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Archive for August, 2017

Between 7th-9th August, more than 770 Building Simulationists attended the bi-annual Building Simulation Conference in San Francisco and – for once – I did not have to fly to a conference! This is IBPSA’s big international conference and there was LOTS happening. However, for the purposes of this round up, I’ve decided to highlight five significant points of interest from the event.

1. IBPSA-Fellow
Our CTO, Dr. Craig Wheatley was awarded with the ‘IBPSA-Fellow’ award for his substantial contribution to the field of building performance & simulation. He was presented the award by the IBPSA President, Chip Barnaby. Congrats to Craig!

2. IES User-Group Meeting

This is the second time we hosted a user-group meeting in the US, and this one was a great success. We had 66 people register from 36 different companies. We previewed some new features coming in VE-2018 and the users voted on what they deemed to be priority items. Thanks to everyone who came.

3. The IBPSA Practitioner Competition

This competition is something that the San Francisco Bay Area chapter of IBPSA organized to run in parallel with the traditional student competition. There were initially over 40 registered practitioner teams trying to win a $1,500 cash prize for this modeling competition. In the end, 12 teams qualified to the final report stage and ultimately team AECOM won the first prize. I welcome you all to review AECOM’s final modeling report. Some images below as a teaser.

4. IES Training Workshop

We were delighted to see that our training course was the most popular at the conference. Thanks to PG&E for hosting at the PEC.

5. Papers, Presentations & Posters

I could write a separate article on this alone. The best presentations I personally saw included features of IESVE being pushed to the limit. Examples include modeling glycol in ApacheHVAC, modeling dynamic electrochromic glazing accounting for variable VLTs, the use of Hone for multi-objective outcomes and a very impressive VE model that simultaneously passed for Part L/ASHRAE 90.1/BREEAM/LEED compliance. We don’t see that too often.

I also enjoyed participating in the joint panel of software tools, giving presentations along with EnergyPlus, Simergy, Trace 3D+, Sefaira and DesignBuilder. Of the technical papers, I enjoyed the surveyed results that showed a healthy adoption of the VE in various internationally academic institutions (UK, US, Australia & India).

We’re proud to announce that Megan Tosh, Product Manager at IES, has received the ASHRAE Distinguished Service Award. The award recognizes those that have served ASHRAE faithfully and with distinction and who have given freely of their time and talent in chapter, regional and Society activities. Megan was one of the 56 members recognized at the recent 2017 Long Beach Annual Conference.

Previously awarded a Regional Award of Merit and Chapter Service Award, Megan is a long standing member of ASHRAE and has been involved with the Society since graduating with a Bachelors and Masters of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Central Florida (UCF). Upon graduation, Megan began volunteering with the Central Florida Chapter of ASHRAE as Student Activities Chair. She had participated in the ASHRAE Student Design Competition herself, and was grateful for the opportunity to share her exposure to the HVAC&R industry with fellow UCF engineers. Eventually, Megan served as Chapter President in Central Florida after enjoying other volunteer roles with the Chapter, including serving on the Host Committee for the 2010 Winter Meeting.

In 2010, Megan joined the YEA Committee, participating in organizing the successful YEA Leadership Weekends and expanding the program beyond North America. She later served as chair of the committee from 2014 – 2015.

Megan also served as Atlanta Chapter Vice-President and Student Activities Regional Vice Chair in Region IV for 2 years.  She is currently a consultant on the Student Activities Committee and the Vice Chair of the Electronic Communications Committee.  Megan is a contributor to the forthcoming ASHRAE Design Guide for Air Terminal Units.

“I’m delighted to have received the Distinguished Service Award. It’s been fantastic to work with like-minded individuals to serve ASHRAE, advancing human well-being through sustainable technology for the built environment.”
Megan Tosh, Product Manager, IES

At IES We pride ourselves in hiring people who are committed to sustainability and passionate about what we do. And in turn we offer a flexible and supportive working environment and the opportunity to work with a team of friendly, interesting and diverse people from across the globe. If IES sounds like a place you’d like to work, then keep an eye on our vacancies and follow @IESCareers on twitter. You can also send in a speculative CV to careers@iesve.com.


I had the pleasure of attending the World Future Energy Expo event in Astana, Kazakhstan recently (July 2017). The expo and summit is one of the largest events dedicated to future energy and related technologies. Almost every country and region in the World exhibited their best technologies, projects, case studies, research and progress in renewable energy, energy technologies and national policies. Mixed into this vast exhibition of technology and innovation was a display of cultural and local treasures, highlighting the numerous, wonderful and fascinating cultures from around the World. I was especially impressed with the host nations’ pavilion. Kazakhstan, an emerging economy and forward thinking Country, has emphatically captured the imagination of the word ‘future’ in every sense. Their pavilion was like stepping into the set of a Star Trek movie (literally, there was a space themed exhibition in a giant spherical glass building, with an enormous model of the Sun, and a space man descending from the ceiling).

As fun as all the fancy displays were, even more impressive was the science and tech behind the ‘future energy revolution’ unfolding in many countries. I was surprised to see so many countries (not companies) talking about moving to 100% clean energy in the near future. Many countries had electric vehicles, solar PV, wind and hydro resources at the centre of their clean energy transitions, along with novel utility business models with smart metering, IoT, block-chain and even artificial intelligence (AI) taking a pivotal role. It was also good to see a range of technologies being promoted; from small scale biogas to energy efficient cooking stoves, to energy storage and even tidal/wave technology finally making a splash!

Through conversation with senior policy makers from Azerbaijan and other countries, I better appreciate now the ‘local’ challenges of tackling the energy problem and climate change impacts. Their 3 cents (US) per KWh of energy cost as compared to almost 20 c/KWh in the UK makes for very different ‘payback’ and ROI scenarios, so an obvious solution in one country might not be so true in another.

Naghman (far left) with senior policy makers at the Capacity Building Programme, as well as organisers from Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.

Integrated Environmental Solutions (IES) were delighted to be invited to present at a capacity building workshop for senior policy makers from Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Armenia and Georgia as part of a wider programme organised by the Government of Singapore and Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore. I was presenting on behalf of IES. It was a fantastic experience.

Being able to listen to local energy challenges and the innovative solutions being thought up around the World, reminded me that the ‘future energy’ we often talk about is not so futuristic as it might seem. Fortunately, it’s here now and that gives me hope.


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