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Photo Credit: Onix Building, Lille – Architect: Dominique Perrault

Over the past two years IES has collaborated with Somfy and Philips Lighting to analyse their shade & light combined solution “Light Balancing System” and its potential impact on energy savings. Most recently IES analysed the potential energy savings of a pilot project, the Onix office building in Lille. In this blog post, we invited Christelle Granier from Somfy to tell us a bit more about the collaboration, why they chose to work with IES and the importance of manufacturing companies integrating with the world of Building Physics and Building Performance Analytics…

We (Somfy and Philips) wanted to find a way to provide building design professionals with an effective and worthwhile product that would fit in with a holistic design process and help them to design both comfortable and energy efficient buildings. To do this we needed to validate the impact that the Light balancing system had on energy consumption.

To us, IES was the best choice because it is well known for its advanced dynamic simulation tools with the capabilities to conduct the most accurate analysis. After working closely with its Business Development Consultant, Luc Delestrade for over a year, he taught us a great deal which changed the way in which we demonstrated our solution.

More and more building regulations are being implemented worldwide and current ones are becoming much more stringent. We knew that in order to help industry professionals comply with these regulations we had to validate the Light Balancing System and prove its effect on a buildings energy consumption. In our pilot study, the Onix Building in Lille we proved that the System could reduce energy consumption by 29% in one year.

We understand that Building Physics and performance analytics is key to validating manufacturers building products.  Collaborations such as this one are extremely important for the future of sustainable building design. IES was vital in helping us prove our work. Automated shading should be part of the lifecycle management of the building. Working with IES helped us to democratise this product and make it more accessible to more building professionals.

The collaboration was a deep learning experience on both sides. We now have a much better understanding of where the Light Balancing system fits in the building lifecycle analysis process and how it effects occupant comfort and energy efficiency. The product should be analysed as part of a holistic model looking at HVAC, lighting and façade which includes automated blinds.

I’d like to extend a big thanks toIES, our collaboration helped to leverage our knowledge and understanding of building physics and performance analytics. I look forward to a future that holds further industry collaborations that help validate manufacturer products and their potential energy savings through building performance analysis.

Lindsey WELL BlogFor this blog Lindsey Malcolm of XCO2 discusses considerations of building services engineers and the potential role of simulation in catering for health and wellbeing in the building industry.

Health and Wellbeing. A phrase conventionally connoting to rhyming proverbs about the doctor-dodging power of a daily apple. Yet the proverbial days of the catchphrase are seemingly behind us, as ‘Health and Wellbeing’ is escalating into the latest buzzword within the building industry.

Our clients are demonstrating a growing demand for office spaces, retail areas and homes that enhance human health, productivity, and quality of environment. A business case for investment in health has driven interest in the commercial sector, and attention to this new industry buzzword in the retail and residential sector signifies this isn’t a short-term fad.

The vision of Health and Wellbeing is the long-term facilitation of productive and comfortable environments for the building occupant. Well-designed and operated environments should inspire conscious and subconscious positive lifestyle choices, resulting in healthier, more productive building users.

Considerations for design and beyond

Human health and wellbeing can obviously be impacted by an infinite number of factors; however, it is easier to consider if we chop this abstract concept into tangible and quantifiable chunks. Several core categories have been identified within the industry covering a broad spectrum of health and wellness drivers and indicators. These range from environmental (air quality, water quality, lighting) to behavioural (nourishment, fitness and lifestyle choices, working patterns and stress management).

As building designers, it is obviously outside our area of potential provision to shape to dietary and fitness of our building’s user. But implementing health and wellbeing into buildings is a holistic concept, and will have tangible effects on areas within our scope (see Figure 1).

The adjustment for engineers to consider is:

As building designers, it is obviously outside our area of potential provision to shape to dietary and fitness of our building’s user. But implementing health and wellbeing into buildings is a holistic concept, and will have tangible effects on areas within our scope (see Figure 1).

The adjustment for engineers to consider is: shifting our focus from the working of the building to the living of its user.

This shouldn’t be viewed as a trade-off against conventional design considerations such as energy efficiency or carbon emissions – our aim should be to adapt our existing solutions to improve our output for the people who will inhabit the building. This may involve throwing rules of thumb out of the window, or being guided by a forthcoming set of industry benchmarks – only time will tell. But for now, what we do know is that demand for healthier buildings is increasing, and we must respond accordingly to these requirements from our clients.

