An article appeared in the Telegraph last week, Energy Scandal: Misleading Efficiency Claims Leading to Huge Bills for Homeowners. At IES, while we’re 100% in support of the industry needing to do much more to tackle the energy performance gap, we feel that this article unfairly lays the blame for it at the doors of energy modelling professionals.

Headquartered in Glasgow, IES is the main provider of performance simulation software in the UK. We’ve been helping address the numerous causes of the performance gap for several year’s now, through training and education sessions.

Yes, the ‘performance gap’ is well documented and known about in the industry. But to address it requires action by all those involved in a building’s life cycle, from design to operation. That includes architects, engineers, energy modellers, contractors and facilities managers to name a few. The finger should not just be pointed only at building modelling professionals!

There are a number of issues in play here.

First off, a key misconception to understand, is that an EPC, as modelled by software during the design stage, is NOT a true reflection of how a building will perform once built. EPCs assess a building under normalised conditions, missing out ‘unregulated building energy loads’ that are not required to be included in the calculation. As an industry, we need to get away from modelling just for compliance and modelling for actual building energy use. Read more on our views on this here.

Next up there are already several well-established industry initiatives aimed at tackling the issue. CIBSE Guidance TM54 is focused on ‘Evaluating Operational Energy Performance of Buildings at the Design Stage’, and the BSRIA Soft Landings Process aims to help to solve the performance gap between design intentions and operational outcomes by better management of the handover process from design, through commissioning, and on into operation to deliver a better performing product.

Combine this with, the digital revolution of the construction industry that is Building Information Modelling (BIM), and the industry has a vehicle to capture relevant information during design for use during the operational phase of the building as well as accountability for operational performance.

So what’s the problem? Ultimately, building clients want low fees. To move away from a compliance only modelling approach that uses standard assumptions and leaves predictions of energy use way out, needs the support of clients. When done properly a building model can predict within +/- 5% of energy performance. But time and effort needs to be taken during the modelling process to predict realistic use. And time costs money!

In reality, this research just highlights why modellers use software tools to understand building energy use. The way a building responds in practice is complex with many factors interacting and needing to be accounted for. Modellers use tools like the IESVE to run scenarios and check their assumptions are correct. They often change their views based on feedback from models. The energy modellers that took part in the research were not asked to use any modelling software to inform their responses.

This is why tools like IESVE exist, to aid professionals in making informed decisions. All IESVE modellers can access detailed training and accreditation from us, and we would wholeheartedly support more courses, and in-depth, industry wide accreditation.

We believe that much more needs to be done to mitigate climate change. It’s happening faster than anyone wants to believe. And buildings play a huge part in this. In fact, buildings are responsible for 40% of the world’s carbon emissions – that’s more than any other industry. If we are going to save the […]

This week we announced that we have been collaborating with Monodraught to release further performance components within the IESVE. The components are for Monodraughts’ Hybrid Thermal Mixing (HTM®) ventilation system, and sit within our VE ApacheHVAC application. With the previous success of integrating components for Monodraught’s Windcatcher and Cool-phase systems we are very pleased to […]

ENTRUST Project – Power to the People

Posted : March 14, 2017 by John G

The following piece is an extract from the January 2017 issue of Impact, a publication that features science reports designed to enable the dissemination of research impact to key stakeholders. This is a report on ENTRUST, a H2020 R&D project that IES is involved in as a project partner. ENTRUST is a three-year project exploring […]

We’ve been working with Breathing Buildings for several months now, and today we’re excited to announced the result of that collaboration – a brand new performance component within the VE for Breathing Buildings’ NVHR low energy hybrid ventilation system. The new component uses IES Navigator technology to streamline and automate the integration of the component […]

Ecobuild 2017 kicks off tomorrow and we’re excited about what the show has in store. Positioned in a prime location right by the main conference stage, our team of experts will be on hand at stand F118 to talk you through and demonstrate all the latest exciting features of our newly launched VE 2017. As […]

VE 2017 is now Live!

Posted : March 3, 2017 by Suzanne

VE 2017 is our biggest release to date! With 25 major new features, as well as lots of smaller enhancements, we are very excited to be launching this new release. Some of the features include the latest cutting edge technology from our R&D division, whilst many of them are customer requests fed back to us […]

IES has been chosen as one of the 5 finalists for this years’ Ecobuild and M&S Big Innovation Pitch. At 5pm on Tuesday 7 March IES Founder and Managing Director, Dr Don McLean, will take to the stage in Ecobuilds’ main conference theatre to pitch the IES Simulation Based Control tool to the judging panel. […]

IES recently held our annual BIM4Analysis Faculty webinar. There were two main areas for discussion: Our new BIM Interoperability Navigator An overview of Bi-Directional workflow between Revit and IESVE The world around us is changing; the world’s population is growing exponentially set to reach 10 Billion by 2030. Urbanisation is rising rapidly with more of […]

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