Shaping Tomorrow's Built Environment Today

2020 Applied Engineering Challenge

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The Setty Family Foundation: 2020 Applied Engineering Challenge

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ASHRAE’s stated goals and objectives include: extending the reach of heating, ventilating, air-conditioning and refrigeration (HVAC&R) information, connecting with others, and educating and adapting today’s technology for tomorrow to local and global communities to serve humanity and promote a sustainable world. Many engineering and sustainability challenges exist in the world. The 2020 Setty Family Foundation Applied Engineering Challenge (AEC) is intended to stimulate student-led groups to find engineering solutions for designing self-sustaining, interconnected communities.

Entries should originate from an undergraduate engineering or architecture curriculum and all team members must be enrolled in an undergraduate program during the semester/term they contribute to the design.


Introduction

Buildings are at the heart of modern society. They provide us with places to work, entertainment venues, education facilities and housing for our families. Since we spend a large portion of our lives indoors, it is important to ensure buildings operate effectively, keeping occupants healthy and happy. For many residential buildings, such as homes, one must satisfy only a small number of individuals. For large buildings, especially those that include various space types, providing proper occupant comfort is much more difficult. Having a system in place for occupants to provide feedback, and a building operator to address solutions in a smart and efficient manner, is critical to maintaining a positive built environment for all.


Scope

Design a system to be used by building occupants to report operational issues to building operators. The system should identify issues and provide solutions and/or next steps to solve these problems.

As an example, your system may be an automated platform that integrates to open, standard building automation systems.  The system could also be standalone and offer building occupants a way to provide objective, constructive feedback to building operators while assisting building operators in assessing and solving operational issues.  Whatever direction you choose, judging will be weighed heavily on real-world functionality of your design across a broad spectrum of buildings and building occupants and operators.

The system shall take into account multiple system variables, including space temperatures, humidity, lighting, acoustics, building plant design criteria, and outdoor conditions to determine the best course of action to address the occupant complaint.


Constraints

Designs should accommodate a large commercial building (100,000 ft2 [9290 m2] or greater), with the ability to scale up to multiple buildings on a campus or in a business park.  Assume the building being monitored has heating and cooling systems as well as ventilation and airflow to meet all ASHRAE standards. Designs shall consider all types of HVAC systems (constant volume, VAV, heat pumps etc.) and be generic enough to use across multiple building design scenarios.


Judging

This project is intended to challenge not only design and engineering skills, but also your ability to diagnose and correct both common and complex building issues.

If a building occupant tells the operator their space is too cold, is it their personal preference? Or are multiple occupants reporting the same issue? Perhaps the entire building heating system is not operating adequately. Or maybe, it is an issue of that particular area of the building only. These are issues that building operators face every day.

Projects shall be evaluated, at a minimum, according to the following criteria. For items not covered specifically below, judging will be based on the merits of the proposal and documentation presented as justifications. Teams are urged to use their creativity, but like most real life situations, the proposed solutions must adhere to industry approved engineering guidelines, utilize currently available technology, be financially feasible, and be deployable from concept through construction within a reasonable timeframe.

  • Depth and breadth of solutions considered to each occupant issue
  • Creativity and innovation of the proposed solution
  • Quality of the reporting methods used for occupants and building operators
  • Use of ASHRAE Standards and other related materials

Submission

Entries must be submitted electronically by June 8, 2020 by uploading the entry to the ASHRAE Society FTP site established for this purpose. Only teams who register will receive the FTP site information, so please register at least 30 days prior to this date to allow for processing. The submission must be limited to a 25-page maximum technical report. The document must be formatted to 8.5 x 11 inch paper with margins of 1 inch, a font size of 11 points using either Arial or Times New Roman, and a line spacing not less than the Microsoft Word standard of 1.15. All documents must be delivered in PDF format and should be clearly readable in black and white print.

Prizes

Awards will be presented to the winners at the 2021 ASHRAE Winter Meeting to be held in Chicago, Illinois, United States of America as follows:

  • 1st place
  • 2nd place
  • 3rd place
  • Rising Star

In conjunction with the 2021 ASHRAE Winter Meeting, members of the winning teams will be invited to meet with ASHRAE’s Executive Committee.
First Place: $5,000 prize plus the entire team will receive free transportation and two nights’ lodging for (capped at $5,000) to attend the 2021 ASHRAE Winter Meeting where the award will be presented at the ASHRAE Plenary. A 24 x 36 inch ARCH D, or ISO A1 poster is required for display at the ASHRAE Student Program.

Second Place: One representative from the team will receive free transportation, two nights' lodging at the 2021 ASHRAE Winter Meeting where the award will be presented at the ASHRAE Student Program. A 24 x 36 inch ARCH D, or ISO A1 poster is required for display at the ASHRAE Student Program.

Third Place: One representative from the team will receive free transportation, two nights’ lodging at the 2021 ASHRAE Winter Meeting where the award will be presented at the ASHRAE Student Program. A 24 x 36 inch ARCH D, or ISO A1 poster is required for display at the ASHRAE Student Program.

Rising Star: One representative from the team will receive free transportation and two nights lodging for attendance at the 2021 ASHRAE Winter Meeting where the award will be presented at the ASHRAE Student Program. A 24 x 36 inch ARCH D, or ISO A1 poster is required for display at the ASHRAE Student Program. 

Teams must consist of two to six students with each team member's name and school affiliation listed on the title page of the submission.  Teams can consult industry professionals, such as local ASHRAE chapter members, or faculty advisors for mentorship and advice.  However, all work, calculations, drawings, etc. that are presented in the final submission shall be generated exclusively by team members.

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