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IES TaP for LEEDIn our last article on project management, we called upon the famous words of Mike Tyson to discuss design team management and achieving your desired certification.

This time we’ll put our boxing analogies aside and instead focus on the insight and knowledge of the team behind IES TaP, our online project management system. They’ve come together to create these five tips for successful management of the LEED® certification process.

1) Plan to succeed

It is important that at the very beginning of the project, the certification goal is identified, measured and communicated effectively to the design team. As simple as this sounds, there is a lot of value in having conversations to make sure everyone is on the same page about the goal and how to get there (realistically).

In the planning stages, it is important to target credits and measure the likelihood of achieving the points within those credits. And yes, IES has a tool for that. IES TaP allows the user to simulate/test multiple scenarios and helps inform the right approach to take on the project to achieve the desired certification goal.

2) Closely monitor progress

It is essential to keep close track of your LEED projects at all times, watching for any issues that may cause a setback to your project achieving its certification goal. Unplanned hiccups hold projects back. Having an understanding of how these mid-project adjustments affect the projects as a whole can mean the difference between earning LEED Gold and Platinum status.

The visual dashboard incorporated in IES TaP allows you to see all of your current projects in one place and monitor their progress toward certification in real time. At the individual project level, you can also view the credit and documentation progress per section and monitor the progress of individual team member responsibilities.

3) Communication is key

The project team must communicate and collaborate well as they work toward achieving the project certification goal, ideally while being managed by an experienced LEED AP. It is important that the project team is clear on their individual responsibilities and the progress the project is making and have the ability to highlight where there may be input from other team members or the project LEED AP required.

IES TaP provides a breakdown of the individual documentation requirements and allows each requirement to be allocated to a team member. With automatic e-mail reminders for project team responsibilities, everyone on the team is kept aware of what is required of them in order to submit the project for certification on time, giving the project manager one less thing to think about. If someone on the project team is not pulling their weight, there is a helpful project notification that the project manager can send which contains all the pertinent information of the project status and team member responsibilities. Everyone knows who has to provide what and by when.

4) Know your credits

Make sure all team members have the relevant guidance from the USGBC on hand, filtered so that the relevant information is available for the credit being worked on.

IES TaP gives you access to the USGBC credit library at credit level, access to LEED Online forms and real-time synchronization with LEED Online. LEED APs can also supply specific guidance on the credit to assist team members through the public commenting system or create additional custom requirements and assign responsibilities as needed.

5) Work smarter, not harder

Make sure the engagement with LEED requirements is no more onerous for the project team than it needs to be. The benefit of using a tool like IES TaP is the ability to cut down the project management workload, helping the design team work in as smart a way as possible.

To find out more about IES TaP for LEED, check out our new IES TaP for LEED video, sign up for one of our free webinars and try the software firsthand using our 30-day trial.

This article was originally published on the USGBC website.

IES TaP Encon Associates
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.

If you want to find out more about how IES TaP can help you, why not drop by the IES stand at Ecobuild for a quick chat or demonstration. In the meantime, you can read the full case study here.

IES TaP Hall of Fame 2014

Posted: January 8, 2015 by , Category:IES TaP

hall-of-fame
2014 was an exciting year for IES TaP! A number of IES TaP managed projects were shortlisted for the 2014 BREEAM Awards, with one of them coming out on top to win the BREEAM Industrial Award: the inspirational Bombay Sapphire Gin Distillery project managed by GWP. It was also the year we launched IES Tap for LEED v4, and a huge number of projects were successfully certified under the LEED and BREEAM rating systems.

This year we are very pleased to announce that three IES TaP managed projects have been shortlisted for the BREEAM Awards 2015. The shortlists for the BREEAM Awards 2015 are comprised of an extraordinary variety of inspirational buildings. Here’s a little bit about each of the IES TaP managed projects nominated…

Beatrice Tate School, Tower Hamlets, London
A Bouygues UK project, the Beatrice Tate School is a co-educational special school for pupils aged eleven to nineteen with severe or profound and multiple learning difficulties. The school accommodates 75 pupils within a new facility across three floors on a constrained site in Mile End with a GIFA of 3004m² on a 4600m² site. The design for the new school provides a compact plan with a social hub at the heart of the new school. The school has been designed considering sustainability and environmental credentials from the outset by ensuring the building meets the stringent London Plan guidelines of a 40% reduction in CO2 over Building Regulations. The school has met the requirements for a BREEAM ‘Excellent’ rating narrowly missing out on an ‘Outstanding’ rating under the 2011 regulations.
Beatrice-Tate-School


