Calculation of design cooling loads is of critical concern to designers of HVAC systems. The work reported here has been carried out under a joint ASHRAE/CIBSE research project to compare design cooling calculation methods. Three calculation methods have been tested, the ASHRAE heat balance method and radiant time series method, and the admit- tance method, used in the U.K. The results presented in this paper show the general trends in over/underprediction of peak load in the simplified methods compared to the heat balance method. The performance of the simplified methods is explained in terms of some of the underlying assumptions in the methods and by reference to specific examples.