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SBCImage1IES 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.

The winner, which will be announced on the night, will have the opportunity to become an M&S supplier. IES will be up against Arup and Airedale, Organic Response, Protomax Plastics and CBES with their respective innovations.

What is the IES Simulation Based Control tool?
Currently a prototype in several buildings, the IES Simulation Based Control tool helps provide optimal operational performance though a calibrated building simulation model. Uniquely operating every few minutes the model can assure optimal performance to suit the building owners’ objectives e.g. low-energy, low-carbon, reduced running costs. It achieves this by combining simulation modelling with real-time building and weather data to provide advanced, cloud-based performance prediction and optimisation. The calibrated operational model can also be used to deliver:

– Full Real and Virtualised Building Performance Data-sets
– More accurate Energy Conversation Measures scenario analyses (what ifs)
– Fault Detection
– Continuous retro-fit Analysis
– Monitoring and Verification
– Meaningful KPIs & Optimisation


For more information on the competition read Ecobuild and M&S Announce Big Innovation Pitch Finalists 2017

earthIES recently held our annual BIM4Analysis Faculty webinar. There were two main areas for discussion:

  1. Our new BIM Interoperability Navigator
  2. 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 us wanting to live in cities. This growth is fuelling the need for more building stock; it’s not just homes that are needed but schools, places of work, transportation and everything in between.

At the same time, we have a crisis with the health of the planet, global warming is marching forward. In 2015 leaders from around the world met in Paris for COP21. There was for the first time a full day given to the Built Environment, after all buildings account for over 1/3 of the total carbon emissions. The talks culminated in the signing of an agreement of 196 countries to tackle climate change.

Looking at our own industry, we continue drive to Digitalisation. PAS:1192 is soon to be the ISO standard to which all will conform to. Technology is rapidly evolving that we see its impact in all areas of the construction industry, Smart whiteboards connected to BIM for immediate design changes, Augmented Reality being used to super impose Design drawings on to site, the Internet of Things allowing more monitoring than ever before. It used to be the case that we just didn’t have any data about our buildings. Today the challenge is how we make best use of it all.

There is no denying we face challenges more suited to a Marvel Comic but here at IES we believe we are at the very centre of all of this. As leaders in digitalisation of construction through Analysis and Performance optimisation of buildings, it’s our mission to make our buildings better, and our cities smarter. By doing so, IES are creating cleaner, more sustainable environments playing our part in reducing the impact of the exponential growth of our population and its impact on our planet. IES see our VE users as superheroes; we’re in support as your sidekick.

When I meet with clients, they ask me, ‘What’s the best way to get my model in IESVE?’

To deliver on any given project, you will have to run multiple platforms, for example, Revit for your drawing, IESVE for your analysis, however, there are many different routes to sharing data and figuring out the best way can be challenging. This was confirmed at the poll that was undertaken ahead of our Faculty. As a side note: a surprising outcome from our poll was just how many of you are using the likes of Python Scripting to enhance your own workflows.

We understand this and that’s why we are delighted to announce our new Interoperability Navigator will be included in the upcoming VE2017 release FREE. The navigator brings all import setting, modelling guidance and functionality into one single place, guiding you through a step-by-step process to import your model from whichever drawing tool you are using into IESVE ready for analysis. This new Navigator doesn’t just bring all existing capability into one place, but adds new features:


Shell Correction (room geometry healing) has been improved and goes through a second correction phase that has an improved success rate at fixing geometry imported from other packages.

Geometry Errors can be viewed in the new ‘Quarantine Zone’ from the model tree and the model viewer. The model viewer also allows for the visible checking of surface orientations that were previously only listed in a report, which remains available.

Capping counters the issue when the source model file is not available. The capping functionality will allow multiple zones that have parts of their volume geometry escaping past the levels they should be stopping at.

One of the most common issues of importing models are gaps in the geometry where rooms in the originating source models have not been accounted for, for example ceiling voids, risers and stair access areas. Gap Filling will add in a volume to the model removing the requirement of going back to the originating model.

Data Import has been expanded to include new options, including:

  • Room Data only
  • Geometry only
  • Geometry & Assigned Data
  • Geometry & All Data
  • Import Wizard

Finally, ‘Import Wizard’ allows the comparison of an existing model that has been imported and simulated to a newly imported model geometry and data.

