Review: IBPSA-USA Winter Meeting 2017 in Las Vegas

The theme of uncertainty seemed appropriate for our Las Vegas gathering, and Professor Godfried Augenbroe of Georgia Tech spoke to the dinner crowd about the role of uncertainty in building performance analysis. He demonstrated using a simplified spreadsheet simulation tool how to explore the impact of different types of uncertainty on outputs. 

The afternoon started with a planning session open to all members, with the theme of IBPSA-USA planning in uncertain times. The most useful insight was provided by Zulfi Cumali, who suggested the organization get into real estate, which was the path he took in the early 1980’s when the Reagan administration reduced funding for energy efficiency research.  Other activity and funding ideas included working more closely with States and utilities, developing a credentialing program, improving and expanding training programs, and establishing programs to address the existing building retrofit market. 

When additional busloads of simulationists arrived at PT’s Sierra Gold restaurant, the evening kicked off with a brief business report followed by the ever-popular Autodesk happy hour. 


































Regarding dinner, David Eldridge reports, “I really enjoyed the food and service from the venue. It was definitely worth traveling to Sierra Gold for the meeting."

Virtual Building Triathlon Winners

Three student teams competing in the Virtual Building Triathlon made presentations to a panel of judges in Las Vegas and received their awards at the IBPSA-USA meeting. Each team developed a calibrated model of an existing community center in Cambridge, MA and developed a set of recommended efficiency retrofits. 

Top prize of $5000 went to Georgia Institute of Technology and its team members Mansour Alhazmi, Yiwen Di, Di Lu, Yifu Shi, Yujia Tong. Second prize of $2,500 was awarded to Texas A&M University and its team of Christopher Bay, Rohit Chintala, Kaimi Gao, Austin Rogers, and Trevor Terril. The third-place prize of $1000 went to Dhayanandh Murugan of the University of Wyoming. 

The competition was a partnership between the Tech to Market team in the Building Technologies Office of the US Department of Energy, IBPSA-USA, and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. More information on the competition is available here: