PAE’s Sustainability Savants scoop first prize in ASHRAE LowDown Showdown Building Competition using the IESVE

By Suzanne Wallace on Tuesday 31 October 2017

Congratulations to PAE Consulting Engineers whose team, the Sustainability Savants, won first place at this year’s ASHRAE LowDown Showdown. Challenged with a Net-Zero Energy design on a retrofit of an existing building, the Savants used the IES Virtual Environment (IESVE) to reach 83% energy savings with a design that relied on solar PV panels, building air-tightness, and a responsive operational system.

In its 3rd year, the ASHRAE LowDown Showdown was held in conjunction with the 2017 Building Performance Analysis Conference, and showcased the work of four teams, who worked as an integrated team to use their design and modeling skills to create a near net-zero energy building.

The Sustainability Savants were awarded first place and fan favourite, receiving the most votes from attendees. The team members were James Cullin (Team Captain), Greg Bucher, Kasey Richards, Charles White, and Alan Shepherd, all from PAE Consulting Engineers.

We spoke with Team Captain, James Cullin on why they chose the IESVE for their entry and what it meant to the team to win the competition…

“We selected the IESVE because we all had prior experience with it, and know it to be an extremely robust simulation program. The diversity of controls available in ApacheHVAC was particularly helpful in creating a functional representation of a desiccant wheel, which is not an easy component to model.

We looked at this competition as an opportunity to hone our modelling, presentation, and project management skills. Winning the competition is a nice affirmation of our skills as engineers and the methods that we use in designing a variety of projects on a daily basis.

The whole competition was a great experience, and gave us some great insights into the design process and how we can leverage modelling tools like the IESVE to aid in that process.”

IES would like to congratulate all teams that participated this year and give an honorable mention to the second place team, the Sandstorm Stoppers, who also used IESVE software as part of their submission.

Follow the links to read more about the Sustainability Savant’s winning entry and review the Six Steps to Passive Design on the winning competition poster.