President's Message - August 2018: Yes, it’s a mouthful, but it’s worth it

Yes, it’s a mouthful, but it’s worth it

I hope to see you soon at the Building Performance Analysis Conference and SimBuild, Co-organized by ASHRAE and IBPSA-USA. (Yes, we are a group of marketing geniuses with advanced degrees in conference-name development.) I figured that a name like that calls for some background explanation, so here you go.

IBPSA convened its first Building Simulation conference way back in 1985, with an international audience. That conference convenes in odd-numbered years. The last meeting was Building Simulation 2017 in San Francisco and the next one is Building Simulation 2019 in Rome.

Because two years is a long time to wait for a good simulation party, IBPSA regional affiliates have filled in the even-numbered years. IBPSA-USA’s first SimBuild conference met in 2004 in Boulder, Colorado, and the 2018 party continues next month in Chicago. Other IBPSA affiliates also hold conferences during the even-numbered years: Canada; England; Italy; Austria and Germany; and China, Korea and Japan.

During the term of ASHRAE President Lynn Bellenger, a strong advocate of energy modeling, ASHRAE held its first Energy Modeling Conference in April 2011. A primary goal was to promote the use of modeling and to support the education of practitioners. ASHRAE followed that first conference with another in 2012.

During the even-numbered year of 2012 there were two simulation conferences in the United States: SimBuild in August and the Energy Modeling Conference in October.

For 2014, the two organizations decided to join forces for a single conference in Atlanta, which we called the 2014 ASHRAE/IBPSA-USA Building Simulation Conference. The format combined peer-reviewed papers and practitioner-focused presentations. The Scientific Committee was convened by IBPSA-USA and was responsible for reviewing papers. ASHRAE established the conference steering committee and ASHRAE staff handled conference planning and logistics.

What happened to “SimBuild”? Well, it returned in the title of the 2016 joint conference: ASHRAE and IBPSA-USA SimBuild 2016: Building Performance Modeling Conference. We IBPSA-USA people didn’t want to lose our traditional “SimBuild” name. ASHRAE wanted to expand from “energy modeling” to “building performance modeling”. Hence the Frankenstein title. But it was a great conference!

Last year, IBSPA-USA and ASHRAE reached an agreement to continue the conference collaboration in even-numbered years 2018 and 2020. Perhaps you can guess our biggest challenge in drafting the memorandum of understanding?

I’m really looking forward to the Building Performance Analysis Conference and SimBuild, Co-organized by ASHRAE and IBPSA-USA! This will be the biggest by far, so I suggest you do whatever is necessary to be there.

And remember, if you are an IBPSA-USA member you receive a $70 discount on registration, but the membership dues are only $45 per year. Quite a bargain.


Erik Kolderup
Board of Directors, President, IBPSA-USA
[email protected]