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Energy Efficient
Comfortable and Productive
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Hydronic systems use fluid or steam as the medium for the final heat-transfer

Q. Who should use the BEST?
Anyone who is interested in comparing the relative costs of owning and operating an HVAC system in a new building, either before or during the design phase, including prospective building owners, HVAC system design engineers, architects and mechanical contractors.

Q. When should the BEST be used?
BEST is an early project phase HVAC system comparison tool including over 100 industry-defined defaults so that anyone on the design team can see the key assumptions. The goal is to inform the user about complete HVAC system performance in comparison to other system choices for the same building to assist in making informed decisions about HVAC system type.

Q. How many HVAC system types are included?
BEST includes 30 predefined system types, and also allows the user to build custom systems using dropdown menu boxes.

Q. What is the minimum input required?
The building cube and the geographical location, plus a selection of up to 4 systems to compare at a time are required.

Q. Why is the building cube required?
These inputs allow BEST to calculate the square footage and HVAC system parameters required to move comfort throughout the building, displayed as energy load and cost per square foot.

Q. Why is the closest city required?
The program uses Bin Weather Data to estimate full and part load energy use profile so that all systems are compared to the same input.

Q. What output information does BEST generate?
BEST generates 9 reports detailing all inputs and calculated operating and life cycle costs.

Q. Where did the installed system and operating cost figures that BEST uses come from?
50 contractors from across North America confidentially contributed actual installation, maintenance, and replacement costs, as well as life in years, of HVAC systems they installed.

Q. What if the system I want to model has a different cost/sq. ft.?
Use the “Estimated Cost Wizard” and input alternate costs or actual bids.

Q. How accurate is the CO$T?
BEST has over 100 defaults; adjusting them to match your building improves the accuracy of the results.

Q. How much does the BEST cost?

Q. How can I get the BEST?