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Today we received the great news that IES R&D has been nominated in the “Best Early Stage innovation” category of the European Commission’s Innovation Radar Award 2017. The competition identifies Europe’s top future innovators and their innovations, and is voted for by the public online. Our NewTREND web tool for energy efficient retrofitting has been nominated alongside 9 others in the category. Voting is open until 15 October 2017 so please vote now.

VOTE ONLINE NOW

Developed as part of the NewTREND EU H2020 funded project, the Data Manager supports teams in finding the best energy retrofitting strategy for their particular building by guiding them in the data collection phase. In particular, the Data Manager enables on site data collection and information exchange with the rest of the NewTREND platform, which allows evaluation of different design options at both the building and district level, including district schemes and shared renewables, and will present information on available financing schemes and applicable business models.

The development of the NewTREND platform is still ongoing, but it will soon be tested in three real renovation projects in Hungary, Finland and Spain. On the three demo sites, the involvement of the stakeholders in the design process will be evaluated, with specific activities dedicated to inhabitants and users. This validation will ensure the NewTREND platform addresses the needs of the energy retrofit market, after which the team aims to bring it to market as a cloud service for renovation projects.

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.


In VE 2017, IES launched brand-new multiple simulation and optimisation capabilities. Designed to save you time and reduce project costs, these tools allow you to spend less time simulating and more time evaluating results. And that means increased value for your client, reduced error, higher quality results and the opportunity to integrate performance-led iterations and optimisation into your projects at a much earlier stage.

An outcome of our UMBRELLA R&D project, the Parametric, HONE and Elements tools are standalone tools that reference your VE model. The advantage being that the VE can then still be used whilst any parametric or optimisation studies are being performed. They allow you to run multiple simulations in significantly less time and quickly evaluate the ‘best’ solution to go with.

As an example of just how much time this could save you we looked at an old consulting project that involved 150,000 simulations. When we did the project back in 2015 it took our team 3 weeks to run all the simulations. Now using the new Parametric Tool it would only take them 2 days!

Project Brief: Assist Serge Ferrari by illustrating the impact of their high performing flexible composite material products on the heating/cooling demand, solar performance and comfort of the building as a whole, across a range of scenarios.

Project Overview:

  • 4 building types: offices, school, health and hotel
  • 3 types of glazing performance
  • 2 percentages of glazing
  • 10 locations worldwide
  • All Sergi Ferrari Flexible Composite Materials
  • 150 000 scenarios

If you want to find out more about the advanced capabilities and added value these tools offer to you and your end client, then join us at our free upcoming IES Faculty session in London on 11th July 9-12.30am, or read more about the Parametric Tool and HONE online.

Book for IES Faculty: VE2017 Unleashed here.

 

Cover Photo by Carl Heyerdahl on Unsplash

ENTRUST
The following piece is an extract from the January 2017 issue of Impact, a publication that features science reports designed to enable the dissemination of research impact to key stakeholders. This is a report on ENTRUST, a H2020 R&D project that IES is involved in as a project partner.

ENTRUST is a three-year project exploring energy-related human behaviours and attitudes and how these are shaped by numerous factors, including age, gender and socioeconomic status. Through this in-depth analysis, the research team hopes to advance the transition to a low carbon energy society.

Traditionally, energy has been seen primarily as a commodity – a marketable product produced and sold by companies with the principal motivation of financial return. In this perspective, citizens are conceived as consumers whose only legitimate mode of interaction with the energy system is through their purchasing choices and consumption practices. However, consumption only represents one element of the human interaction with the energy system and such a restrictive view has led to poor policy decisions being made, resulting in, for example, bottom-up resistance to energy infrastructure and the design of less than effective initiatives aimed at changing energy behaviour and practices.

In a time when the energy system is undergoing a rapid transformation, understanding the human dimensions of energy is more important than ever. The EU has set targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 40 per cent from 1990 levels, and to have a minimum of 27 per cent of energy produced by renewables, as well as a 27 per cent improvement in energy efficiency. In order to achieve this transition to a low carbon energy paradigm efficiently and effectively, the way in which energy is viewed needs to be re-evaluated.

ENERGY CITIZENSHIP
Energy citizenship is a theory that seeks to move beyond the narrow view of energy as a commodity and seeks to integrate the public as active stakeholders in the energy system. While this is an emergent (and to a degree contested) concept, a key feature of energy citizenship is that it should involve not only the responsibility to change behaviours and practices, but also include the right of citizens to be involved in energy-related decision making processes.