The Role of Simulation

Modelling and simulation support building design. Therefore, in order to improve our building design with occupants in mind, there is clearly opportunity to integrate cutting-edge areas of building simulation technologies.

Areas that could benefit from a simulation-based predictive approach could include:

  • Utilising CFD to assess indoor air quality;
  • Performing discretised zonal analysis of thermal comfort for individual occupants;
  • Performance and feasibility of different ventilation strategies;
  • Moisture and condensation management;
  • Reverberation and acoustic impacts;
  • Measuring and design ambient and circadian lighting.

An exciting assortment of modelling prospects; however, it is important for us to remember that modelling and simulation should support building design, rather than instructing. Particularly for health and wellbeing, where the benefits of a well-designed healthy building can be negated by poor operational use and user behaviours, the simulation of predictive conditions is less significant for design than other areas of the building industry.

And on a practical note, the feasibility of modelling so many different elements of building services is questionable – in terms of both metric limitations and issues on cost and resource effectiveness. Could an industry-wide interest in healthier buildings facilitate interest in the development of new metrics, as a way of regulating a better standard of living? Possibly so. Yet until that day comes, let us remember that simulation used for health and wellbeing should be taken with a pinch of salt – not too much salt, mind.

A healthy future for the industry

Simulation is a fantastic instrument to demonstrate the tangible benefits of health and wellbeing application. But let’s not forget the ultimate goal of the health and wellbeing – whether it be assessed through WELL or loosely ingrained concepts – is to facilitate a productive and comfortable built environment. Simulation can certainly be used to deliver this, but it cannot be considered a one-stop exercise. It must remain a tool to support operational-focused design and help to enforce the positive behavioural changes we are designing into our buildings.

As the health endemic continues to infect the building industry, a new ‘normal’ standard of building will emerge, requiring innovation and flexibility from all parties involved in the creative process to work with new concepts and metrics. As engineers and simulation specialists we can emphasise a greater focus on occupants, ensuring the holistic approach to health and wellbeing required to make a tangible difference to quality of life.

And as our building designs advance in the enablement of healthy living, our old proverb may just need a re-write. Forget the apples, dodge the doctor; it’s the engineers keeping illness at bay.

Russia’s largest retailer approached IES recently to ask for help in designing significantly better performing buildings – the result a UK 4-day study tour led by our Business Development Consultant for CEE, Guy Eames.

“Britain is one of the leading countries when it comes to high performance or “green” buildings”, boasts Guy, “IES’ technology highlights what is possible, when building owners set their minds to reducing their carbon footprint”.

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Skanska shows off their “Deep Green” engineering and manufacturing workshops near Doncaster

The executives saw first-hand how buildings are passively heated and cooled using locally grown materials pressed into blocks; how green roofs affect insulation and provide natural habitats and how rainwater harvesting reduces water use by 50%. “Implementing such build strategies would be impossible without first making careful calculations”, continues Guy. “Building simulation analysis offers the best way to do that, allowing “scenario analysis” or comparisons between various construction materials and technologies. IESVE offers the most integrated and speediest approach.”

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IES Business Development Consultant Europe, Guy Eames

We were pleased to welcome Environmental Sustainability Manager at Adnams, Ben Orchard on the tour to present to the executives and share the firms sustainability story. Part of this is its BREEAM Excellent distribution centre which incorporates many eco-friendly measures such as rainwater harvesting, solar panels and LED lights. “It was a pleasure to be able to highlight the features and demonstrate the success of our award winning, ‘eco’ designed, distribution centre; an iconic and crucial milestone in our sustainability story”, said Ben.

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Passively heated and cooled distribution centre at Adnams

Globally renowned architect and pioneer for super-efficient buildings Bill Dunster, CEO of ZED Factory, also welcomed the group and praised the IESVE (Virtual Environment) platform. Zed Factory demonstrated the “Zero Bills Home” and how to use innovation to reduce energy demands whilst taking advantage of natural renewable energy – sun and wind.

Renewable energy was a reoccurring topic throughout the tour, as all of the buildings seen were powered naturally. “In the CIS there are very few wind turbines, although PV and hydroelectric are playing a growing role, so there’s nothing like standing under a wind turbine and comparing how whole communities can be powered on renewables.”, said Guy. It was a pleasure to meet with companies like RES which specialise in such schemes and demonstrate how IESVE can calculate loads on individual buildings”. RES showed off their thermal storage capabilities as well as combined solar heating and power installation. Visitors were impressed to see electric vehicles charging from wind and solar power.

