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ASHRAE LowDown Showdown Modeling Challenge Highlights Industry's Creativity

  • 20 Oct 2015
  • Atlanta

ASHRAE LowDown Showdown Modeling Challenge Highlights Industry's Creativity

Media Contact:
Allen Haynes

ATLANTA – When the smoke cleared and the dust settled at the ASHRAE “LowDown Showdown,” organizers declared the overall “winner” to be the building industry, which will reap the benefits of knowledge shared at the event.

ASHRAE’s LowDown Showdown was featured at the Society’s “Energy Modeling Conference: Tools for Designing High Performance Buildings,” held Sept. 30 to Oct. 2, 2015, in Atlanta, Ga. Eight teams with 45 people participated in the modeling challenge and presented their models to conference attendees.

“While it wasn’t exactly the Wild West, there were a lot of ideas flying around and impassioned discussion among attendees,” Dennis Knight, Conference chair, said. “The LowDown Showdown proved to be a big draw and a big success. Hopefully attendees will take the knowledge learned back to their jobs and use it to further the industry in energy modeling.”

The LowDown Showdown complemented the conference’s focus on the practical application of high performance building modeling. The Showdown challenged teams to model a net zero or better than net zero building. It gave team members the opportunity to work with the vendor/developer of their choice to showcase their abilities using the vendor’s simulation tools, innovative workflows and creative problem solving to model a high performance building while having fun. The teams participating in the LowDown Showdown were:

  • Autodesk
  • Carrier HAP
  • DesignBuilder
  • EnergyPlus
  • eQuest
  • IES
  • Sefaira
  • Trane TRACE

“From the very beginning, the Steering Committee’s intent when creating the challenge was to encourage participation, demonstrate tools’ usage in modeling buildings and have the teams present their models before their peers and colleagues within a ‘fair play’ environment for the benefit of all participants and vendors,” Knight said. “I really want to acknowledge all of the participants for their time and leadership that they devoted to their models – they are all to be commended for their successful projects.”

The modeling challenge included four categories for “judging” the models by live polling from the audience and the Steering Committee.

Knight said, “In retrospect all of the teams could have been recognized but it was decided to recognize the following:

  • Best Energy Use Results – TEAM IES;
  • Best Innovative Workflow – Team DesignBuilder;
  • Best Team Work – Team Trane TRACE; and
  • Most Creative – Team eQuest.”

Team’s models are highlighted at

“We learned a lot in doing this for the first time,” he said. “The extremely positive feedback from the LowDown Showdown participants and the conference attendees leads us to decide to organize another modeling challenge at the next ASHRAE conference.”

ASHRAE and IBPSA-USA SimBuild 2016 Conference: Building Performance Modeling takes place Aug. 10-12, 2016, Salt Lake City, Utah. There is currently an open call for papers until Oct. 23. For more information or to submit an abstract, visit

ASHRAE, founded in 1894, is a global society advancing human well-being through sustainable technology for the built environment. The Society and its more than 50,000 members worldwide focus on building systems, energy efficiency, indoor air quality, refrigeration and sustainability. Through research, standards writing, publishing, certification and continuing education, ASHRAE shapes tomorrow’s built environment today. More information can be found at