ENTRUST (Energy System Transition Through Stakeholder Activation, Education and Skills Development) is a project that has adopted this theory as a conceptual framework for investigating the human factors of the energy system. Commenced in May 2015, and coordinated by University College Cork (UCC), Ireland, this Horizon 2020-funded project seeks to gain an indepth understanding of people’s awareness and perceptions of the energy system, their attitudes towards various energy technologies, and their energy consumption behaviours and practices. This analysis particularly explores how sociodemographic factors (especially gender, age and socioeconomic status) impact and shape these attitudes and practices. Building on this understanding, the project additionally aims to engage the public in the current energy transition and develop effective tools for creating public interest in European energy policy and innovation. It is hoped that researching and understanding this human dimension will both help to build an energy infrastructure that is acceptable to communities, and that supports the successful transition to a low carbon society.

A MULTIDISCIPLINARY APPROACH
What is particularly important about ENTRUST is its multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary approach to its research on the energy system. A wide range of disciplines – including engineering, sociology, political science, psychology, gender theory and human geography – are integral to the effective exploration of the sociodemographic factors at play. To obtain expertise in such a diverse array of fields, a number of organisations – Liverpool John Moores University and Integrated Environmental Solutions Ltd (UK), LGI Consulting (France), Redinn S.r.l. and STAM S.r.l. (Italy), and Enerbyte Smart Energy Solutions SL (Spain) – are partners with UCC on the project.

The ENTRUST team sees the roles of gender, age and socioeconomic status in moulding a person’s identity as crucial to understanding their associated impacts on our energy infrastructures. As Project Coordinator Niall Dunphy explains: ‘We recognise that every person’s identity is complex and multifaceted, and that gender, age and socioeconomic status all play a role in shaping – both positively and negatively – people’s attitudes and practices when it comes to energy. We should also recognise that these indicators also shape people’s experiences of oppression and privilege to varying degrees throughout their lives.’

To gain an enhanced understanding of individuals’ actions and behaviours in relation to energy, ENTRUST has adopted an integrated, mixed-methods approach. It will evaluate the extent to which one’s social environment impacts on behaviour and practices. Furthermore, the role of gender (in particular) will be assessed via intersectional analyses to gain a deep insight on how multiple sociodemographic factors of a person’s identity can influence their energyrelated attitudes and practices. Through this investigation, the ENTRUST team is endeavouring to integrate new knowledge within a practical framework that can help shape future energy innovations, improve stakeholder understanding and, ultimately, overcome the shortcomings of the current energy transition. ‘By helping to give local people a voice in policy making we hope to contribute towards short-circuiting the potential for repeating some of the pitfalls that hindered previous phases of the energy transition,’ states Dunphy.

THE IMPORTANCE OF COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT
Since energy citizenship lies at the core of ENTRUST’s framework, empowering communities is a crucial focus of the project. The team is collaborating with six different communities across Europe, which will have the opportunity to co-design their own energy transition. ‘We are working with these communities to, firstly, understand both their awareness, perceptions, behaviour and attitudes to energy-relevant technologies, and, secondly, to facilitate them to envision, and to re-imagine their own energy transition,’ Dunphy elaborates.

One interesting approach being adopted by the project to help community empowerment is Participatory Action Research, the emphasis of which is on participation and action among community members. By enabling individuals and communities to work collaboratively and thoughtfully towards making positive change happen, ENTRUST is encouraging the development of bespoke energy systems that involve an efficient, low carbon framework.

The project is engaging the public by conducting in-depth face-to-face interviews, focus groups and mini-publics (the assembling of randomly selected citizens that represent a microcosm of the public to discuss a particular topic). A particular emphasis is on ensuring inclusivity. For example, with regard to gender, timing, location and provision of support services (such as crèches) are considered important to enable both female and male participation.

In terms of wider public engagement, Dunphy and his colleagues are setting up a communication and knowledge platform that will inform and update citizens on the developments of their community’s future bespoke energy system. Not only this, but the platform will encourage discussion and participation among individuals – no matter what their gender, age or socioeconomic status – giving them an active say in the shaping of their energy system.

ENTRUSTING COMMUNITIES WITH THE ENERGY OF THE FUTURE
Just one year into the project good progress has already been achieved, with the completion of numerous analyses on, for example, policy and regulation, energy technologies and market-based policy tools. Now, activities are really ramping up, as the multidisciplinary team gets to work on stakeholder engagement and sociodemographic analyses. ‘The next 12 months are an exciting time for the ENTRUST project,’ Dunphy notes. ‘We will continue our intensive and rich engagement with the six communities of interest, which will result in intersectional analyses of their perceptions and attitudes towards energy, and of their perceptions and attitudes towards energy technologies.’ Once these findings have been obtained, they will, along with the aforementioned analyses, be able to significantly inform the future of our energy system.

