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ahmm_image_2 (2)Guest blogger, Dr Craig Robertson – Head of Sustainability at architecture firm Allford Hall Monaghan Morris, shares his insight on the value of integrating performance analysis tools from even the early stages of design.

At Allford Hall Monaghan Morris we work across a range of sectors, specialising in designing buildings that are enjoyable to use, beautiful to look at and easy to understand. Our ethos is to create buildings that work over time and have lasting qualities intrinsic to their architecture.

For us, a project begins with a strategy rather than a design solution. Each strategy arises from understanding the fundamental drivers of a brief and the parameters, problems and opportunities it represents. Although this approach might involve a complexity of thought, the aim is always to produce a simple, legible proposal that can be responsive to change while still remaining true to the core of the brief. This ensures that our design ideas are robust enough to survive the pressures that can be expected on the way to the finished building.

Our design process is architectural, in that our primary decision drivers are that of townscape, spatial qualities, user experience, materiality and form. However, we recognise that making buildings is a collaborative process and we work hard to integrate engineering and space conditioning strategies into our designs. We focus on adaptable, occupant controlled environments using passive means where possible.

Performance-based design is important to enable understanding of the energy, cost and comfort implications of our design decisions. We have to balance all these factors and more, and carrying out performance analysis provides us with the detailed information we need to make better design decisions.

We use IESVE to perform more detailed analysis of our proposals and to support our architectural decisions, challenge briefs and integrate a strategic environmental approach into our architecture. It is an essential tool to understand how our architectural proposals can be optimised to maximise comfort and minimise energy consumption.

Early stage examples we are currently working on include developing a fixed shading strategy for a new commercial office building, illustrating the benefits of hybrid conditioning to a developer client, reassuring a planning department over concerns about sunlight and simplifying the servicing requirements for a residential project.

We find that as the legislative framework around energy and sustainability becomes increasingly stringent, the onus is on us to make the case for low energy, high performance architecture. Outputs from IESVE help us do that.

Want to find out more about integrating VE analysis tools within your architectural practice? Visit our VE for Architects webpage or contact one of our representatives at sales@iesve.com for more information.

RBS HQ - BREEAM Excellent
Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve been contacted by a number of BREEAM Assessors who are looking for ways to boost their projects overall score and I found it interesting how many don’t realise the full number of credits available through analysis from IESVE.

The number of registered BREEAM projects continue to grow with resilience each year. With the BRE Environmental Assessment Method celebrating its 25th birthday, the numbers are staggering; globally there are more than 553,000 BREEAM certified developments, and almost 2,254,500 buildings registered for assessment, in over 70 countries since it was first launched in 1990. By any benchmark BREEAM is firmly placed in the construction industry.

In the UK, if you are working on a non-domestic building of any size the chances are that the project will be registered for BREEAM, and the work you are doing will influence the end result. Now, if you are reading this, then you are probably well aware of BREEAM and the role you will play in any particular assessment, either directly or otherwise, but did you know that 33% of BREEAM credits can be achieved using IESVE? *

Whether you are a BREEAM Assessor, or a consultant delivering credits, knowing which credits can be achieved can not only maximise the full potential of the projects BREEAM score but also generate additional revenue streams you may not currently benefit from. I’m not aware of any analysis tool which can deliver more credits.
If you are involved in BREEAM have a look at the following table to make sure you aren’t missing out attainable credits.

*For BREEAM UK NC 2014

Assessment issue Credit Description Credit score
Management
Man 02 Life cycle cost and service life planning 4
Man 05 Aftercare 2 +1 exemplary
Health & Wellbeing
Hea 01 Visual comfort 4
Hea 02 Indoor air quality 2
Hea 04 Thermal comfort 2
Energy
Ene 01 – Reduction of energy use and CO2 emissions 12 +5 exemplary
Ene 04 – Low carbon design 3
Ene 08 Energy efficient equipment 2
Materials
Mat 01 Life-cycle impacts 6 +2 exemplary

BREEAM UK NC 2014

Did you spot any? Worth thinking about existing projects you are working on and what additional services you could be offering. Another question I get asked often is what IESVE can do for other BREEAM assessments, for example BREEAM_NOR, BREEAM international, BREEAM Communities, and the answer is simple, yes you can use IESVE for a number of credits on all BREEAM Assessments, and for other environmental assessment methods such as LEED®, DGNB, WELL etc. If you would like to know more then please don’t hesitate to contact your local IES representative.