University of Hertfordshire Phase 1 Student Accommodation Buildings

Another Bouygues UK project, this student accommodation scheme comprises 2,511 new student bedrooms in a variety of formats (studios, cluster flats and town houses, up to a maximum of six storeys) which will be built across three phases. In addition to the accommodation blocks, Phase 1 has an energy centre (which will provide CHP for the whole site) and a social Hub building, along with external sports pitches. The Scheme is set to be a market leader in sustainability representing an exciting first in its sector. The new buildings will achieve a ‘True’ Zero Carbon accreditation and meet BREEAM Outstanding requirements under the 2011 regulations.
TaP-hall-of-fame


Lees Medical Practice, Oldham

Lees Medical Practice is a new visionary and highly-sustainable 800sq m medical centre situated in Lees, Oldham. The building has been pre-assessed as achieving a BREEAM ‘Excellent’ rating as well as receiving an impressive EPC ‘A’ Rating of 12. It utilises a series of innovative and sustainable solutions, which ensure a comfortable environment for patients and employees throughout the year without the need for air conditioning or traditional fossil-fuelled heating systems. The medical centre is designed and orientated to ensure maximum benefit from the 50kW solar panel array installed on the roof. This generates a significant proportion of the building’s power requirements and reduces the CO² emissions.

Online Tracker Systems
Online tracker systems such as IES TaP make it easier for construction professionals to incorporate environmental assessment methods such as LEED and BREEAM into their building projects. They equip users with a new and easier way of working that saves time, costs and increases productivity. I recently wrote article on the benefits of using project management systems as opposed to traditional methods, which you can read here.

The winners of the BREEAM Awards 2015 will be announced at the Awards Ceremony on Tuesday 3rd March at the London Marriott, Grosvenor Square.  Good luck to all the nominees, and to all those who will be involved in the next ground breaking projects that will lead the way in this coming year.

For more information on IES TaP and to download a FREE Trial visit www.iestap.com.

Sporting Sustainability

Posted: July 22, 2014 by , Category:IES TaP, Sustainability, Uncategorized


stadium-roof
With the World Cup ending and the Commonwealth Games just about to begin we thought it would be apt to take a brief look at how global sporting events are doing their bit for the environment…

Over the years sporting events across the globe have noticeably stepped up their game in terms of sustainability. The recent 2012 London Olympics boasted a saving of the equivalent of over 400,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide due to its sustainable practices, whilst the imminent Commonwealth Games in Glasgow this year, just last month received its certificate for achieving ISO 20121, the international standard for Sustainable Event Management, confirming its commitment to be a truly sustainable Commonwealth Games.

This year’s FIFA World Cup was no exception with the final match being powered purely by solar energy. And the lights certainly didn’t go out on Germany. Not only were they victorious in winning the Cup, the country has shown a true commitment to the world’s sustainability agenda by recently announcing its investment in the 100 Smart Cities initiative in India.

And looking on to the next World Cup to be held in Russia, plans are already under way to raise the bar for sustainable construction design in the country by designing stadiums to BREEAM standard. Using state of the art cloud-based project management technology IES TaP, three of the stadiums (Samara, Volgograd and Nizhny Novgorod) are on track to achieve BREEAM ratings. BREEAM expert, Glenn Miles recently wrote an interesting article on the benefits of using project management systems as opposed to traditional methods, which you can read here.

It’s encouraging to see that such large scale, global events are putting sustainability at the top of their agendas. These events affect and reach millions of people and it is important that the messages on protecting the environment are promoted as much as possible. It’s clear that everyone is still not fully aware of the dangers of climate change and the more that is done to raise awareness and encourage people to be more responsible towards the environment, the more chance we have of mitigating the potentially devastating effects.

If you’ve been following the IES TaP twitter feed you’ll have noticed we’ve been posting some of the BREEAM 2014 changes that will come into affect when the new scheme launches this week. Following the biggest consultation BRE have ever undertaken, the scheme has been tweaked based on substantial user feedback. Because of this research, I see 2014 as being a more natural evolution of the scheme, rather than the severe changeover that took place for 2011. Most changes shouldn’t affect assessors and design teams too much, but I’ll use this blog post to highlight one of the changes that I think is worth noting.

The biggest potential banana skin I can see with the new scheme is the way that evidence is conveyed. With BREEAM 2014, BRE do not specify the exact evidence anymore, instead making it more generic by specifying general evidence types. I can see that BRE are trying to make it easier for the design team to collate evidence for an assessment, by not having to create BREEAM specific evidence for each credit. In doing that, I think it may actually make it harder for the design team as it doesn’t spell out exactly what they need to provide, and for the assessor as they would need to determine which general evidence types apply to each credit.  IESTaP was created to ensure the design team know exactly what evidence they need to provide and this continues with the introduction of the BREEAM 2014.