Find out more about the ENTRUST Project here: http://www.entrust-h2020.eu/

Rijeka
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.

Sustainable Places Conference
One of the greatest challenges that our societies have ever faced is how to drive energy efficiency at the building, district and city level. Sustainable Places is an International Conference held each year across Europe to gather scientists, researchers, and engineers, from both academia and industry to discuss the latest state-of-the-art advances in this area.

This year, its being held in Anglet, France and IES is involved in a big results workshop for FASUDIR, as well as presenting on work currently in progress on the iURBAN and NewTrend projects. While other projects RESSEEPE and Energy in Time are also hosting in-depth workshops.

The show aims to facilitate innovative solutions for renovation and new construction to ensure the long-term environmental sustainability of ever-growing, densifying urban areas, in a resource-constrained world. Information and Communications Technology (ICT), along with other key research domains (energy, materials, methods and practices, etc.) will be at the core of the conference.

Join us at the show if you’re heading along, or catch up with our post show blog.

FASUDIR Results Workshop
Thursday 30th June, 9am-12.30pm, Nick Purshouse

FASUDIR Linked Workshop/Paper: Historic Cities in Transition
Wednesday 29th June, 4.30-6.30pm

iUrban Paper Presentation
Thursday 30th June, 9am, Mike Oats

NewTrend Presentation: District Renewal Workshop
Wednesday 29th June, 11am-4pm Nick Purshouse

RESSEEPE Workshop: Public Building Retrofitting
Wednesday 29th June, 2-4pm

RESSEEPE Paper Presentation
“Innovative technologies for retrofitting: Coventry University as a Living Lab”
Wednesday 29th June 4.30pm

Energy in Time Workshop: Building Operations & Maintenance
Thursday 30th June, 9am-12.30pm

birtha-2-without-frame

Ever wondered what a Technical Analyst does? Well wonder no more! For this blog post we went behind the scenes to meet with Birthe Klebow, a member of our Software Development team to find out more about her role, what she loves about it and what advice she would give to other women entering a profession in a largely male dominated industry…

What attracted you to working in Software Development, particularly for IES?
I enjoy challenging myself to find elegant solutions for complicated problems. Working in software development gives me the opportunity to think outside the box and explore ‘uncharted waters’ every day. It is a great privilege to work with a company whose vision I fully support: the development of more sustainable buildings and cities by exploiting the potential of dynamic simulation. Working as a member of an expert team in IES, I actively shape and enhance the company’s market leading software products.

What does your role at IES involve?
As a technical analyst I bridge the gap between our product managers, external project partners and our software developers. My role is to understand user / project requirements and research, envision and formulate concepts for innovative solutions meeting their needs. I finally create software specifications which serve as the foundation for the development of the final products.

What project are you currently working on?
I am the technical lead for two European Horizon 2020 research projects which are both coordinated by IES. They are called NewTREND and IMPRESS. Together with research and industry partners from ten different countries, we are developing software solutions for Building Information Modelling (BIM) supported building energy retrofit. The goal is to help significantly reduce energy consumption in existing buildings and make building energy retrofit projects more accessible, effective, efficient and affordable.

What do you enjoy most about your role?
I highly value the impact my work has, not only in terms of the enhancement of existing products, but also with respect to influencing the future direction of the company by designing new and innovative software tools which IES is well known for. I appreciate the variety of my work and enjoy being challenged every day. Day-to-day interaction with international project partners and participation in conferences allow me to stay up-to date with recent university research and the latest trends in technology.

What do you enjoy most about working at IES?
A definitive highlight is the great working atmosphere we have in our Glasgow headquarters. It’s a pleasure to work with highly motivated and skilled people in multi-disciplinary international teams.

What contribution to IES are you most proud of?
Shortly after I joined IES, I took over the internal technical lead of the European research project Energy in Time. Within the frame of this project, our team have been developing calibrated building energy models for real-time building performance optimisation. We are now getting to the final stages of the project and its very satisfying to see that the project has emerged from a very ambitious and challenging proposal to a solid final solution.

What advice would you give to anyone entering your profession?
As an analyst, it is essential that you are a good listener and know how to put yourself into your customers’ shoes: only when you understand their real needs, you can design products making people happy!