Using IESVE for BREEAM credit analysis in conjunction an online project management system allows you to make the BREEAM certification process even more efficient. IES TaP is a BRE Global approved, secure online portal for managing the evidence gathering and credit tracking process for BREEAM assessments. Using a system like IES TaP ultimately speeds up the evidence gathering process saving time and money, allowing you to realistically take on more projects over and above your current maximum.

BREEAM has enjoyed a prosperous 25 years and will no doubt continue to do so for the next 25 years. One element of this longevity for any assessment method is adapting to the market and alignment with complimentary assessment methods. The International WELL Building Institute™ (IWBI™) and BRE recently announced an agreement between the two organizations to pursue alignments between the WELL Building Standard™ (WELL) and BREEAM that will make it easier for projects pursuing both standards. The crosswalk identifying the applicable credits between the two standards, is being done by WELL’s certifying body, Green Business Certification Inc., and BRE, and is expected to be completed in January 2017. Alignment between these assessment methods should help save time and costs, but ultimately help to deliver better, healthier, sustainable buildings.

Solutions like IESVE can help to maximise the full impact of under taking such assessments, by delivering the analysis and evidence required for credit attainment in as little time as possible. Rather than seeing the assessment as an addition to the core work, IESVE is able to integrate the analysis within a single model allowing you to not just validate but to undertake multiple studies to optimise the project for all aspects of its performance.

To read more about how IES can help you with your BREEAM assessment, visit http://www.iesve.com/software/breeam.

New IES customers can also take advantage of our limited time IESVE for BREEAM special offer.

Can productivity be modelled?

Posted: October 11, 2016 by , Category:Modeling, software

shutterstock_239214301

Health, Wellbeing and…. Productivity! Time has come where we can take a closer, empirical and quantifiable look at productivity. Our recent blog and event on Health & Wellbeing (How to do WELL with IES) has generated significant interest and participation from a wide range of stakeholders. Similarly, the Health and Wellbeing movement, including the WELL standard have been gaining momentum and popularity with building owners, operators and designers. But what is it all about? Investing in the health and wellbeing of our buildings and occupants is often seen as a means to an end. That end is Productivity. From service based organisations who want their office based staff to be more productive to retail stores wishing shoppers to spend a little bit more money, it’s time to start taking Productivity seriously. Integrated Environmental Solutions (IES) have begun to explore this concept further by asking a very simple question: Can Productivity be modelled?

Our Business Development Manager Naghman Khan has addressed this question in his article on our DiscoverIES website, where he presents some initial findings of recent research on being able to quantify and model productivity.  Read the full article.

You can access a full description of the research and results, including how to model health, wellbeing and productivity concepts in the VE, by completing this short form.

BIM4Analysis
In simple terms Building Information Modelling (BIM) is a paradigm shift within the construction industry. It is moving the industry from an analogue age to digital. BIM encapsulates a code of practice that brings a standardised approach and classification to the built environment. It is an approach that can be used for buildings and/or infrastructure. The true intention of BIM is ultimately to reduce waste and add value.

  • Waste is anything that does not add value
  • Value is anything a client is willing to pay for

To date, BIM is described as Building Information Modelling, use of the term modelling has resulted in confusion for many practitioners leading them to think ‘I need a model to do BIM’. In fact, BIM is more concerned with Information Management than Information Modelling.

Within the context of Information Management, there are two considerations;

1. Structure information so it is shareable-IFC, gbXML, Excel.
2. Decide what information is required, when, who produces it, who will use it for what. (Please visit CIBSE’s BIMTalk Glossary for more information).

BIM Level 2, as mandated on all centrally funded public projects from April 2016 (England) and 2017 in Scotland, is a project based requirement. The mandate requires projects to be set up so the information can be shared. The right information accessible at the right time to the right people.

Many practitioners consider BIM to be a tool, an application, when in fact BIM refers to an environment within which various tools and processes are applied. It has been easier for organisations to invest in technology to ‘do BIM’ than to effect the sort of organisational change that true BIM exploitation requires.

Is there sufficient understanding/appetite/momentum within the industry for the scale of change required to fully exploit BIM? There is a mandate but few construction clients understand their role in setting out their Information Requirements (EIR) in a BIM brief at the start of the project and are led by the industry and their suppliers into paying more for 3D models that are of very little value downstream, particularly from an FM perspective. What we see is ‘new’ technology shoehorned into existing process and that is the fundamental issue currently causing frustration amongst our customers.

Bim4Analysis is a campaign to integrate analysis within the BIM process, enabling VE users to take advantage of valuable information during design, commissioning and operation. The strategy is concerned with implementing BIM as a mechanism to deliver Value, Cost and Carbon Improvement on all projects.

The holy grail is a single workflow. From an engineering perspective this means engineers inputting information into a 3D model format to inform coordination. When the coordinated layout changes the update is seamless and bi-directional. There is currently no robust solution on the market to facilitate this. Engineers use a mix of formats including spreadsheets – uncontrolled, inconsistent; standalone analysis and some integrated analysis (eg MagiCAD).

We consider the VE as a single platform for creation and capture of performance data useable and useful during design, commissioning and operational life of the building. Compliance (Part L, BREEAM, LEED) is a necessity on most projects. Currently this requires a separate workflow to Design.  Our solution is to develop a single ‘analysis’ model from the BIM model at the appropriate stages of the project and to run the calculations from that one ‘analysis’ model thus ensuring that the designers are using the most up to date information. When the design changes, the BIM model is again imported, with the relevant data and the various calculations are run again with results sent back to the BIM models (Interoperability). When the project is set up for collaboration and the process is understood it becomes easier.

The views expressed in this blog post are based on discussions with stakeholders from within IES and from our customer base (predominantly UK with some US input) and within the context of the work being undertaken by the UK Government to achieve BIM Level 2 on all public projects by 2016 and BIM Level 3 beyond [BIS BIM Strategy http://www.bimtaskgroup.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/BIS-BIM-strategy-Report.pdf].

On Thursday 28th January, we hosting the next instalment of our IES Faculty BIM webinar series. We’ll cover our BIM4Analysis strategy plus interoperability development work, helping you on your BIM journey ahead of this year’s Level 2 mandate in England and the BIM adoption strategy scheduled for 2017 in Scotland. Sign up for free here.

We want our customers to continue to influence our BIM4Analysis approach so we’re requesting questions and feedback on the lead up to this webinar. There are a number of ways you can send us your question – submit it here, tweet us using the #BIMfaculty hashtag or post on the IES Facebook page, and we’ll do our best to report back during the seminar. Questions and answers will also be collated into an FAQ document which we’ll circulate after the event.

IES Director, David McEwan explains why you need to be…

There are still many companies that don’t have sustainability or energy management as a priority on their agendas. With new government regulations such as ESOS (Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme) emerging, they may find themselves scrambling to keep up and get on board fast.

ESOS has been introduced to help the UK meet its requirements under the EU Energy Efficiency Directive and is expected to affect more than 9,000 of the largest companies in the UK. The scheme requires these companies to undertake mandatory assessments looking at energy use and energy efficiency opportunities at least once every four years.

ESOS compliant energy audits must determine total energy consumption (using verifiable energy data) over a consecutive 12-month period known as the reference period. What many miss in the detail, is that the reference period must overlap with the qualification date and end before 5th December 2015. This means that 5th December this year is the absolute latest date you can start to monitor your energy consumption. If you have nothing in place, you’ll need to get started!

Businesses that meet the following criteria on the qualification date of the 31st December 2014 must comply with ESOS:
– 250+ employees
– or have more than a €50m turnover and an annual balance sheet of €43m
– or are part of a wider group that meets this criteria

To comply businesses must:

Audit energy use (90% of your use):
– Buildings (Per building)
– Transport (Per fleet per vehicle)
– Industrial (Per usage)

• Identify energy efficiency measures & energy management opportunities
• Evaluate opportunities using Life Cycle Cost Analysis
• Appoint a ‘Lead Energy Assessor’ to oversee the ESOS Assessment (who must be member of an approved professional body register)
• Store data and inform Scheme administrator (Environment Agency for England)
– Produce report for EA
– Produce report for Company Directors

For many companies this may seem quite daunting, however there is expert help available. Many organisations such as IES and the EMA (Energy Management Association http://www.theema.org.uk/) have been liaising with the EA (Environment Agency) to set up ESOS Lead Assessor Registers and develop software that meets the EA’s compliance criteria. IES has created a web-based auditing tool that will help UK organisations, energy auditing companies and assessment authorities carry out ESOS audits – www.esosauditor.com.