Take Wat 01 for instance; BRE specify that the design team provide ‘One or more of the appropriate evidence types listed in the BREEAM evidential requirements’. But what specific type of evidence would meet the requirements? This would be a bit general for my liking; I’d prefer something along the lines of ‘Potable water and sanitaryware specification including flows’ to explain to the design team member what is actually required. By doing so this will reduce the input from the assessor and unnecessary questions from the design team asking ‘What exactly do I need to provide’. And that’s why I think it will prove a lot more difficult to assess without products like IES TaP.

For the 2014 update, BRE are removing specific evidence, but with IES TaP the assessor still has the option to allocate the specific evidence to the design team to avoid confusion and ensure the team know exactly what needs to be provided. IES TaP includes a standard evidence template which highlights the specific evidence needed for each credit. Want to create your own template? That’s easy too. IES TaP has been designed to allow the assessor to create their own evidence template for any given project, allowing for fully customisable evidence according to your project.

Flexible evidence requirements have been added to IES TaP for BREEAM 2014, which will be launching this week. This new version of our project management system will support BREEAM 2014 New Construction and Simple Buildings, the new Shell only and Shell & core only options.

We’ve also created an interface with the 4Projects by Viewpoint® system. Where documentation already exists in 4Projects, the direct upload of information to IES TaP helps to reduce workload and uploading of evidence more than once.

Another useful new feature will be our new project BREEAM score card. Similar to our LEED® score card, it makes it quicker to undertake a pre assessment, providing quick and powerful access to the whole project in one page.

So BREEAM is changing and so is IES TaP. If you’re already an IES TaP user, we hope these updates free up more time for you and your team. And for those of you who have yet to try it out? Well head over to our website and sign up to a free webinar and get yourself a free trial.

ies-tap-leed-v4

Those are the words of former heavyweight champion of the world, Mike Tyson. I think Mike could have been reflecting on how planning gets you half way there, but it’s the ability to then manage and adapt your plan that ultimately determines success.

But then again; maybe he was just talking about punching people in the face.

Let’s take the boxing analogy further here. Say your building design team is your prize fighter and the coveted LEED certification is your World Champion title. You need to be able to manage the design team and keep it in the best shape, in order to pre-empt and react to any (metaphorical) “punches in the face.”

When Integrated Environmental Solutions Limited answered USGBC’s call for technology partners, we set out to create something that set up project teams to handle any bumps in the road they came across. Enter, IES TaP for LEED, this project management tool manages, streamlines and informs throughout the certification process, all the time keeping the focus on achieving that desired LEED rating.

Accountability + Communication

With IES TaP, responsibility is assigned to each individual documentation requirement, not just responsibility for the credit, along with a date required, giving a greater level of management and tracking of the documentation gathering process.

IES TaP also automatically sends email notifications when documentation is uploaded, or is overdue, and project update notifications throughout the project keep the whole team up-to-date with the current progress of the project and their remaining responsibilities. Project updates happen in real time in the IES TaP collaboration portal and can be viewed at any stage during the project, so the whole team can see exactly what documentation is outstanding instantly, and which credits have been documented, at any point in time.

In a nutshell, we take a lot of the pain out of project management by holding team members accountable for completing their assignments, reminding them to complete their documentation, reminding them of due dates and keeping track of what each team member has already completed.

IES TaP directly populates rating system documentation requirements from USGBC online credit library, and with seamless integration with LEED Online and LEED forms for V4 and 2009 projects, you can make sure the project you submit becomes a contender and project teams can ‘box clever’.

If you want to find out more about IES TaP for LEED, check out our introduction movie, sign up for one of our free webinars and finally try the software first hand using our 30 day trial.

IES TaP for LEED launched at Greenbuild

Posted: December 13, 2012 by , Category:IES TaP, LEED

The dust has just about settled after another hectic Greenbuild. If you were there in person or following online, it’s clear to see that this is the biggest and most anticipated green building conference of the year for a reason — it creates an energy and atmosphere that brings out the best in our industry.

If you were following our countdown to Greenbuild on twitter you’ll know we had a lot planned across the 3 day conference in San Francisco — presentations, workshops and manning our booth were just the tip of the iceberg! The most exciting part of our time at the show for our team was the launch of IES TaP for LEED 2009, taking us a step closer to automating as much of the LEED process as we can. There’s always a buzz in the company when we launch a new product and having the opportunity to present it exclusively to attendees at Greenbuild added to it.