The Zero Bills Home at BRE Innovation Park

The Zero Bills Home at BRE Innovation Park

The ZEDfactory Zero Bills Home showed how battery power could store excess energy or cheap off-peak power to cover energy peaks and even charge electric vehicles. The homes, although grid connected, are energy positive for 8 months of the year and only energy negative for 4 months, when they rely on the grid. This is possible thanks to their solar voltaic roofs (BIPV), low thermal loads by maximising energy efficiency and using all electric heat pumps producing hot and cold water, and the reduced costs of electrical storage. There is almost no case for centralised power plants with this combination. Affordable near off-grid buildings are now ready to replace investment in fossil or nuclear powered centralised grid infrastructure – however it requires clients and local government to stop investing in large scale solutions and concentrate on higher quality optimised local buildings and masterplans.

A green-building tour of the UK wouldn’t be complete without learning more about BREEAM. The group was lucky to visit 6 BREEAM certified buildings (many award winning) as well as being greeted by senior staff at the BRE (Building Research Establishment). BREEAM is increasingly being used abroad, either using the international BREEAM or National Schemes. IES works closely with the BRE, projects include IMPACT and modules for the VE to speed up the BREEAM certification process.

The tour was intense but deep – covering retail strategies (Mike Barry from Marks & Spencer found an hour for us), manufacturing and distribution buildings (Skanska, Adnams), and Residential and Office. To complete the day, the group were treated to a presentation of Terminal 5 at Heathrow – the UK’s largest free-standing buildings, where IES was selected as  Energy and Sustainability Modelling Consultants.

Guy concluded, “The tour was a great success, full of inspiring projects, showcasing the best of British in taking forward the sustainability agenda. We look forward to these ideas being transferred across CEE countries and greeting more Eastern Europeans!”.

Colin-Rees

In a testament to the talent and high level of expertise of our people, Consulting-Specifying Engineer (CSE) magazine, for the 5th time, have selected an IES member of staff to receive a prestigious 40 under 40 award. This year’s winner is Colin Rees, Consultancy Manager at IES.

The award is given to 40 non-residential building industry professionals age 40 and younger who stand out in personal and professional aspects of their lives. And Colin certainly does. As the longest serving Consultant with 14 years of service, Colin has supported the start-up of two IES office’s, San Francisco in 2007 and Pune in 2010. He’s played a key part in ensuring the sustainability and high performance of many renowned projects across the world and has used his expertise and experience to mentor and train other consultants in the IES Consultancy team to help make it the dedicated, highly experienced team it is today. Read Colin’s full winner profile.

Previous IES winners are:

2015: Michael Pollock, Project Leader
2014: Mark Knipfer, Vice President South Atlantic Division
2013: Mark Gifford, Consultancy Development Manager
2011: Michelle Farrell, Head of Middle East

We pride ourselves in hiring people who are committed to sustainability and passionate about what we do. And in turn we offer a flexible and supportive working environment and the opportunity to work with a team of friendly, interesting and diverse people from across the globe. If IES sounds like a place you’d like to work, then keep an eye on our vacancies and follow @IESCareers on twitter. You can also send in a speculative CV to careers@iesve.com.

You can view profiles of all this year’s 40 under 40 winners on CSE Magazine’s website.

Pulkovo Airport Terminal 1
Being a co-founder and CEO of the Russian Green Building Council and co-founder and board member for GBCs in Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan, I was delighted to have the opportunity to join the IES team in July as a Business Development Manager for the European Division in Russia. I am excited to share my great love for building modelling and to encourage others to adopt IES technology to create high quality interior environments, maximise building performance and optimise energy use.

When the Russian GBC was founded in 2009 there was not one single Green Building project in the Russian Federation. Today, a whole industry has been formed, bringing together Russian and international property owners, investors and solution providers. There are now around 100 green building projects in Russia, including some of the largest green building projects in the world, for example, Sochi 2014, FIFA 2018 and World Expo 2017.

A few weeks back I was joined by IES European Division Head, Michelle Farrell, and IESVE resellers, Buro Ecoseven, in Moscow for 3 days of activities to promote the use of the VE. The Russian-speaking countries are fascinated by building modelling and BIM in general and so I was pleased to see that the response to these events was strong with interest coming from engineers, architects, students and the green building community.

