We had internal news to pass along last month, but this month brings news from the not-terribly-wide world of HVAC-related competition, so let’s roll the highlights …



If you had to sum up the winners in the 10th Anniversary Energy Efficiency Scorecard recently completed by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, it would go something like this. Serious efficiency acumen went on a tour of New England, then decided to head west — connecting in Minnesota and proceeding onward to most any state that touches the Pacific Ocean. See the results map at http://aceee.org/state-policy/scorecard.

To be more specific, six-time champion Massachusetts landed in a tie with California, which was back in the winner’s (well, winners’) circle for the first time since 2010. Meanwhile, the “most improved” awards were apparently brought to you by the letter “M,” with Missouri, Maine, and Michigan gaining steam in all the right ways.

What goes into these ratings? I’m glad you asked. ACEEE focuses on an array of six policy areas, some buildings-related and some not. Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and Vermont were tops in utility-sector efficiency programs and policies. When it came to building energy codes and compliance, California and Illnois led the field, although several states gained ground by adopting the most recent DOE-certified codes for their new construction.

Two more tidbits to pass along. While “appliance standards” doesn’t sound so relevant for us, category winner California took that honor in part by updating its standards for HVAC air filters, fluorescent dimming ballasts, and heat pump water chilling packages. And in the combined heat and power policies category, Massachusetts, Maryland, and California performed best.

(That might be a slight disappointment to Washington state’s own Marcia Karr, P.E., who has been working steadily to educate engineers and owners on the assorted ways to take advantage of CHP. But she’s pleased to make progress wherever readers might be, which is why she’s back this month with a cover story [page 30] discussing not only CHP but combined cooling, heating, and power to tie into this month’s health care issue.)



If you were wondering where the cutting edge was in August, it was spending a few days at the 2016 ASHRAE LowDown Showdown, part of the ASHRAE/IBPSA-USA SimBuild 2016 event. Nine teams from assorted firms and manufacturers convened to demonstrate and defend their answer to this assignment: model a net-zero (or below) design for a 50,000-sq-ft, three-story outpatient health care facility.

That really oversimplifies the situation, because the parameters for completing the assignment were considerable and the nature of the facility especially challenging for this sort of task. Awards were given in a few categories, but you might be most interested in taking a look at the overviews of the teams’ designs. For that and other info on the contest, drop by http://bit.ly/2eBsQ6j. ES