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5th Annual ASHRAE LowDown Showdown

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LowDown Showdown

Each year, ASHRAE hosts its annual LowDown Showdown modeling competition, which showcases the work of several teams to use their design and modeling skills to create a near net-zero energy building. The 5th Annual LowDown Showdown which will take place at the 2019 ASHRAE Building Performance Conference September 25 – 27th in Denver, Colorado. 

See 2019 LDSd Results

Building Description

General Description:

The new City Hall will be a multi-functional building that serves the municipality’s administrative, judicial and public safety functions. Specifically, it will house the executive offices of the Mayor, Town Administrator, and key departments including Administrative Services, Communications, Community Development and Tourism, Recreation, Planning, Transportation, Public Services, Legal, Municipal Court, Fire Administration, and Police. The city desires to achieve a high-quality design that provides a safe, secure, highly functional facility that allows the local government to serve its citizens in a manner that endures for generations. To fulfill this mission, the new facility will be constructed as an Essential Facility, per the International Building Code and house an Emergency Operations Center (EOC) for the area. Thus, the government will continue to function and serve its citizens during and after times of duress.

The new building will be designed for growth in the near term and flexibility over the long term; with emphasis on a more functional, secure, and intuitive layout for the municipal employees, volunteers, and citizenry. The Administration envisions the new building and grounds as a place the public and employees enjoy -- a place where they want to be - a timeless building that embodies the persona of the community: warm, welcoming, friendly, yet progressive.

The teams will need to also consider how their design will work in 50 years time using worst case climate predictions.

General Design Requirements:

  1. Disaster Management and Durability: Portions of the building including the communications/operations center, 50% of the office space, and the data center should be designed and constructed in a manner that allows it to serve as a functional Emergency Operations Center (EOC) during man-made and natural disasters, so that key personnel can continue to provide services to the public during a disaster and its aftermath.
  2. Safety & Security: The building should provide a safe and secure environment where daily town hall business, police, fire and legal proceedings can be conducted.
  3. Sustainability: The design and construction should take into account the long-term life cycle issues of the building so that the success of the building not only depends on initial systems and materials decisions (first costs) but also on the proper long-term operation and maintenance over the life of the facility.
  4. Energy Efficiency:  The building should be Near Net Zero
  5. Health and Wellness:  The building should provide an indoor environment that is high quality allowing employees to be comfortable and productive. The architecture of the building should be creative and innovative. Also, the systems responsible for indoor air quality should provide consistent and controllable temperature as conditions change based on location in the building, activity and time of day.

Building Description and Design Requirements



PowerPoint Presentation Template

Results Summary Spreadsheet

2019 LowDown Showdown Teams and Captains

  1. C.R.E.A.M. (Carbon Rules Everything Around Me) – Jason Lackie
  2. Highway to Sustainability – Tina Lu Ting Chih
  3. Operation RESHED – Meha Sharma
  4. The Parametric Posse – Walter Grondzik
  5. Ulti-Performance – Michael Brown


Patrick Chopson

Focusing on the crossover between architecture and technology, Patrick Chopson leads Cove Tool, Inc., a building consulting software company delivering daylight, cost, and energy modeling services. Patrick focuses on architecture, process integration, and computational design. He is a licensed architect with over 14 years of experience in both architecture and mechanical engineering firms.

Supriya Goel

Supriya Goel is a Research Engineer at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. Her current research is focused on development of building energy codes and standards and simulation tools for analysis of buildings. She is a member of the IBPSA-USA Board of Directors, a voting member of ASHRAE Standard 211 and she was awarded the Emerging Professional Award by IBPSA-USA in 2018.

Linda Morrison

Linda Morrison is Principal and Building Performance Engineering Team Leader at Ambient Energy with 25 years’ experience consulting on energy efficiency, passive and active solar design, embodied carbon, zero net energy, and resilient and regenerative design for the built environment. She is committed to developing the industry during this exiting time of rapidly changing expectations for building simulation and building performance..

Rob Pressly

Rob Pressly is the Resiliency Program Manager for the Colorado Department of Local Affairs Colorado Resiliency Office. In this role, Rob is responsible for advancing the State of Colorado’s resiliency to thrive amidst ever-changing climate, social, and economic conditions. Rob also leads the Colorado Resiliency Institutionalization Project to build resiliency into State investments and operations.

Lauren M. Wallace

Lauren M. Wallace is a Principal and the Director of Certifications and Consulting at Epsten Group, Inc., where she has helped facilitate sustainability and wellness measures for thousands of projects around the globe. Ms. Wallace is a USGBC and WELL Faculty member, WELL AP, LFA, LEED AP BD+C, LEED Project Reviewer, BREEAM USA In-Use Assessor, Fitwel Ambassador, Parksmart Advisor, and TRUE Advisor.

2019 LDSd Judging Criteria & Prizes

Category Definitions
  1. Innovative Approaches:  Inclusion of one or more of the conference topics of:
    1.) Integrated Design
    2.) New Technology
    3.)  Comfort, Health & Wellness
    4.) Carbon Emissions
    5.) Embodied Energy
  2. Creativity: Originality of solution and design; new approaches for using modeling tools.
  3. Energy Use: Performance metrics as recorded on the Results Template; and validity of Results.
  4. Resilience: Demonstrate an understanding of the requirements in the Building Description and Design Requirement document.
  5. Workflow and Teamwork:  Overview of tools and processes, demonstrated problem solving and creative workarounds; collaboration among disciplines (architecture, engineering, modeling, etc.).
  6. Presentation: Effective use of time and presenter(s) clearly articulate concepts, process and results. Presentation includes clear and visually impactful graphic elements (slides, charts, illustrations, etc.) 
Round 1 Judging:  Category Importance Weighting
  1. Innovative Approaches:  30%
  2. Creativity:  30%
  3. Energy Use:  15%
  4. Resilience:  15%
  5. Workflow and Teamwork:  10%
Round 2 Judging

Round 2 judging will include the scoring from Round 1, and will also evaluate other factors such as the presenter’s effective use of time and impactful visual elements. Round 2 judging will take place at the conference by an independent panel of industry expert judges.  The Fan Favorite will also be selected at the conference by live polling of the audience. 


1st Place Winner – 1st Place Ribbon.  Free Registration for the 2020 BPAC Conference for each member of the winning team and certificate.
Runner Up:  Runner-Up Ribbon.  50% off registration for the 2020 BPAC Conference for each team member and certificate
Fan Favorite:  Fan Favorite Ribbon
Honorable Mentions:  Honorable Mention Ribbons will be awarded for outstanding examples of innovation, integration and creativity.

Important Dates:

April 8 Deadline for participants to sign up
April 10 Question period opens
April 22 Team names and Captains due
July 1 Last day to ask questions
August 26 Deliverables due
September 16 Power Point presentations due

See the LowDown Showdown Results