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Ecobuild 2017 kicks off tomorrow and we’re excited about what the show has in store. Positioned in a prime location right by the main conference stage, our team of experts will be on hand at stand F118 to talk you through and demonstrate all the latest exciting features of our newly launched VE 2017. As you may have already heard, this is our biggest release to date, with 25 major new features as well as many smaller enhancements. Stop by our stand for a more in depth look.
We’ll also be talking about our new services for Health & Wellbeing, helping you to achieve WELL™ Certification. Our global Consulting team can assist you in enabling and embedding good practice Health and Wellbeing concepts in your projects and buildings, helping you achieve WELL Certification in the process.
As well as this, you can come by to find out more about one of our most anticipated features of VE 2017, our new Interoperability Navigator which provides a step-by-step process for importing your model from any drawing tool you are using into the IESVE for analysis. The Navigator is part of our BIM4Analysis end-to-end solution – a single platform that integrates with the BIM workflow to create and capture performance information during design, commissioning and operation of a building.
In addition to what’s going on at our stand, we are excited to have been chosen as one of the 5 finalists for this years’ Ecobuild and M&S Big Innovation Pitch. Our Managing Director, Dr Don McLean, will be taking to the stage tomorrow in the main conference theatre to pitch the IES Simulation Based Control tool to the judging panel. The event will be live on the main stage from 5pm. Get there early to get a seat!
Our team are also available for meetings throughout the week. Email email@example.com to arrange a timeslot that suits you.
P.S If you haven’t already registered for Ecobuild, use this link to register for free.
VE 2017 is our biggest release to date! With 25 major new features, as well as lots of smaller enhancements, we are very excited to be launching this new release. Some of the features include the latest cutting edge technology from our R&D division, whilst many of them are customer requests fed back to us via our firstname.lastname@example.org email. We are always striving to make our software the best we can for our customers so please feel free to drop us an email with any requests.
VE 2017 has been designed to improve productivity and to help you optimise your building design.
Here’s an overview of some of our headline features:
Hone is an optimisations tool to help you find the optimal building design whilst saving time and cost. An outcome of the R&D project UMBRELLA, Hone is a standalone tool that references a VE model with the advantages being that the VE can still be used whilst any optimisation is being performed. It is completely customisable even down to the graphics rendered, making it another ideal tool for expert users.
APACHEHVAC SYSTEM LOADS & SIZING REPORT GENERATOR
This new feature provides streamlined generation and improved user control over a significantly expanded set of reports for buildings, system, zone, and room loads, sizing, and ventilation.
PARALLEL SIMULATION MANAGER
Parallel simulation manager (PSM) is intended to allow you to manage simulations within the Virtual Environment.
Python Scripting (PS) is the new API for the VE replacing the older API approach (APSFILE.DLL). This unique, innovative approach allows users to create their own customised scripts, some automation and reportage, which can be easily shared through your own navigator. The PS API consists of two main features, the Python Console or Integrated Development Environment (IDE) and the Python Navigator. The Console IDE allows users to create their own scripts and promote them to their own Navigator. The Python Navigator allows access to the resultant ‘program’.
Parametric tool, an outcome of the IES R&D project UMBRELLA, is a standalone tool that references a VE model with the advantages being that the VE can still be used whilst any parametric study is being performed. Parametric is completely customisable in every respect, making it a very powerful tool for the expert user.
To learn about all the new VE 2017 features visit www.iesve.com/VE2017
You can also view all of our new VE 2017 feature videos https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLRHRHd8DzhSouhWRdBbGBddHr29qHhDYm
To upgrade to VE 2017 visit http://www.iesve.com/software/download
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 email@example.com for more information.
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|
|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|
|Ene 01 – Reduction of energy use and CO2 emissions||12 +5 exemplary|
|Ene 04 – Low carbon design||3|
|Ene 08 Energy efficient equipment||2|
|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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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).
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 firstname.lastname@example.org for help with your licence keys or its email@example.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.
A 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.