Building engineering/physics/software development is very much a male dominated industry. What do you think would encourage more women into these industries?
I think we are still lacking a rich portfolio of attractive career profiles for these industries. Successful women serving as role models are probably one of the best motivations for young women to follow similar career paths.

As a female role-model what advice would you give to other women considering a career in this industry?
I think the best advice I could give women in this situation would be to follow their interests, be self-confident and trust their own abilities.

Interested in a career with a highly innovative company that offers a flexible and supportive working environment and the opportunity to work with a team of friendly, interesting and diverse people from across the globe? Keep an eye on the careers section of our website for upcoming positions or feel free to send your CV over to careers@iesve.com. You can also follow @IESCareers on twitter.

Daniel Coakley presented at the recent CIBSE Symposium on “Integration for whole life building performance.” His session looked at the “Development of calibrated operational models of existing buildings for real-time decision support and performance optimisation.” Building simulation tools are commonly used in design for performance appraisal and optimisation. However, numerous studies have found that actual building performance often deviates significantly from simulation predictions.

You can view the presentation here:

Paper
There is also an accompanying paper, which proposes a detailed framework to produce calibrated operational models, which can support operational decision-making, and real-time control optimisation.

The approach centres around a three-tier calibration process:
• Tier 1 focuses on Building level (Demand-side) variables (e.g. occupancy, equipment, infiltration).
• Tier 2 focuses on system-level (HVAC) model components (e.g. heating / cooling coil capacities). In this phase, we use detailed building data combined with genetic optimisation techniques to calibrate relevant input parameters. In the case where system performance modelling is not necessary, we use free-form profiles (i.e. measured building data) to supplement these model components. Once system-level noise has been eliminated.
• Tier 3 calibrates the remaining plant-level parameters (e.g. central plant, electricity consumption, etc.).

The approach is supported by two novel developments:
(1) Free-form profiles: These are actual historic trends from existing building controllers, which are used to supplement model components where appropriate;
(2) Genetic Optimisation algorithms are utilised to efficiently navigate the solution space to reduce discrepancies between the model and actual system performance. The proposed calibration approach builds upon prior research efforts to standardise the calibration process using evidence-based model development, combined with sensitivity and uncertainty analysis.

Click here to read the full paper.

Last Week Daniel Coakley of IES spoke on the topic of “Modelling Natural ventilation in the IESVE: Case studies & Research Outlook” at a half day seminar, organised by Cork Institute of Technology (CIT), for researchers, designers, engineers & architects.

This CIT Technical Seminar: Ventilative Cooling & Overheating Risk was organised in collaboration with IEA-EBC Annex 62 and presented state of the art utilisation of ventilation for reducing cooling energy demand and addressing the risk of overheating in low energy buildings.

In his presentation, Daniel covered;

  • an overview of Natural Ventilation simulation in the VE;
  • the use of natural ventilation and adaptive thermal comfort by the winning IES ASHRAE ‘Zero-Net Energy’ (ZNE) Challenge team;
  • and a future view of IES R&D work in the Building Operations space thought the EINSTEIN project.
     

All Energy Comes to Town

Posted: April 29, 2016 by , Category:Research & Development

Glasgow (3)
Next week All Energy opens at the SECC for another year and we’re gearing up for all that it will bring. As we’re headquartered in Glasgow it’s great having such a forward looking event going on in our home town. And boy is Glasgow a great host city – not only does it have flourishing Smart City credentials, but it’s also renowned for the warm welcome it gives visitors.

This year our R&D division is particularly active at the show presenting on a number of projects: INDICATE, Energy in Time, EINSTEIN, NewTREND and IMPRESS.

Speaking as part of the Sustainable Cities conference stream in Alsh1, Aidan and Catherine are covering the following:

4 May 2016, 12:45 – 13:45, Quick Fire Technology Update
Towards the development of a virtual 3D city model: Dundalk, Ireland
Aiden Melia, Project Manager, IES

5 May 2016, 14:30 – 16:15, Sustainable and smart cities technology
Making real-time operational control of buildings a reality with 3D simulation
Catherine Conaghan, Senior Project Manager, IES

While Nick is presenting within the Energy Efficiency Quick Fire Seminar Theatre on 5th May.

11:45 | NewTREND: Next Generation district integrated building retrofit, Nick Purshouse, Project Manager, IES
12:00 | IMPRESS: Energy reducing pre-fabricated retrofit panels (BIM) integrated, Nick Purshouse, Project Manager, IES

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