Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Research Subcommitte Wraps up its Work Following Discussions on CMA/CMAST

Hayden speaks about CMAST
The Research Subcommittee completed its work this afternoon by considering three ballots associated with CMA.

Ballot Eight: CMAST Feedback on Usability Study Summary Page

This ballot proposed to study the usability of the CMAST software interface from the perspective of multiple types of users and to organize suggested improvements into a prioritized plan. The goal for this action is that it would improve CMAST’s usability and accelerate its adoption.

One negative comment said NFRC already has a list of issues brought forward by CMAST users and that it is being prioritized for resolution. Another negative suggested that NFRC does not have to prove the accuracy of CMAST, adding that it should not be used other than in real-world situations.

Those in favor of this ballot, however, took the position that obtaining feedback on the usability of CMAST is needed right away in order to address any software problems proactively.

Joe Hayden (Pella) said this topic did not pertain to research and suggested it be undertaken by a different committee. Following this suggestion a vote to move this issue to RAM passed, 27-6.

Ballot Nine: CMA Impact on HVAC Sizing Study Summary Page

This ballot proposed quantifying CMA’s potential influence over HVAC design through more accurate estimation of building envelope loads. The purpose of this study would be to promote the value of CMA as a tool that enhances energy efficient building.

Should the results from this study show that there is significant reduction in peak energy loads, the corresponding reduced energy and capital costs could provide additional motivation for the design team to use CMA and for utility efficiency programs to promote using it.

Tom Culp (Birchpoint Consulting) disagreed with the premise of the ballot, saying CMA already provides a rating that can be used to achieve proper HVAC sizing.

Following a discussion, the ballot resulted in a 17-17 ties and failed by rule.

Ballot 10: CMAST Parametric Targeting Tool Summary Page

This ballot sought to make CMAST a more effective and valuable tool in the design community. This would be accomplished through a software add-on that would automate the process and run parametric CMAST simulations to generate the target result – all combinations of components that meet a specified value of performance ratings by the user.

A vote to send this issue to the Software Committee passed, 32-1

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