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2018 Building Performance Analysis Conference and SimBuild

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2018 Building Performance Analysis Conference and SimBuild – Co-organized by ASHRAE and IBPSA-USA
Chicago, IL | September 26–28, 2018


The 2018 Building Performance Analysis Conference and SimBuild, co-organized by ASHRAE and IBPSA-USA, will be held September 26–28, 2018 at the Hilton Chicago, Chicago, IL. It is the third co-organized conference between ASHRAE and IBPSA-USA.

The goal of this conference is to present the new techniques and workflows that will help researchers and practitioners make better decisions during the simulation and modeling process of an entire building life cycle.

The conference program will consist of Keynote Speakers, Invited Speakers, a Call for Papers, a Call for Presenters and the fourth ASHRAE LowDown Showdown. Special panels may be offered by industry leaders and organizations.

Conference Flyer

  • Conference Program

    The BPACS technical program includes almost 200 presentations comprised of some 120 papers and nearly 70 non-paper presentations.

    There will be five concurrent sessions during each timeslot.

    The program includes Keynote speakers on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday as well as the ASHRAE LowDown Showdown modeling competition which will be held Thursday afternoon.

    Presentation Types include:

    1. Team Case Studies: Coordinated presentation from several members of high performance building design projects. The abstract should include a detailed description of the project, design goals, modeling challenges, performance benchmarks used and experiences from all stages of design, construction and operation. Also identify the team members and include brief descriptions of their role in the project and the presentation.
    2. Individual Presentations: Traditional seminar type presentation on topics of interest to the conference attendees. Presentation duration is 15 minutes.
    3. TEDergy Talk: Similar to the popular TED (Technology, Entertainment and Design) talk presentations, TEDergy talk is intended to address a specific novel idea, new modeling technique, workflow, software utility or technology in a concise 10 minute presentation to generate audience interest and participation.
    4. Poster Presentations:  3-5 minute presentations of an accepted paper, utilizing a poster as a visual aid.  

    Click below to view the preliminary tech program

    Program Book

  • Keynote Speakers

    Brandon Andow

    Brandon Andow

    Title: Modeling Spectrally Selective Fenestration for Indoor Environmental Quality

    Buildings are increasingly designed with large areas of integrated plantings as a key environmental component whether for biophilia, indoor air quality, building integrated agriculture, or to meet the new health and wellness standards requirements. Fenestration which supports the mixed occupancy of people and plants has potentially conflicting challenges with respect to the spectral transmission of daylight. Spectrally selective glass coatings require co-optimization of transmitted radiation which impacts the rate of photosynthesis, solar heat gain, electric lighting and cooling energy use, visual comfort, and supplemental grow lighting energy use. PAR workflows from recent projects are detailed including The Amazon Spheres, Tianjin Juilliard School, and Longwood Conservatory.

    Arpan Bakshi

    Arpan Bakshi-175x209.jpg
    Arpan Bakshi

    Title: From SIM to CIM: Mega Trends in Performance Design, Simulation and Communication

    Industry trends in 2018 point to a future that expands the definition of building performance simulation beyond buildings. The rapid growth of cities, mobility and new technology introduces exciting new opportunities for building performance professionals, who can leverage their simulation expertise into new markets and emerging disciplines. This presentation endeavors to provide a glimpse into the future.

    Billie Faircloth

    Billie Faircloth
    Billie Faircloth

    Title: Yours, Mine and Ours: The Domain of Models and the Dogma of Professions

    In search of better building energy models, KieranTimberlake architects attempted to break down the energy modeling workflow. Working with energy modelers, they asked: What is the real purpose of an energy model? Who owns it? Why are energy modeling practices so difficult to change? And, what should we do about it now? They dissected the energy modeling workflow, looked for inefficiencies, and put the process back together again. Their task did not appear farfetched or unrealistic. They did, after all, accomplish a similar feat for life cycle assessment, an equally complex workflow. To date, KieranTimberlake’s dream of a shared energy modeling workflow for designers and energy modelers remains unrealized. KieranTimberlake Partner and Research Director Billie Faircloth will recount her firm’s attempt to prove that integrated energy modeling matters.  

    Vivian Loftness

    Vivian Loftness

    Title: High Performance Buildings and the Internet of Things (IoT)

    Will light switches be obsolete? Will every air diffuser be ours to control? Will our windows talk to us? The Internet of Things is finally making it to our workplaces, and it can dramatically improve air quality, visual quality, thermal comfort and desktop energy management. Integrated practices have a strategic advantage by incorporating the Internet of Things (IoT) to significantly advance indoor environmental quality for human health and productivity as well as for energy savings. This presentation will showcase innovations for enclosure, HVAC, lighting and plug load systems - with advanced controls that surf the environment and bring humans-in-the-loop – key to the enduring quality of buildings.


  • Call for Papers

    Call for Papers

    The Call for papers is now CLOSED

    ASHRAE and IBPSA-USA announced a call for papers for the 2018 Building Performance Analysis Conference and SimBuild, co-organized by ASHRAE and IBPSA-USA. It will be the third co-organized conference between the two organizations and will take place at the Hilton Chicago, September 26 – 28, 2018.

    “Building performance modeling is transforming the industry to meet the net zero and Architecture 2030 design goals, improving operational efficiency and occupant comfort,” said Krishnan Gowri, conference chair. “Recent advancements in machine learning, data science and sensor technologies are opening up new avenues to advance the analysis and modeling techniques to meet the challenges faced by designers and modelers.  This conference seeks to connect the researchers and industry practitioners to facilitate the adoption of these new techniques and workflows to make better decisions through the application of simulation and modeling over the entire building life cycle.”

    Modelers, architects, software developers and researchers will address the practices of building performance analysis, energy modeling and building performance simulation using existing simulation tools, software development and future simulation research and applications.

    The conference accepted abstracts on the following topics:

    • Buildings and Information Technology Nexus
    • Modeling Advances
    • Early Design
    • Multiple Systems Modeling
    • Big Data
    • Health, Wellness and Comfort
    • Energy Performance and System Simulation
    • Codes, Standards and Compliance

    Papers are due February 9, 2018 and will undergo a double-blind review. Conference papers should not exceed eight pages.


    CONFERENCE PAPER WORD TEMPLATE (updated 12/22/2017)
    CONFERENCE PAPER LATEX TEMPLATE (updated 12/22/2017)

  • LowDown Showdown Modeling Competition

    The 4th Annual ASHRAE LowDown Showdown will be held in conjunction with the 2018 Building Performance Analysis Conference and SimBuild co-organized by ASHRAE and IBPSA-USA.

    Learn More about the LowDown Showdown >>

  • Project StaSIO

    Project StaSIO

    Project StaSIO (STandard Simulation Inputs and Outputs), has been developed by IBPSA-USA’s Research Committee. It is an online repository of crowd-sourced simulation graphics and case studies organized around the ASHRAE Standard 209 framework. ASHRAE Standard 209 provides a framework on how to integrate energy modeling into the design process and Project StaSIO aims to provide supporting content on inputs, outputs, and case studies around the first three 'modeling cycles' defined by the standard which relate to early stage analysis like load reduction modeling and conceptual design modeling. StaSIO approaches this issue by organizing energy modeling efforts according to targeted investigations questions broken down by energy modeling category.

    IBPSA-USA is organizing a competition in conjunction with the ASHRAE/IBPSA 2018 Building Performance Analysis Conference and SimBuild to catalyze crowd-sourced submissions to Project StaSIO. Through the competition, the StaSIO teams hopes to have a website which serves as a resource for project teams all over the world looking for ways to better communicate simulation results and improve the decision making process at the early stage of design.

    Deadline for Submissions: May 31, 2018

    Evaluation from Judges: June 1 – August 15, 2018

    Public Voting Process: August 1 – September 20, 2018

    Winners will be announced at the conference. More information about the conference can be found here.

    Visit Project STaSIO and enter the competition here.

  • Venue & Dates

    The conference will take place at the Hilton Chicago. The conference will be Wednesday–Friday, September 26–28. Pre-conference workshops will be held September 24–25.