Over 300 professionals tune in to Webinar
The first main event of the week took the form of a Russian-language webinar held in Moscow with the Russian ASHRAE Association (ABOK). The webinar attracted an impressive turnout of over 300 online participants, from 67 cities and 13 countries around the world. The session comprised of 90 minute presentations made by Michelle and Sergey Zhukovsky (CEO, Buro Ecoseven) giving an overview of the VE’s capabilities in addition to some case studies. Participant engagement was high and we were pleased to see plenty of questions being asked by the attendees. The webinar was a first for Sergey, who felt that “it was a great success and very powerful.”

Architectural students look to IESVE
Students from three leading Universities then came together for another of the events to listen to Michelle and I present IESVE at the newly opened Eco School in Kuskovo Park, Moscow. The event was organised by the City of Moscow’s Department for the Environment, who are organising a public design competition for a visitor centre and masterplan for a nature park in Moscow. We were both impressed by the turnout and interest; many of the students are advanced users of CAD programs and the support from the city authorities in organising the event was top notch.

Guy-and-Michelle

Guy and Michelle meet students at the Eco School in Kuskovo Park, Moscow.

Since joining the Russian and Azerbaijan GBCs, IES has been active in these growing markets for LEED and BREEAM projects. I am proud of my new role at IES and love their approach to sustainability. The VE has so much potential, not only to become the main tool needed for architects and engineers in new and retrofit green projects, but also to allow owners and users to clearly monitor energy and water use, temperatures, CO2 and daylight levels to unprecedented levels to bridge the performance gap. Eastern Europe is quickly adopting green building and therefore offers IES substantial opportunities. I have already started to connect major potential users of the software and consultancy services to IES and its resellers and look forward to growing the use of IES technology in Russia and other European markets.

Interested in finding out more about these developments and how you can benefit from using the VE? Drop me an email to connect and find out more.

ESOS-Auditor-blog
Just a quick update on my recent blog on ESOS deadline rumours.

The following has just been released by the EA in its update Newsletter… which you can download from here. While it acknowledges that they have the ability to waive or modify enforcement action where appropriate, it also specifies that their main focus will be to bring organisations into compliance. And ends with them urging “participants to start complying as soon as possible if they have not already done so.”

ESOS enforcement approach due out soon

The legal deadline for ESOS compliance is 5 December 2015, as specified by the ESOS Regulations 2014 and the EU Energy Efficiency Directive. Qualifying organisations that do not complete an assessment and notification by this date will be in breach of the regulations.

The regulations set out penalties for non-compliance but also allow us to waive or modify the enforcement action where appropriate. We are therefore developing an enforcement approach to set out how we intend to deal with breaches for the first compliance period. We expect to publish this in the next few weeks, as an extension to our existing Enforcement and Sanctions Guidance.

We will circulate more details of the approach in a further newsletter when it is published. In summary, our main focus in response to breaches of the regulations will be to bring organisations into compliance. Any serious breaches against which we are considering imposing penalties will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. As such, we would urge participants to start complying as soon as possible if they have not already done so.

There are also links to some case studies and example approaches to ESOS, alongside a best practice guide produced by DECC to give practical advice and tips to ESOS participants on how to get the most out of their ESOS compliant energy audits.

ESOS Auditor's progress summary can show where you are in the process if you’ve not finished by 5th Dec.

ESOS Auditor’s progress summary can show where you are in the process if you’ve not finished by 5th Dec.

Where are you in the process? Our ESOS Auditor solution can help you collect the required data, show how far along in the process you are, enable you to share the workload across different team members and connect easily with your Lead Assessor. As well as documenting you ESOS audit and saving opportunity outcomes – all in an automatically generated report. Plus, our solution meets Evidence Pack requirements if you are called for Audit.

Click here to watch a recording of our latest ESOS webinar which covers how much you can achieve with ESOS Auditor in a short space of time, as well as how to demonstrate how far through the process you are.

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There are now less than 60 working days until the 5th December ESOS compliance deadline, and just less than 200 of the estimated 10,000 businesses that need to comply have done so.

Contrary to rumours going around, the EA has now categorically confirmed to us several times that the deadline cannot change as it’s set out in the ESOS Regulations 2014 and the EU Energy Efficiency Directive.

