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We are delighted to announce that our latest software release – VE2017 – has been shortlisted in the Digital Efficiency Initiative of the Year category of this year’s Building Awards!

The Building Awards are one of the industry’s longest running and most prestigious awards, established to recognise excellence and allow companies to hold up their achievements as an example to others in the building sector. The Digital Efficiency Initiative of the Year category – new to this year’s awards – has been launched in recognition of organisations that are driving greater business efficiency through the adoption of digital technologies.

If you haven’t already checked it out, you can find out all about the great new tools and features in VE2017 here. With headline features including our new Parametric Tool, optimisation tool Hone, and new Python Scripting capability (to name just a few), VE2017 brings to the market a number of innovative new software tools which can significantly enhance productivity, optimise sustainable building design and save money.

Best of luck to all our customers and peers who have also been shortlisted for an award! Winners will be revealed at a ceremony at Grosvenor House Hotel in London on 7th November 2017 – we can’t wait to hear the results!

As someone who has had multiple conversations with architects about sustainability and building performance over the last 7 – 8 months, I am often asked the question: “Can architects really make a difference to the low carbon transition within the built environment?” So, I decided to put my thoughts in a blog and let you be the judge of it…

Architects will often say that they have the intent, but they don’t have the budget or the expertise to deliver on performance based design. Others will say that there is not enough demand; the cost considerations overshadow sustainability initiatives; the clients are interested in maximising rooms rather than minimising energy and carbon in a development; or they are happy with the existing outsourcing relationship with their partners (including M&E partners and cost consultants). The list goes on and on.

However, there are strong commercial reasons to support why architects should be taking the initiative to set the sustainability agenda within the built environment space.

There are opportunities for them to:

  1. Exceed client expectations
  2. Manage resources better
  3. Reduce project risk
  4. Improve collaboration with partners
  5. Foster innovation

At IES, we foresee a future where architecture is synonymous with sustainable design, irrespective of the size of the practice or complexity of projects. Given our 20+ years of experience in developing cutting edge building performance tools, we are well positioned to support architects in this vision. We have been striving to make it easy for architects to push sustainability within their practice, especially during RIBA project stages 2 & 3, and, keeping in sync with digitisation trends in the industry, we have made our tools BIM Level 2 ready with a high degree of interoperability with platforms including Revit, SketchUp, Rhino and Archicad.

IES provides a comprehensive approach to sustainable design which includes multiple elements to cover daylighting, solar shading, visual comfort, thermal comfort, energy & carbon, costing and environmental impact. The VE software can also be used to help secure BREEAM credits across categories like materials, management, health & well-being and energy.

In fact, those looking to maximise their BREEAM potential might be interested to learn that IESVE can help them achieve 33% of all BREEAM credits. That’s almost half the credits required for a BREEAM ‘Excellent’ rating!

Furthermore, with the IES IMPACT suite of tools, architects can target up to a total of 12 capital costing, life cycle costing and life cycle impact credits, which have traditionally been thought to be cost prohibitive. Unlocking these credits can make the difference between achieving an ‘Excellent’ rating and a ‘Very Good’ rating, so there’s definite value to be gained. What’s more, reporting to the BRE couldn’t be easier as it can be done by sending the IES model directly to them.

The more advanced users out there can also take advantage of the latest ParametricHONE (optimisation) and Python Scripting capabilities within the VE to challenge their client’s approach or to aid participation in research projects or competitions.

Don’t take our word for all the WOW features and capabilities. Try it out! You already know how technology can make a difference to your workflows and give you a competitive edge.

Go to our website and download the 30-day trial today. With built-in navigators and Distance Learning courses available, you’ll be up and running in no time. And, if you get stuck, reach out to our friendly support team, dip into the FREE resources available from our Knowledge Baseuser manuals and YouTube channel, or connect with others in the IES Community via our user forum and LinkedIn group to see how they are using the tools within their own practice.

As they say – Dream Big, Start Small, Begin Now! We’d love to be part of your sustainability journey – why not contact me today to find out how?


