAE/IES Standard 90.1-2016
  • Lei X., J.B. Butzbaugh, Y. Chen, J. Zhang, and M.I. Rosenberg. 2020. Development of National New Construction Weighting Factors for the Commercial Building Prototype Analyses (2003-2018). PNNL-29787. Richland, WA: Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. doi:10.2172/1660807.Development of National New Construction Weighting Factors for the Commercial Building Prototype Analyses (2003-2018)
  • Pang Z., Y. Chen, J. Zhang, Z. O'Neil, and B. Dong. 2020. "Nationwide Energy Saving Potential Evaluation for Office Buildings with Occupant-Based Building Controls." ASHRAE Transactions 126. PNNL-SA-145197.
  • Pang Z., Y. Chen, J. Zhang, Z. O'Neil, H. Cheng, and B. Dong. 2020. "Nationwide HVAC Energy-Saving Potential Quantification for Office Buildings with Occupant-Centric Controls in Various Climates." Applied Energy 279. PNNL-SA-153595. doi:10.1016/j.apenergy.2020.115727
  • Wang W., J. Zhang, M.R. Brambley, and B. Futrell. 2020. "Performance Simulation and Analysis of Occupancy-Based Control for Office Buildings with Variable-Air-Volume Systems." Energies 13, no. 15:3756. PNNL-SA-153601. doi:10.3390/en13153756


  • Wang W., J. Zhang, M.R. Brambley, and B. Futrell. 2019. "Energy Savings of Occupancy-Based Controls in Office Buildings." In 16th IBPSA International Conference & Exhibition Building Simulation, September 2-4, 2019, Rome, Italy, 932-939. Toronto:International Building Performance Simulation Association. PNNL-SA-140932. doi:10.26868/25222708.2019.211335
  • Ye Y., K. Hinkelman, J. Zhang, W. Zuo, and G. Wang. 2019. "A Methodology to Create Prototypical Building Energy Models for Existing Buildings: A Case Study on U.S. Religious Worship Buildings." Energy and Buildings 194. PNNL-SA-140941. doi:10.1016/j.enbuild.2019.04.037


  • Metzger C.E., J. Zhang, J. Winkler and J. Maguire. 2018. "Are Ducted Mini-Splits Worth It?." ASHRAE Journal 60, no. 2:22-31. PNNL-26834.
  • Tang Y., S. Kundu, Y. Zhang, D.P. James, Y. Liu, Q. Huang, and J. Zhang, et al. 2018. "Generation of Composite Load Protection Profiles for Reliable System Operation." In IEEE Power & Energy Society Innovative Smart Grid Technologies Conference (ISGT 2018), February 19-22, 2018, Washington DC, 1-5. Piscataway, New Jersey:IEEE. PNNL-SA-129187. doi:10.1109/ISGT.2018.8403400


  • Li H., Y. Chen, J. Zhang, R.A. Athalye, V.V. Mendon, and Y. Xie. 2017. "A Systematic Classification for HVAC Systems and Components." In Proceedings of the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) Annual Conference, June 24-28, 2017, Long Beach, CA, LB-17-C014. Atlanta, Georgia:ASHRAE. PNNL-SA-122937.


  • Hart R., R.A. Athalye, M.I. Rosenberg, and J. Zhang. 2016. "Developing Commercial Code Precalculated Packages." In 2016 ACEEE Summer Study on Energy Efficiency in Buildings:Form Components to Systems, From Buildings to Communities, August 21-26, 2016, Pacific Grove, California, 5-1 - 5-12. PNNL-SA-116430.
  • Rosenberg M.I., R. Hart, R.A. Athalye, J. Zhang, and D.F. Cohan. 2016. "Potential Energy Cost Savings from Increased Commercial Energy Code Compliance." In 2016 ACEEE Summer Study on Energy Efficiency in Buildings: From Components to Systems, From Buildings to Communities, August 21-26, 2016, Pacific Grove, California, 5-1 - 5-16. Washington Dc:American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy. PNNL-SA-116431.
  • Zhang J., R. Hart, and M.I. Rosenberg. 2016. "Energy Cost Impact of Non-Residential Energy Code Requirements." In ACEEE Summer Study on Energy Efficiency in Buildings: From Components to Systems, From Buildings to Communities, August 21-26, 2016, Pacific Grove, California, 5-1 - 5-17. Washington Dc:American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy. PNNL-SA-116617.


  • Bomberg M., M. Gibson, and J. Zhang. 2015. "A concept of integrated environmental approach for building upgrades and new construction: Part 1-setting the stage." Journal of Building Physics 38, no. 4:360-385. PNNL-SA-106937. doi:10.1177/1744259114553728


  • Zhang J., I.V. Kutnyakov, P.K. Koech, A. Zwoster, C.J. Howard, F. Zheng, and C.J. Freeman, et al. 2013. "CO2-Binding-Organic-Liquids-Enhanced CO2 Capture using Polarity-Swing-Assisted Regeneration." Energy Procedia 37. PNNL-SA-91349. doi:10.1016/j.egypro.2013.05.113


  • Wang W., J. Zhang, D. Moser, G. Liu, R.A. Athalye, and B. Liu. 2012. "Energy and Cost Savings of Retro-Commissioning and Retrofit Measures for Large Office Buildings." In Fifth National Conference of IBPSA-USA (SimBuild 2012), August 1-3, 2012, Madison, Wisconsin. New York, New York:International Building Performance Simulation Association. PNNL-SA-88237.


  • Wang W., J. Zhang, W. Jiang, and B. Liu. 2011. "Energy Performance Comparison of Heating and Air Conditioning Systems for Multi-Family Residential Buildings." HVAC & R Research 17, no. 3:309-322. PNNL-SA-72653.
  • Zhang J., D.W. Schrock, A. Livchak, and B. Liu. 2011. "Energy Savings for Quick Service Restaurants." ASHRAE Journal 53, no. 3:36 - 41. PNNL-SA-78546.

Energy and Environment

Core Research Areas