    Hotel reservations can be made at the Conference Hotel. The conference hotel is the Hilton Chicago located at 720 South Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL. ASHRAE has a block of rooms available at the negotiated group rate of $199+ tax per night. To make reservations at the group rate, click this link:

  • Registration Information


    Early Bird, ends August 15


    $                    575.00

    Non Member

    $                    650.00



    $                    640.00

    Non Member

    $                    710.00



    $                    350.00


    $                    400.00

    Virtual Conference Only Member

    $                    129.00

    Virtual Conference Only Non Member

    $                    179.00

    Your registration includes the following:

    • Evening Reception
    • Light Breakfast, lunch and breaks on Wednesday, September 26
    • Light Breakfast, lunch, breaks and a reception on Thursday, September 27
    • Light Breakfast and break on Friday, September 28
    • Access to the Virtual Conference for up to 18 months after the conference*
  • Conference Committees

    Steering Committee Scientific Committee Lowdown Showdown Committee
    Krishnan Gowri, Chair Rahul Athalye, Chair Annie Marston, Chair
    Annie Marston, Vice Chair Carrie Brown Carrie Brown
    Carrie Brown Supriya Goel John Bynum
    Susan Collins Alejandra Menchaca Susan Collins
    Dennis Knight Weimin Wang Lauren Wallace
    Vikram Sami    
    Lauren Wallace    
    Rahul Athalye    
    Jon Cohen (CEC representative)    
  • Co-Organizers
  • Sponsorship Packages

    The conference organizers are pleased to offer several sponsorship opportunities to engage industry participation. The sponsorship offsets conferences expenses and provides access to seasoned practitioners and principals responsible for managing modeling services.

    All sponsors will have their company logo and name on the event flyer, the conference web site and recognition during the conference. A summary of the specific benefits of each sponsorship level is included in pdf_icon.png Sponsorship Levels and Benefits. If have questions or are interesting in being a sponsor, please contact Ragan McHan,

  • Pre-Conference Courses

    On Monday, September 24 and Tuesday, September 25, software companies and educators are conducting full-day or half-day workshops at the Chicago Hilton hotel prior to the start of the conference. You can register for these pre-conference workshops through online registration once it has launched. Pre-conference workshops have limited seating.

    Separate registration is required. These workshops and course are not included with the conference and will not be included in the virtual conference.

    If your company is interested in hosting a pre-conference workshop please contact Ragan McHan at Due to limited availability, space is available on a first-reserved basis.
    pdf_icon.png For more information about hosting a pre-conference workshop


    Title of Workshop:  Heating & Cooling Load Calculations, HVAC Equipment Sizing, and Modeling for 90.1-2013 ECB Code Compliance with IESVE Software
    Date: Monday September 24, 2018
    Company Name: IES Ltd.
    Start Time: 9am
    End Time: 5pm
    Presenters: Liam Buckley, Matthew Duffy
    Price: $50
    For those attending this 1-day workshop, you will learn how to use IESVE-2018 software for the purposes of: 

    1. Calculating heating and cooling loads using the ASHRAE Heat Balance Method
    2. Sizing HVAC equipment
    3. Generate loads reports (building loads, waterside plant loop loads, AHU system loads, HVAC zone loads and room loads)
    4. Meeting commercial energy code-compliance in the State of Illinois (and 10+ other US States) via the 90.1-2013 ECB Code Compliance Option (IECC 2015 Equivalent)
    5. Generate 90.1-2013 ECB Energy Code Compliance Reports 

    Registered attendees will also receive access to the online Lunch-N-Learn video tutorial for Model Geometry in IESVE Software (worth $50). Attendees do not require any prior knowledge of IESVE software to attend this workshop.

    EnergyPlus for Practitioners
    Date: Monday-Tuesday, September 24-25, 2018
    Start time: 8 a.m.
    End Time: 5 p.m.
    Presenters: Aaron Boranian, Peter Ellis
    Price: $895 for both days

    Have you ever wanted to truly understand how to use EnergyPlus at the text level?

    Have you been using OpenStudio, DesignBuilder, or another GUI and had the need to peek under the hood to debug a problem or implement a measure or workaround?

    This workshop should be a prerequisite for anyone planning to work with EnergyPlus regardless of what user interface you choose.

