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We are delighted to announce that our latest software release – VE2017 – has been shortlisted in the Digital Efficiency Initiative of the Year category of this year’s Building Awards!

The Building Awards are one of the industry’s longest running and most prestigious awards, established to recognise excellence and allow companies to hold up their achievements as an example to others in the building sector. The Digital Efficiency Initiative of the Year category – new to this year’s awards – has been launched in recognition of organisations that are driving greater business efficiency through the adoption of digital technologies.

If you haven’t already checked it out, you can find out all about the great new tools and features in VE2017 here. With headline features including our new Parametric Tool, optimisation tool Hone, and new Python Scripting capability (to name just a few), VE2017 brings to the market a number of innovative new software tools which can significantly enhance productivity, optimise sustainable building design and save money.

Best of luck to all our customers and peers who have also been shortlisted for an award! Winners will be revealed at a ceremony at Grosvenor House Hotel in London on 7th November 2017 – we can’t wait to hear the results!


ASHRAE Members around the world recently received their 2017 Fundamentals Handbook. Most of us likely received the digital version on a CD. Many of the new updates will impact the HVAC load calculations, performed by mechanical designers day in & day out – there are new design LPDs, revised kitchen equipment resources, and additional climate data, among many other additions!  Something that hasn’t changed: load calculation methods.

The 2017 edition of the Fundamentals Handbook defines only two load calculation methods: the Heat Balance Method (HBM) and Radiant Time Series (RTS). As part of the introduction, the radiant time series is categorized as “a simplification of the [heat balance] procedure”, but what exactly is the simplification?

Heat gain from the sun offers an illustrative example. Solar energy is absorbed by the exterior wall of a building and transfers to the inside of the building by conduction. Because the wall has thermal mass, that heat isn’t transferred immediately – there’s a conductive delay.

Solar energy is transmitted to the inside of the building through the window. Some of the heat is absorbed and reflected by the window, and the remainder is absorbed by the interior surfaces.  When those surfaces later emit that heat by convection, cooling load is created in the room – there’s a radiative delay.

The Heat Balance Method calculates these time delay effects explicitly with some basic assumptions like uniform surface temperatures. There are no arbitrarily set parameters.  Conductive, convective, and radiative heat balance is calculated directly for each surface within a room.

By contrast, the radiant time series (RTS) calculation uses radiant time factors and conduction time factors to distribute hourly heat gains over a 24 hour period instead of iteratively calculating the time delay effects. A table of time factors published in the Handbook determines how long heat is held by a wall or other surface before creating a cooling load in the space.

Whether heat balance method or radiant time series is used to calculate heating & cooling loads, computer software is nearly always employed. IES Virtual Environment (VE) software performs ASHRAE load calculations using the non-simplified Heat Balance Method, calculating heat balance and the resulting loads directly without time factors. To learn more about calculating loads for HVAC design using the VE, check out www.iesve.com/loads.


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

IES-Booth

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 sales@iesve.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 now Live!

Posted: March 3, 2017 by , Category:software

PV Panels
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 feedback@iesve.com 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 TOOL

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.

hone

  • Independent tool to optimise VE models without locking VE licences
  • WORKSHEETS is the main feature, allowing non-expert users to use the tool readily
  • Use Hone to converge on your final and optimal design quickly and accurately
  • Optimisation Worksheets can be created and shared to create optimisation approaches for quality and repeatability for all 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.

HVAC Report

  • Generate new and existing reports for any selected System Loads and Sizing results file
  • Set relevant coils for Heating & Cooling peaks
  • Include or exclude oversizing factors
  • Reports include:
    >> Project and climate (building, weather, etc.)
    >> Plant loops & equipment (capacity, flows, etc.)
    >> Space loads & ventilation (system summary)
    >> System Loads (detailed loads breakdown, coil capacities airflows, engineering checks, etc.)
    >> Zone Loads (same as for System)
    >> Room Loads (same as for Zones)
    >> VE2016 System Sizing report
    >> ASHRAE 62.1 Ventilation (Appendix A method)

PARALLEL SIMULATION MANAGER

Parallel simulation manager (PSM) is intended to allow you to manage simulations within the Virtual Environment.

parallel-simulation-manager

  • Significantly speeds up simulations
  • Separates the simulations from the VE interface meaning that you can continue to work on a model and set up a new simulation etc. whilst your current model is simulating

PYTHON SCRIPTING

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’.

python-scripting

  • Create / share user content driven reportage / visualisation / analysis
  • Reduce time spent on tasks through automation
  • Define workflows & Navigators that are bespoke to your needs
  • Tighten up Quality Assurance using your own workflows
  • Scripts can be distributed for use in Navigator or IDE and can be pin protected or encrypted if desired
  • Script store available in March 2017 for purchase and submission of scripts

PARAMETRIC TOOL

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.

parametric-ui-with-results-output-log

  • Model multiple scenarios and combinations of building design inputs
  • Use Parametric to set-up and manage design variants, saving time and cost
  • Independent tool to run parametric studies on VE models without locking VE licences
  • ‘Templates feature’, allowing non-expert users to use to tool readily
  • Templates can be created and shared for quality and repeatability for all users
  • Only produces the results you ask for to reduce amount of storage required

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

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.

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