ESOS Auditor will collate the energy consumption data of all usage types: Buildings, Industrial Processes and Transport and will integrate it with verifiable data from meters, deliveries, Display Energy Certification, Green Deal Assessments, and ISO 50001 Assessments etc.

ESOS
Don’t just identify energy savings, implement them!

ESOS is actually a big opportunity to implement significant energy and cost saving strategies. It is a chance to place the case for saving energy high on corporate agendas. Implementation of the identified energy saving strategies is a voluntary step in the ESOS scheme, however in order to get the most out of ESOS it’s important that businesses take this step. It would seem pointless not to. By building on the best practice that a business must implement to monitor its energy consumption and going beyond the minimum requirements to implement savings, smart organisations will make significant cost savings on their energy bills and reduce their carbon emissions.

IMPACT Chart-1

Life Cycle Cost (LCC) and Life Cycle Assessment (LCA – also known as embodied environmental impact) are becoming increasingly more widespread as large corporations mandate these standards in their building requirements as part of CSR initiatives. The evolution of LEED & BREEAM credits in these arenas is also promoting its importance. With this in mind we felt the market was in need of a solution that combined these elements together to create an integrated approach to whole-building evaluation of material and product choices.

That solution is IMPACT.

Born from a Technology Strategy Board research project, the aim of the IMPACT Compliant tools  was to facilitate improvement in design and  decision making for both new design and  retrofit projects by allowing users  to quantify the embodied environmental and  cost implications of material and product  choices on a whole-building basis.

With a project team consisting of IES, BRE, Willmott Dixon Re-Thinking and AEC3, the basis of technological development was drawn from the well-established BRE Environmental Profiles LCA methodology, LCC expertise and data, existing tools and substantial existing datasets of generic and certified products.

The tools comprise of three new FREE modules (CostPlan, LifeCycle and EnviroIMPACT) within the existing Virtual Environment suite.  Construction Cost, LCC and LCA databases, which can be customised, can also be purchased. They allow design teams to rapidly assess and optimise in a whole-building integrated fashion, direct from a 3D model which also simulates operational energy performance and delivers information on quantities.

The IMPACT Methodology was also developed with integration into BREEAM in mind – IMPACT LCA tool can be used to gain two Innovation Credits in the latest BREEAM 2011 update and the IMPACT LCC tool can be used to gain the BREEAM 2011 MAN05 Life Cycle costing credit. Further integration into the core materials credits is planned in the coming years and BREEAM International also includes specific exemplar credits for using IMPACT.

IMPACT was launched at this year’s Ecobuild in March and was received incredibly well, with a jam packed seminar and an invitation to feature on the M&S Innovation Zone and UKGBC Dragons Den.  With 100s trialling the product and uptake exceeding expectations, we have been struck by the broad multi-discipline interest we’re receiving, from architects, to engineers and cost consultants. The tools were also nominated for the ‘Energy Efficiency Solution of the Year’ category at this year’s Green IT Awards.

Since then, we have teamed up with BRE and Whole Life Ltd. to organise a new 2 day face-to-face in-depth IMPACT training workshop.  Taking place at BRE HQ in Watford on September 23rd & 24th, attendees will learn about the IES IMPACT Compliant suite, as well as the underlying methodology and theory it is based on. The trainers over the two day course will be Daniel Doran (BRE), Kathryn Bourke (Whole Life Ltd.) and Dr. Ken Beattie (IES).

You can find out more about the training workshop by visiting the IES website or emailing me directly – Niall.Gibson@iesve.com. I look forward to seeing some of you on the 23rd.

So as with every release our expert team of software development, QA, and Support guys have been working extremely hard to bring you a whole host of new features that will sweep you off your feet. There’s a small difference with this year’s release though… it’s been created especially for you, our loyal customers!

We’ve taken your feedback on board over the last year and we’ve focused on refining our core applications to build upon the power and flexibility of the VE for delivering resource efficient, low-energy buildings. We understand how important it is to have competitive advantage, so with this in mind we’ve introduced a series of new exciting improvements and time saving, enhanced reporting features across our core modules.

The core applications that we’ve enhanced include, ApacheSim, MacroFlo, VE-Gaia, ModelIt, ApacheHVAC and our VE-Navigator for ASHRAE 90.1 (LEED Energy). For a more detailed list of all the new features take a look at our VE2013 New Features document.

And as usual you can download the new version from our Download Centre. If you need any assistance, don’t be shy – email keys@iesve.com for help with your licence keys or its support@iesve.com for technical help. Happy downloading!

P.S For those of you waiting on our new VE-Navigator for LEED 2009, the beta version is now available for testing. Info on this is also available in the new features document (linked to above). If you’d like to trial this version, click HERE to drop us a line.

Après tant de demandes insistantes, le Père Noël a déposé, peut-être même à votre insu, un petit cadeau dans la dernière version de VE… une passerelle RT2012 ! En effet lorsque vous avez téléchargé le HotFix 3 de VE 2012, se cachait la fonctionnalité « Export for RT2012 » dans le menu de ModelIt.

RT2012A présent, il vous est possible d’exporter via un fichier gbXML votre géométrie avec le nom des volumes, les constitutions des parois, les propriétés des matériaux, les orientations… bref votre modèle 3D. Vous pouvez ensuite importer celui-ci depuis votre logiciel de calcul RT (à condition que l’import de gbXML lui soit possible). Vous devrez encore rentrer certains renseignements réglementaires mais pourrez très rapidement lancer un calcul de Bbio. Les données concernant les systèmes, bien spécifiques à la RT2012, seront, eux, directement entrés depuis votre solution RT.

Cette passerelle représente un véritable gain de temps car elle évite la double saisie, souvent laborieuse de la géométrie. D’autre part, elle place la simulation dynamique en amont du calcul RT pour effectuer une conception plus physique que réglementaire. L’organisation des projets en est bouleversée, les erreurs de conception peuvent être détectées bien plus rapidement et seul un projet bien avancé, avec des solutions efficaces est ainsi soumis à la RT2012.

Faites-nous part de vos propres expériences en la matière via notre tout nouveau forum francophone. Nous serons heureux de vous lire, de vous répondre, sur ce sujet ou sur d’autres.

Ten Reasons to Visit IES at Ecobuild

Posted: March 1, 2013 by , Category:events, research, software

eb300x250exhibitorWith over 1,000 exhibitors at Ecobuild vying for your attention, here are ten reasons why you should take the time to come and meet the IES team at this year’s event…

1. The IES Sustainability Hub – One Year On: It’s now been a year since we brought our Sustainability Hub concept to the industry and this year we’re showcasing the successes of the Hub. At Stand N429 we’ll be demonstrating how our industry leading technology and expertise can give the ability to quantify, optimise and verify objectives through analysis, helping more rapidly deliver a sustainable future for our cities and buildings.

2. IMPACT Compliant Software Tools: Ecobuild will be your first chance to find out about our unique new integrated approach to whole-building evaluation and ensuring the most sustainable solution regarding building cost, operational efficiency, budget and embodied environmental impact across product’s life cycle is selected. The Life-cycle Assessment (LCA), Life-cycle Costing (LCC) and Capital Costing (CC) tools from IES now deliver these benefits direct from a BIM/CAD interoperable 3D model.

3. New Smart Energy Management Consulting: We’re also launching our new consulting service which will help you define and implement a measurable energy/carbon reduction strategy across your whole building portfolio. Come and see how our team can uncover hidden cost savings for your business.

4. Lessons Online Knowledge Sharing Platform: A website that supplies users with easy access to “lessons” learnt by construction professionals from their previous building design experiences – sounds good eh? Well that’s exactly what we’ve created with our new Lessons website. Sign up for free here.

5. IESVE for LEED®: Interested in our LEED® tools? Our experts will be on hand over the course of the three days to fill you in on our recent software and consulting developments which significantly help streamline and assist the LEED certification process.