    In this two-day workshop we focus on the needs of the energy modeling practitioner in order to get you up to speed and highly productive with EnergyPlus as quickly as possible. We have developed our training materials from scratch over a period of several years based on our extensive experience using EnergyPlus to model real-world projects and helping others to do the same.We cover the fundamentals of EnergyPlus such as geometry and internal loads while rapidly ramping up to advanced topics such as HVAC systems and controls. We guide you through the complexities of the EnergyPlus syntax, input/output files, documentation, and essential software tools including the OpenStudio (legacy) plugin for SketchUp. Most importantly, we teach you how to use the available resources to teach yourself going forward. Demonstrations and hands-on exercises are used extensively throughout. By the end of the workshop, you should be comfortable with creating, running, and debugging EnergyPlus models.

    Learn to use DesignBuilder from early-stage through to LEED
    Date: Monday-Tuesday, September 24-25, 2018
    Start time: 8 a.m. 
    End Time: 5 p.m. 
    Presenters: Tim McDowell and David Cocking
    Price: $595 for both days/$345 for day 2 only

    This training will teach you how to use DesignBuilder to improve productivity, enabling you to model and analyze building performance using EnergyPlus and Radiance much more quickly and efficiently. The workshop will cover the key elements of modeling from early through to detailed project stages and
    LEED certification. No prior learning or knowledge of DesignBuilder is required for Day 1, which will teach you how to quickly and easily create a model for early-stage analysis then test different early-stage options, develop the model as the design evolves, run heating and cooling load calculations, analyze different solar shading options and run a variety of simulations to quantify energy and comfort performance. Day 2 will introduce detailed HVAC modelling and show you how to quickly and easily generate ASHRAE 90.1 baseline models, update them as required, generate LEED v3 and v4 daylighting
    credits and the outputs required for LEED submissions, and will also introduce our new online LEED reporting tools. Day 2 requires attendance on Day 1 or prior experience using DesignBuilder. Both workshops will use our latest software, which includes significant new ASHRAE 90.1 Appendix G automation, DAYSIM for LEED v4 daylighting credits, and a new online LEED reporting and submission tool. Free 30-day licences will be provided, so why not come along and learn how to use these new tools and experience for yourself why so many of our customers say they would recommend DesignBuilder training to a friend or colleague.


    Title of Workshop:  Advanced HVAC Modeling with IESVE Software
    Date: Tuesday September 25, 2018
    Company Name: IES Ltd.
    Start Time: 9am
    End Time: 5pm
    Presenters: Megan Tosh, Suyash Vidwans
    Price: $150
    For those attending this 1-day workshop, you will learn how to use the ApacheHVAC Application of IESVE-2018 software for the purposes of loads sizing and energy simulation. Specific HVAC modeling examples will include:

    1. VRF (air-source and water-source) Systems with heat recovery
    2. ApacheHVAC Controllers
    3. Airside and waterside heat recovery
    4. Chiller optimization
    5. Multiple primary/secondary loops on hot water and chilled water systems
    6. Ground-source heat pumps
    7. Etc.

    Attendees are required to be familiar with the Apache simulation tools in IESVE software to attend this workshop.


    Title of Workshop:  TRACE 3D Plus Introductory Workshop
    Date: Tuesday September 25, 2018
    Company Name: Trane
    Start Time: 1pm
    End Time: 5pm
    Presenters: Haley Goslinga
    Price: $0
    This free, half-day workshop will introduce you to TRACE 3D Plus. You will learn how to use this next-generation building design and analysis software tool from Trane.

    Faster modeling lets you move from project plan to load design to energy and economic analysis with visually dynamic workflows.

    Intuitive customizable interface simplifies complex modeling processes.

    Model real-world complexities accurately, including renewable energy systems, intricate central plants and radiant systems.

    Configure HVAC systems and plants schematically using built-in validation and the most robust library of building elements in the industry.

    No previous experience with energy modeling software is required and computers along with trials of the software will be provided.


  • Certification Exam Administration, Friday, September 28

    Apply by Sept. 7 to sit for an ASHRAE Certification exam in Building Energy Modeling (BEMP) on Friday, September 28 at 12:30 p.m. to take place at the headquarters hotel, the Hilton Chicago.

    Recognized by over 35 national, state and local government bodies and with over 2,750 certifications earned, ASHRAE’s six (6) certifications - including the BEMP - increasingly have become the must-have credential for built-environment professionals.

    Note: Conference attendees may pay the Certification application fee when registering for the Conference.  A separate Certification application will be requested.


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