ASHRAE Members around the world recently received their 2017 Fundamentals Handbook. Most of us likely received the digital version on a CD. Many of the new updates will impact the HVAC load calculations, performed by mechanical designers day in & day out – there are new design LPDs, revised kitchen equipment resources, and additional climate data, among many other additions!  Something that hasn’t changed: load calculation methods.

The 2017 edition of the Fundamentals Handbook defines only two load calculation methods: the Heat Balance Method (HBM) and Radiant Time Series (RTS). As part of the introduction, the radiant time series is categorized as “a simplification of the [heat balance] procedure”, but what exactly is the simplification?

Heat gain from the sun offers an illustrative example. Solar energy is absorbed by the exterior wall of a building and transfers to the inside of the building by conduction. Because the wall has thermal mass, that heat isn’t transferred immediately – there’s a conductive delay.

Solar energy is transmitted to the inside of the building through the window. Some of the heat is absorbed and reflected by the window, and the remainder is absorbed by the interior surfaces.  When those surfaces later emit that heat by convection, cooling load is created in the room – there’s a radiative delay.

The Heat Balance Method calculates these time delay effects explicitly with some basic assumptions like uniform surface temperatures. There are no arbitrarily set parameters.  Conductive, convective, and radiative heat balance is calculated directly for each surface within a room.

By contrast, the radiant time series (RTS) calculation uses radiant time factors and conduction time factors to distribute hourly heat gains over a 24 hour period instead of iteratively calculating the time delay effects. A table of time factors published in the Handbook determines how long heat is held by a wall or other surface before creating a cooling load in the space.

Whether heat balance method or radiant time series is used to calculate heating & cooling loads, computer software is nearly always employed. IES Virtual Environment (VE) software performs ASHRAE load calculations using the non-simplified Heat Balance Method, calculating heat balance and the resulting loads directly without time factors. To learn more about calculating loads for HVAC design using the VE, check out www.iesve.com/loads.

ENTRUST is one of the R&D projects that IES is involved in under the Smart City banner. It’s part of the Horizon2020 call topic ‘LCE20: The Human Factor in the Energy System’, and seeks to develop an understanding of Europe’s energy system.

In particular, it’s looking at how human behaviour and practices around energy is shaped by both technological systems and socio-demographic factors such as gender, age, and socio-economic status.

The knowledge generated from this project will ultimately contribute to improving stakeholder engagement across Europe, which is increasingly seen as essential if the EU is to implement the structural changes needed to move towards a less ‘carbon-intensive’ energy system.

IES is taking the lead in developing the project’s knowledge and communication platform, along with fellow partner STAM.

So who’s who’s in the IES Project Team?

Giulia Barbano, Project Manager, has worked for over 10 years in transferring sustainable built environment research to market, policy, and the public. She has contributed to several EU research projects as coordinator, manager and research leader, working at all scales from innovative materials to urban sustainability. At the international level she has organised dissemination activities and networking events for hundreds of researchers and professionals around the world.

Jessica Bergs is an expert in human-computer interaction and builds upon her educational background in media engineering and her work in Stuttgart´s creative industries as a developer and designer for interactive media for museums, events and showrooms. After attaining her Master´s degree with Distinction from the Glasgow School of Art, Jessica joined IES Ltd. where she now develops user-centred interaction concepts and prototypes for IES´ core product range and R&D projects.

Mark de Wit PhD joined IES in January of 2010 to apply his experience of delivering high-performance, data-intensive software solutions to the Virtual Environment, initially as a software developer, then Team Lead for the Model Interface team, and now as Software Architect. Prior to IES, Mark worked at a number of successful start-up companies, delivering innovative software solutions in data gathering and mobile phone applications. He holds a PhD degree in Computing Science from Glasgow University.

Michael Oates PhD is the Technical Analyst on commercial, and research and development (R&D) projects. Working for IES for over 4 years Michael has been technical lead/analyst on 6 FP7, H2020, and Marie Curie European projects. Mike´s research project topic areas include glazing (electrochromic glazing), retrofit technologies, manufacturing, and city modelling. He also has a focus on application development, including gamification.

To find out more about IES’s R&D work visit http://www.iesve.com/research.

 

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