Performance based design, construction, commissioning and operation of buildings requires virtual testing and validation of project alternatives. In the case of environmental and energy management of buildings, whole Building Energy Simulation (BES) models can be used to determine indoor environmental conditions, building energy consumption, system performance, and associated CO(2) emissions, etc. BES is currently used at the design and commissioning phases of the Building Life Cycle (BLC) but not during the operational phase. This paper defines a methodology that incorporates predictive BES into building operation while acknowledging present technological limitations with respect to model accuracy and required resources. This predictive model also requires detailed definition and characterisation of inputs including: Historical data from buildings: Real time data such as measurements from meters and wired and wireless sensors underpinned by a Building Management System (BMS) and Future data such as short term weather forecast values and expected occupancy schedules. The paper concludes with a demonstration of the predictive BES model methodology using an existing building at University College Cork, Ireland. (C) 2010 Elsevier BM. All rights reserved.