The new Interoperability Navigator will form the standard Model import workflow for all users, from beginner to advanced users, but it’s only the start. Users can build on this and during our Faculty, we showed an overview of the steps to achieve Bi-Directional interoperability between Revit and IES. This Syncs data between the two platforms, as you update in one, it automatically updates in the other.

So now that IES has resolved the challenge of importing your model into IESVE, you can focus on using the VE for creating better buildings and smarter cities. Time to be a superhero!

View video highlights from our BIM4Analysis 2017 update webinar on our You Tube channel.

Interested in Training?

IES is hosting 1-day face-to-face BIM import workshops. To discuss your requirements email niall.gibson@iesve.com
Bi-Directional Data Exchange Workflow – free BIM intro course. Sign up here
BIM Management for Energy Modelling Online Course – advanced hands-on BIM training. Sign up here.

For many building types, maintaining space conditions will account for a significant proportion of the overall energy consumption. With the effects of climate change expected to increase the external air temperature, buildings will see a shift toward an increased cooling need. If we are going to reduce our carbon emissions whilst minimising running costs then the onus will be on designers to correctly ensure their plant design is optimised. The key will be to accurately predict the cooling energy demand and recognise how a considered system will operate in practice. Not doing this accurately could lead to increased risk exposure when the building is operational. So what considerations should designers be recognising in the early stages?

If we start by looking at the UK compliance route which typically uses a Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) as a means of determining the cooling energy. SEER figures are intended to represent a weighted system efficiency that takes into consideration performance at varying part load conditions and at varying ambient temperatures. Manufacturer published SEER values are based on a specific set of conditions that in all likelihood will be very different to the range of conditions that a particular building is likely to operate within. While SEER values are useful for designers so to compare a range of products on a like for like basis they do not necessarily reflect the true performance when that cooling plant is then operational.

Typically SEER’s used in UK Compliance calculations will be based on the following standardised conditions:

Part Load Weighting Factor(Office Building) Weighting Factor(Unknown Profile) Air Cooled Chillers – Ambient Dry Bulb Temperature Water Cooled Chillers – Condenser Entering Water Temperature
100% 3% 25% 35°C 30°C
75% 33% 25% 30°C 26°C
50% 41% 25% 25°C 22°C
25% 23% 25% 20°C 18°C

The operating conditions for different part load conditions are used for benchmarking chillers internationally and do not necessarily even reflect the UK’s climate.

For many parts of the UK the air temperatures assumed for the SEER calculation at a 75% and 100% part load will rarely be observed. If the building is not an office type and the load distribution is unknown then the four part load points will be weighted equally putting an even greater significance on the plant at a high outdoor temperature when the system will be operating a lower efficiency.

The London TRY05 weather file for example has a peak external temperature of 31.8°C and exceeds 30°C for only 10 hours of the year but based on the standard weighting factors a 33% weighting factor should be applied to the performance at this condition

It should be remembered that simulations can be used to establish an appropriate SEER which permits a more accurate and indeed more favourable assessment.

Real Building Analysis

In many instances design consideration is still only given to the peak cooling demand to ensure the selected plant has sufficient capacity to safeguard the cooling plant needs. However it is important for designers to push on and understand the expected demand load distribution within the design. This is simply the case because a building may frequently experience part load conditions that the plant cannot meet efficiently, or its demand is lower than the cooling plant’s minimum turndown, or even the cooling system is an innovative design with multiple components where coolth is captured from many sources.

Take the example of when the cooling load demand is lower than the chiller’s minimum turndown, it will typically cycle on and off with this behaviour leading to inefficient performance. This in turn applies unnecessary stress on the plant which may result in faults and in places failure, but most certainly increased maintenance costs. Who will bear this burden? A building owner should not feasible expect this process after their investment has already been made.

To solve this step then the design should consider how the range of the cooling plant output can be extended through a modular chiller design. The chart below compares this range where the chillers can operate continuously for a single chiller and multiple chiller configuration.

Cooling Plant Output

While the chart above demonstrates that only a lesser proportion of part load conditions will lead to chiller cycling, this part load range can still be a common condition especially if the chiller plant has already been oversized.

