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2018 ASHRAE LowDown Showdown

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LowDown Showdown Competition

Each year, ASHRAE hosts its annual LowDown Showdown modeling competition, which showcases the work of four teams to use their design and modeling skills to create a near net-zero energy building. Find out how you can get involved at

How Creative Are You?

Every year the LowDown Showdown has a new twist.  This year the competition calls on you to unleash your inner creativity (as well as your analytic skills) as you team up to model our most challenging building type to date.  

The focus of the 2018 Building Performance Analysis Conference and SimBuild is the adoption of new techniques and workflows to advance modeling and simulation to meet the growing challenges faced by today’s designers and modelers.  In that spirit, the 2018 LowDown Showdown challenges teams to go beyond just achieving an energy efficient building, and use their ingenuity to include elements of conference themes into their design and analysis.  In fact, getting to “near net zero” will be a part of the model building baseline.  That in and of itself will be a challenge, as the model building for 2018 is a 60,000 sf museum (new construction) located in Denver, Colorado and to include retail space and a full service restaurant. 

The goal of the 2018 LDSd competition is to engage participants in a collaborative and fun learning experience that explores new advances in building science, modeling and technology.

Each team will create and submit a poster of their building design, a performance analysis model and results spreadsheet, and write a one-page narrative on project workflow.  Participants will also be required to submit graphics to Project StaSIO, an online crowd sourced repository of modeling graphics and images.

Modeling and calculation workflow, building designs, systems and control strategies should be creative without being implausible from a cost standpoint.  To that end, one of the requirements will be a cost per square foot spending limit.  However, each team may include two (2) elements in its project that are not required to be included in the project costs.   Teams will be judged in two phases.  Phase 1 will be based on their initial entry.  Phase 2 judging will occur at the conference after teams have presented their projects. Teams will be judged on seven categories: Creativity, Innovative Approaches, Workflow, Energy Use, Calibration, Teamwork and Presentation. 

Please send any questions to Christopher Preyor @

Competition Requirements


Sign Up Now

Sign up now to participate in year four of the ASHRAE LowDown Showdown. The 2018 LowDown Showdown will engage participants in a collaborative and fun learning experience that explores new advances in building science, modeling and technology.

The model building is a 60,000 sf museum (new construction) located in Denver, Colorado that includes retail space and a full service restaurant.

So get your creative juices flowing and start rounding up your team members to find out how close to Net-Zero you can get.

  • Sign up to join a team or sign up with your colleagues to create your own team.
  • Team members have roles, simulating real-life working scenarios, and push the elements of integrated design
  • Participants are matched up as best as possible according to their software proficiency
  • Advance your professional development by learning from your peers and industry vendors to apply new and creative approaches learned through participating on a team or seeing the final projects to your own work.

The deadline to sign up is April 16th.

See the 2017 LowDown Showdown Results Here: 2017 LowDown Showdown Results >>


Judging Criteria

The 2018 LowDown Showdown is all about the adoption of new techniques and workflows to advance modeling and simulation.  So we’ve changed up the judging criteria to reflect that. We want to encourage participating teams to be creative in their approach, workflows, problem solving, graphic design and in their selection and integration of tools and processes. 

Round 1: Projects

In the first round of judging, teams and their projects will be evaluated in five categories.

Category Weighting

  1. Creativity:  30%
  2. Innovative Approaches:  25%
  3. Workflow:  20%
  4. Energy Use:  15%
  5. Teamwork:  10%

Round 2 : Presentation

The second round of judging will include the scoring from Round 1 and will also evaluate other factors such as the presenters’ effective use of time and impactful visual elements. Round 2 judging will take place at the conference by a panel of industry experts.  The Fan Favorite will also be selected at the conference by live polling of the audience. 

Category Definitions

  1. Creativity: Originality of solution and design; new approaches for using modeling tools to their fullest capabilities.
  2. Innovative Approaches:  Inclusion of one or more of the conference topics of:  1.) Modeling Advances, 2.) New Technology, 3.) Big Data, 4.) Comfort, Health & Wellness and 5.) Early Design.
  3. Workflow:  Overview of tools and processes, demonstrated problem solving and creative workarounds.
  4. Energy Use:  Performance metrics as recorded on the Results Template; and validity of Results.
  5. Teamwork:  Demonstrated collaboration among disciplines (architecture, engineering, modeling, etc.).
  6. Presentation: Effective use of time, presenter(s) clearly articulate concepts, process and results. Presentation includes clear and visually impactful graphic elements (slides, charts, illustrations, etc.) 

Important Dates

Mar 30
Challenge requirements and resources released
Apr 23
Deadline for participants to sign up
Apr 27
Team rosters, team name guidelines, open for questions announced
Apr 27
Remaining challenge resources provided
May 7
Team names and captains due to ASHRAE
Jun 11
Last day to ask questions
Aug 13
Complete deliverables due
Sep 10
Power Point presentations and Project StaSIO graphic due
Sep 27
Presentation at conference