6. IES TaP Updates: Heard of IES TaP? It takes the headache out of Green Building Ratings project management and submissions. You can now use IES TaP to streamline, manage and automate BREEAM, LEED, EcoHomes and Code for Sustainable Homes certification processes.

7. IES Research & Development: With ¼ of our turnover being invested in R&D, Research is now very much at the heart of what we do at IES. We are successfully involved in 10 publicly funded research projects: 4 from the Technology Strategy Board in the UK; 2 from SMART Scotland; 1 CIP-PSP and 3 FP7-PPP projects from Europe.  We have also just won 6 new European FP7 grant submissions to add to our ongoing Research and Development work. Come by our stand to find out about these projects or to find out how to collaborate with us in the future.

8. Innovation Zone: We have been chosen to present our new IMPACT Compliant tool (listed above) at the Innovation Zone, the M&S sponsored competition for the best innovations in sustainability. Join us at Stand N630 to view this innovation and cast your vote in person. You can also vote online here.

9. Presentation at the Nemetschek Vectorworks Stand: Our BDM Sarah Graham will be presenting “BIM and the positive impact it can have on the design process with regard to measuring sustainability” at the Nemetschek Vectorworks Stand (N420) at the following times: Tuesday 5th March – 14:30 // Wednesday 6th March – 15:30 // Thursday 7th March – 14:00.

10. IMPACT Seminar: Head along to Seminar Room 5 on Wednesday 6th March (14:30-16:00) for the IMPACT Seminar that will be led by Daniel Doran of BRE and features a demonstration of IMPACT by Richard Quincey of IES. Add to your planner here.

TLC Energy Modeling Competition

Posted: December 19, 2012 by , Category:Modeling, software

During the summer you may have read the case study on our website that reported on TLC Engineering for Architecture and their commitment to selecting the Virtual Environment (VE) as their primary energy calculation tool, to utilize its advanced capabilities for HVAC loads and energy modeling, as well as helping their architectural clients with daylight analysis and modeling. The case study shows that with 300 employees and 11 offices, rolling out our software and educating their staff was not without its challenges, but a combination of face to face training and an internal user forum (initially monitored by IES) assisted the process.

I was curious to see the progress TLC were making with the VE since the case study was published, and that’s why I jumped at the opportunity when I was asked to be on the judging panel for an internal Energy Modeling competition that the company were running as part of their 1st Annual Green Week.

The competition was open to all VE users in the company and had two categories. The first was Best VE Project to Date, which required entrees to present their most interesting and significant project modeled in the VE to date. The 2nd competition was for Upgrade Design and Model, which challenged the company’s VE users to take a base building model, upgrade the design and present the results of their energy model. The winner for this category would be selected on the basis of greatest energy savings.

Each member presented their models for the competition in a live webinar on September 27th, with the winners being announced as Edward Gillet (Upgrade Design and Model) and Socorro Jarvisto (Best VE Project to Date). The video below is taken from the webinar which took place during the TLC Green week and features the competition’s two winning presentations.

So what did I think of the competition entries?

TLC’s commitment to sustainable design puts them in the highest echelon of integrated design firms in the US and I’m amazed with how quickly TLC Engineers have become VE-Pro experts.
The passionate leadership shown by the company is clearly complimented by the truly talented daylight, airflow and energy modeling capabilities their engineers express through VE-Pro.

For me, the ‘Best VE Model to Date’ project presentation highlights included the statements:
– “By modeling the solatubes, we achieved all 19 points available for LEED EAc1; Optimize Energy Performance.”
– “At an pEUI of 35 kBtu/sf/year; we realized our AIA 2030 commitment with a 60% energy saving.”
– “The resulting pEUI of the hospital was 108 kBtu/sf/year.”
– “I used the VE-Pro model to give the architect a small lesson in heat transfer”
The ‘Upgrade Design & Model’ Competition allowed some really innovative ECMs (Energy Conservation Measures) to be evaluated. The ECMs included double-skin façades, daylight harvesting, HE heat pumps, demand controlled ventilation and underfloor air distribution.

All in all I was hugely impressed with the modelling skills the team at TLC have shown and I’d like to thank them for letting me be a part of their Green Week celebrations. I can’t wait to see the future long list of net-zero buildings they will soon have on their resume.

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