BEST 6.1: The Building Efficiency System Tool™ Now Available for Download

Posted 25 Oct 2023
Tagged on HIAC
BEST 6.1: The Building Efficiency System Tool™ Now Available for Download

The Hydronic Industry Alliance-Commercial (HIA-C), a committee of the Radiant Professionals Alliance (RPA), has released version 6.0 of its Building Efficiency System Tool (BEST), an interactive commercial building HVAC system efficiency comparison application.

The revised software, available online at no charge, adds the ability to compare projected costs and energy usage for all HVAC systems and hot water consumption in any building based on what is known before money is spent on selection of the HVAC and water heating systems, and almost all inputs may be adjusted once the design process begins.

BEST 6.1 is available for download HERE.

BEST 6.1 also includes the following advancements:

  • Factors in switch to back-up sources maximum electrical demand surge at peak heating and cooling temperatures and displays the maximum electrical demand each system would incur on a Demand Energy Efficiency Ratio (DEER) screen.
  • Update of (construction) first costs to include current rates of inflation for 2022 and estimated for 2023
  • Update of energy costs for 2022 using the DOE EIA (Energy Information Administration) data for each state
  • Inclusion of a digital certificate to avoid the problems with installation of the program from anti-virus software
  • Ability to model multiple heating and cooling sources. This enables modeling of all electric systems using cascaded heat pumps and backup sources.  
  • Cascaded systems can include:
    • Air-to-water (ATW) heat pumps with water-to-water (WTW) boosters and boiler backup sources.
    • Water-to-air (WTA) heat pumps with ATW heat pumps and boiler backup sources.
    • WTW and WTA heat pumps with hybrid geothermal sources.
    • Air-to-air (ATA) heat pumps with furnace, boiler or resistance backup sources.
    • Multiple types of heating or cooling sources configurable for load splitting. 
  • Air source heat pumps with ability to model user definable ambient temperatures for cut in of backup sources or cutoff of heat pump.

“BEST is an early modeling tool to sort out options for HVAC systems when very little information is known about the building,” said Greg Cunniff, P.E., director of Applied Solutions for Egg Geo Consulting. “With the trend to all-electric solutions — including cascading heat pump systems — BEST is able to quickly and easily compare these innovative ideas. Legacy modeling software currently has a difficult time comparing these new ideas.”

Upon its introduction in 2016, BEST solved a long-standing industry issue of being able to accurately compare different styles of HVAC systems, which are all tested to different standards, with various efficiency ratings (EER, IEER, SEER, COP, HSPF), as they are applied in an actual building.

To learn more about the Hydronic Industry Alliance-Commercial and the Radiant Professionals Alliance, or to join this important efficiency advocacy effort, visit www.HIA-C.org and www.radiantprofessionalsalliance.org.