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As any BREEAM assessor will empathise, traditional reporting processes involving numerous spreadsheets and hard copy CD submissions can be somewhat laborious. Having spent countless hours in the past compiling my own excel based reports I knew there had to be a way of making assessment services more time and cost effective.
It has now been more than 4 years since we implemented the IES TaP project management tool at Encon Associates and I think it is safe to say that we wouldn’t still be providing BREEAM assessment as a service without it. Since we started using IES TaP we have seen the capacity of each of our BREEAM assessors triple, allowing us to take on more projects knowing that we won’t be hindered by the associated administrative tasks.
With the progress of each project tracked in real time it’s a huge benefit knowing that I can go into a client meeting knowing that I have the most up to date report, where previously it would have been just a snapshot in time. The ability to access all of our projects on site via an internet enabled device also means that our assessors can complete a live pre-assessment and carry out multiple BREEAM scenarios on site, saving precious time otherwise spent in the office.
We have now used IES TaP on a number of high profile projects and the response from our clients on how it benefits the whole process has been extremely positive. Recent projects we have worked on include the prestigious City Park 1 development in Aberdeen, Scotland – a £42million venture which will is set to achieve a BREEAM rating of Very Good – and Beatrice Tate School, which achieved an BREEAM Excellent rating of 80.47% and reached the shortlist of the 2015 BREEAM awards.
Firstly, I must congratulate all the new ASHRAE Ireland committee, who worked really hard alongside myself, to make our first event a great success. It took place in the heart of Dublin (Dublin Castle), on 9th February 2016, and was incredibly well attended, with over 80 representatives from a diverse group across the whole building services sector – from both industry and academia. In addition, 10 sponsoring organisations including IES were also present, representing building design, HVAC equipment, refrigeration and controls.
A varied agenda included talks from across the industry:
• ASHRAE Organisation and the Ireland Section: Frank Caul (Sirus), Ken Goodman (ASHRAE Sub-Region B Chair) & Dr. Bruce D. Hunn (ASHRAE)
• Commercial Building Performance: Dr. Bruce D. Hunn (ASHRAE)
• Building energy policy and research: Kevin O’Rourke and Dr. Daniel Coakley
• Industrial Refrigerants: Seamus Kerr (RSL Ireland)
Bruce Hunn, the headline ASHRAE Distinguished Lecturer, spoke about ‘Performance Measurement protocols for Commercial buildings’, giving an in-depth discussion on characteristic measures for energy, water and indoor environmental quality (IEQ), as well as best practice guidelines for the application of each. This talk covered many important aspects of performance measurement, including setting the objective (why is it measured?), the metric (what to measure and how?), and finally the outputs in terms of appropriate benchmarks or performance indicators. The talk covered the three levels of performance objectives – basic, intermediate and advanced, giving detailed examples for each case, utilising the ASHRAE HQ building in Atlanta as a case study. Click here to view the presentation slides.
In the afternoon session, which focused on building policy and research, I introduced the concept of smart cities and smart buildings. My presentation illustrated how current IES research in this space is driving improved integration between systems, buildings, communities and cities. In particular, the talk focuses on solutions being developed through collaborative research projects and training networks, such as Horizon 2020 and Marie Curie, and how these are helping create the next generation of urban energy planners and engineering solutions capable of leveraging novel ICT technologies to improve design and operational efficiency. In particular, I highlighted my involvement in one of these projects – EINSTEIN, a Marie Curie IAPP project in collaboration with Trinity College Dublin, which aims to develop the next generation of optimised building controllers, through a combination of data-driven fault detection and prediction-based control optimisation. Click here to view the presentation slides.
Overall, the event was a great success for the launch of ASHRAE in Ireland, with a fantastic turnout, and positive feedback from attendees, sponsors and invited speakers and guests. It was great to see such a high level of interest and commitment from people from across the building services spectrum. We hope that this will lead to the growth of the organisation in Ireland, with further events already in planning, and growing interest in the formation of technical sub-committees among interested individuals and organisations.