As well as increasing the operational range of the chiller output, sequencing can be utilised to maximise the cooling plants operational efficiency by either running single or multiple chillers to achieve the best operating condition. The illustrative example below demonstrates a chiller’s COP at varying part load conditions. Alongside the COP, the load frequency is displayed indicating how often the cooling load falls into a particular range. This illustrates how sequencing multiple chillers can be utilised to provide smaller part loads efficiently.

The following series of charts illustrate how implementing multiple chillers and with sequencing can meet building loads more efficiently. The green bars represent the frequency a particular load condition occurs and in the example we see a significant number of hours where the cooling demand is relatively low. The grey line illustrates the systems efficiency at that part load condition.

The first example represents a single chiller serving the building where it operates at a poor efficiency across many hours. The SEER in this instance is 3.68.

Single Chiller

In the second example the same cooling demand is now met by two equally sized chillers which allows smaller loads to be met more efficiently than previously. The SEER now increases to 3.98.

Two Chillers

The final example uses two unequally sized chillers to go further in efficiently meeting the building loads. Now the SEER has risen again to 4.05.

Two Chillers2

The above examples are illustrative but are intended to demonstrate how the impact of plant selection and control can influence the performance of a building.

The efficiency of a building cooling plant is sensitive to a number of considerations including water loop temperatures, part load conditions and the ambient temperature, all of which continually change across the year. Only within a dynamic simulation can the building plant be modelled in the required detail to predict the true operation. With feedback from the dynamic simulation designers can confidently understand the HVAC plant operation and its responses to the pressures put on the building. Modelling the intended operation during the design stage will help identify potential risk far in advance to ensure an efficient and optimised plant.

CIBSE BSG Award to be Announced This Week

Posted: February 7, 2017 by , Category:Academic


Once again, IES is proud to be sponsoring the CIBSE Building Simulation Group Award, an annual competition open to postgraduate students from the UK and overseas for the best research project undertaken at Master’s level or equivalent to incorporate the application of building simulation tools.

The Awards will be announced at the CIBSE Building Simulation Group’s next event which is due to take place in London tomorrow evening (Wednesday 8th February). The fully booked event will comprise of a seminar on the topic of ‘Overheating risk assessment simulation and methodologies for buildings’, during which the winners will also be presented their awards by IES’ own Naghman Khan, Secretary of the CIBSE Building Simulation Group.

The winning thesis will be awarded a £1,000 cash prize, a full VE-Pro software licence for one year and a place on one of our 3-day public training events. Two runners up will receive a £250 cash prize, also sponsored by IES.

Watch out for details of this year’s winning submissions appearing on the CIBSE Building Simulation Group Award page after tomorrow’s event, where you can also read more about previous winners of this prestigious student award. Any students interested in entering next year’s awards should also watch out for details of the next challenge being posted on the CIBSE BSG Award page in due course.

As a key technology project partner on the iUrban project, we’re delighted and proud to announce that the city of Rijeka has received a Green Digital Charter award under the category ‘Promoting open and interoperable solutions’ for its implementation of iURBAN smart Decision Support System (DSS). This integrated, multilevel and scalable tool has been designed for cities’ administration to critically analyse energy consumption patterns and increase energy efficiency in public buildings.

The city of Rijeka was one of the two successful pilot projects for the project. Chosen for its strong history with ICT and its commitment to sustainability, the city is one of the first European cities that joined the European initiative “The Covenant of Mayors” in 2009. The initiative connects cities with goals to exchange experience in implementing effective measures to achieve sustainable development of the city through reduction greenhouse gas emissions, increasing the use of renewable energy and energy efficiency.

In 2010, among the first cities in Croatia, the City of Rijeka prepared its Sustainable Energy Action Plan (SEAP), which anticipates 42 measures and activities aimed at reducing CO2 emission in three sectors: building, transport and public lighting. Pursuant to the analysis of the implementation of these measures we will achieve 32% reduction of CO2 till 2020.

To find out more about the city of Rijeka and the iURBAN project please visit http://www.iurban-project.eu/

Click here to read the news item on the iURBAN website.


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