A qualitative comparison is presented between three current North American and U.K. design cooling load calculation methods. The methods compared are the ASHRAE Heat Balance Method, the Radiant Time Series Method and the Admittance Method, used in the U.K. The methods are compared and contrasted in terms of their overall structure. In order to generate the values of the 24 hourly cooling loads, comparison was also made in terms of the processing of the input data and the solution of the equations required. Specific comparisons are made between the approximations used by the three calculation methods to model some of the principal heat transfer mechanisms. Conclusions are drawn regarding the ability of the simplified methods to correctly predict peak-cooling loads compared to the Heat Balance Method predictions. Comment is also made on the potential for developing similar approaches to cooling load calculation in the U.K. and North America in the future.