Eight teams in the second annual ASHRAE Lowdown Showdown worked to find the right dose of designing and modeling to get a health care facility to net zero or below.

The ASHRAE and IBPSA-USA SimBuild 2016: Building Performance Modeling Conference took place Aug. 10-12 in Salt Lake City. Some 250 people attended the event, which featured more than 100 speakers presenting practical applications of tools, case studies and papers on simulation, research, and a deeper dive into current technology.

Held in conjunction with the conference was the 2016 ASHRAE LowDown Showdown modeling challenge with eight teams and some 80 team members. The teams used currently available software to create their models for the baseline building, a 50,000-sq-ft, three-story outpatient health care facility in Omaha, NB.

“The LowDown Showdown challenged teams to take their models to net zero,” said Dru Crawley, a member of the conference steering committee. “This building was particularly challenging because of its 24-hour-a-day operation and plug loads. But the teams were tremendously creative, resourceful, and committed to drawing upon their team members’ strengths to create realistic solutions to the challenge.”

A list of participants and a summary of their projects can be found at www.ashrae.org/simbuild2016#lowdown.

Each team was required to present their results at the conference. Recognition awards were presented to:

• Most Practical – Energy Derailment

• Most Creative – The EUI Evangelists

• Best Teamwork – Quest for Zero

• Most Innovative Workflow – Insane Energy Savers

• Best Energy Use – The DeeBees

Other participating teams were:

• The BEM Bang Theory

• Outpatient Zero

• Newbie Energizers

“The ASHRAE LowDown Showdown seeks to broaden the industry’s ability to engage architects, engineers, designers, and energy modelers to create an effective workflow and an outstanding design,” said Dennis Knight, conference chair. “The teams demonstrated beyond a doubt that better build models can be created more efficiently when drawing upon the experience and creativity of the various professionals working together.”

The larger challenge for the Showdown is to communicate these experiences to the industry at large so others can learn and improve their professional development, he said. Each team was required to produce a results spreadsheet, a poster, and a one-page narrative. These items are posted on the challenge’s webpage along with the names of the team members.

In addition to the Lowdown Showdown, the conference itself featured some 100 presentations, which are available in the on-demand Virtual Conference. To register for the Virtual Conference, visit https://www.ashrae.org/virtualconferences. The cost is $129, ASHRAE members ($179, non-members).