However, there are still questions around what their stance on penalties and enforcement will be. We’re expecting the EA to publish their formal enforcement approach at the end of September/beginning of October.

So just where are you in the ESOS process? 2Degress is undertaking an ESOS progress survey which will help you benchmark your progress, plus there are prizes on offer :).

How are you going to make these last 60 days count?

If an organisation has done something rather than nothing then this is obviously going to be much more favourable. We would recommend you do as much as you can before the deadline even if you know you’ll not be in a position to fully comply by 5th December.

An interesting calculation using figures released by DECC illustrates rather nicely the benefits of taking ESOS seriously and shows how by acting on ESOS audit recommendations companies can ‘win’ almost 5 times the potential non-compliance penalty of £50,000 – read more on the ESOS Hub blog.

In our webinar this month we’ll show you just how much you can achieve with our online software tool ESOS Auditor in a short space of time. As well as how to demonstrate how far through the process you are. Starting from scratch we’ll go from project set up to using different team members to simultaneous and efficiently input and check all your data; including bulk data upload, managing the list of energy saving measures identified by your audits and automated reporting.

Sign up now to the webinar: 22nd September 2015 2pm.

brochure-image-1Our wasteful use of energy is catching up with us. Environmental disasters which usually happen once every hundred years are happening every year. And climate change, once considered an issue for future generations, has moved firmly into the present.

The simple fact is: if we continue to emit heat-trapping gases from the burning of fossil fuels at the current rate, we will force temperatures to rise above the level our eco-system can cope with. All in less time than it takes for today’s preschoolers to finish high school.

Today, most countries have “Brown Economies” that are dependent on fossil fuels. We need to move as quickly as possible to “Green Economies” that have little need for fossil fuels and are resource efficient. Our ever increasing migration to cities and their growth presents us with a unique opportunity to drive this change through our approach to city infrastructure.

We need to stop wasting energy
As governments across the world respond by introducing carbon reduction targets, many people would argue the solution is to stop burning gas, oil and coal altogether and start generating all our energy from renewable sources, such as wind and solar power.

I used to be one of those people. It was only after I completed my PhD, in the generation and use of solar energy, that I realised renewable energy isn’t the solution. It certainly has a role to play – but when I tell people how much space they’ll need for all the solarflex required to power just one building, they quickly agree we need to stop wasting energy and reduce our overall energy consumption first.

When I created the Virtual Environment (VE), to enable architects and engineers to predict the impact of making changes to buildings on their energy consumption, little did I realise just how powerful the technology would become. Today, we’re not only helping facilities managers to reduce energy consumption and creating some of the world’s most sustainable buildings, but we’re also working with city planners to create smart cities where no energy is wasted.

Our buildings need to get smarter
It’s simply unacceptable that in a society capable of understanding the laws of the universe, cloning life and travelling through space, we still allow our buildings to waste a quarter of their energy.

As the Earth’s population continues to expand and more people migrate into cities, we need to look at how to not only make new buildings more sustainable, but also leverage the opportunities for economies of scale this presents. That way, we can we make our existing buildings and cities as energy-efficient as possible.

Only by looking at buildings and cities as the integrated environments that they are – instead of parts of the problem in isolation – can we ensure everyone involved in the conception, design or management of a building gets to leave our world in a much better state than we inherited it.

Thank you for playing your part.

Read more in IES – The Future of Energy Reduction.

Sporting Sustainability

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


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

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

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

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

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

For the second year in a row we’re pretty chuffed to have another one of our solutions shortlisted for the 2degrees Champions Awards. Last year we had IES TaP nominated in the ‘Solution of the Year’ category and this year our Smart-Building Energy Management tool, IES-SCAN, has been shortlisted for ‘Innovation of the Year’.

So what is IES-SCAN and why should you vote for it? Well we’ve put together a short movie to tell you about our new Smart Control ANalysis solution…

As part of the 2degrees Champions Awards, nominees were given a t-shirt selfie challenge.  Basically we were sent a blank t-shirt that we had to design and take a ‘selfie’ while wearing it. So the marketing team got arty to design the tee and then got IES founder and ‘Star of Building Science’ Don McLean to take the selfie (with us lot grinning in the background). It’s no Ellen DeGeneres at the Oscars, but you can see our effort here…

2degrees awards selfie

Head over to the 2degrees website to find out more about IES-SCAN and how it enables next generation building analysis. Oh, and don’t forget to cast your vote there too.

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