IES TaP, our collaboration portal for managing Green Building Ratings Online, has been further developed to support LEED 2009. IES TaP for LEED enables project administrators to manage and track the process of gathering all submittal documentation from Charrette to Certification — allowing responsibility to be allocated to the project team for each individual documentation requirement. With seamless integration into LEED Online, LEED Online Forms, and the USGBC Online Credit Library, IES TaP for LEED enhances the management of the whole LEED workflow.

Additionally, it can be used in conjunction with our VE-Navigators for LEED and ASHRAE 90.1 (LEED Energy). These tools do analysis calculations and create the required documentation via LEED online.

Our aim with IES TaP for LEED is to substantially reduce the amount of time required by users to make a LEED submission, which will then hopefully have the knock on effect of encouraging them to use some of that time to make the building a little more sustainable.

After our 9th visit to Greenbuild, it’s fantastic to see IES and our peers in the industry continually pushing ourselves to bring products like IES TaP for LEED to the industry. I wonder what new IES software development I’ll be talking about after next year’s conference…

If you want to find out more about IES TaP for LEED and how you can use it to streamline, manage and automate the LEED submission process, check out our introduction movie on YouTube or sign up to one of our free webinars here.

IES TaP Logo2012 has been a very busy and eventful year — we’ve joined forces with IES, launched IES TaP at Ecobuild and continued on our mission to provide the most efficient environmental assessment tracking tool on the market.

So what exactly is TaP? IES TaP is an intelligent online project tracking solution that allows you to access and track all of your BREEAM and Code for Sustainable Homes (CSH) projects and evidence documents in one secure online location, without having to rely on email or fax to manage the process.

This tool is the brainchild of Track a Project Ltd. The idea came from the desire to streamline the way in which the Assessor gathered evidence from the Design Team, a notoriously difficult and time consuming process! The concept popped into the head of one of our BREEAM Assessors during a typically long winded Pre-Assessment meeting. The usual array of architects, engineers, M & E consultants, contractors and Project Managers were assembled around the table.

Running through the laborious process of pen and paper, scribbling down which member of the team was responsible for which piece of evidence, trying to explain what was needed, knowing full well that once back in the office, it would all have to be typed up into an excel spreadsheet and emailed to everyone and would be out of date the minute you hit send!

That was the driving force behind the need for something new, something better. Track a Project was born and the rest, as they say is history!

A team of BREEAM and CSH Assessors set off developing the idea. Talented software programmers, with a background of working on some of the leading information portals on the market, were drafted in and the ideas of the team were quickly made reality.

Once operational, the tool was tested by our in house Assessors for over 12 months. The flaws were ironed out, features added and improvements made. Within weeks of the portal going live, positive feedback from our clients and design teams was pouring in. The impact was enormous. The time the tool was saving was phenomenal. The word was beginning to spread and we knew we had something special on our hands, something capable of revolutionising the Environmental Assessment process.

At that point, we realised this was too good to keep to ourselves, we knew we had to release it to everyone! Track a Project was officially released in October 2010.

With a growing customer base, initial take up of the system was good, however if the product was to explode, we needed more muscle and who better to join forces with than world leading environmental experts, IES Ltd.

Many nights of burning the midnight oil followed, Track a Project was streamlined even further and eventually, after months of collaboration, the new IES TaP portal was launched.

It was fantastic to finally present IES TaP to the industry, and there was no better place to do so, then at the Ecobuild conference at Excel London, in March. It was a manic few days that brought a conveyor belt of people to the IES Booth. We had the opportunity to demo IES TaP throughout the event and we spoke to a lot of interested assessors that wanted to know more about the tool.

So what can this tool do for BREEAM and CSH assessors?

Save time? Check.
Save money? Check.
Make assessments easier? Check.

As far as ticking boxes goes, we’d say IES TaP is pretty much on top of its game. But don’t take our word for it…

“Assessing BREEAM credits can be such a complicated process and this makes it so much easier to be organised. It keeps everyone in the team on the right track and ensures that we never miss our deadlines. It’s a feature that I’ve never seen before in any other tool making it by far

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the number one choice for me.” Andrew Matthews, Director of Vale Interiors Ltd.

“TaP has been an amazing assistant throughout our Code experience! It cuts the paperwork, the hassle and the timescale of passing on the relevant information to your code assessor! Fenwood Estates would recommend TaP to any company trying to achieve CSH whether it be a single plot to a multi-unit development!” Melissa Fennell, Development Director, Fenwood Estates.

So it’s onwards and upwards for IES TaP and this exciting new collaboration. We want to continue to provide the best project tracking tool to our customers in the UK, while also making plans to automate and streamline the process for building rating systems around the

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