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The world of energy efficient building design is littered with acronyms and jargon – CAD, BIM, SBEM, DSM, energy modelling and BREEAM to name but a few. Now as we strive to bridge the ‘performance gap’ operational BIM, BIM 4 FM and calibrated simulation are being joined by BMS, AMR and BEMS. But just what are the benefits of combining the technology and processes behind these jargon laden phrases to the average building owner?
We’re currently at a technology cusp. CAD (computer Aided Design) techniques being used at the design phase are the default choice, and being joined by both BIM (Building Information Modelling) and building analyses technologies.
The issue is that these buildings do not always operate in real-life the same way as their design intended. This is sometimes called the performance gap. Misunderstandings around the difference between the energy model done to prove compliance with building regulations and an energy model of the actual building don’t help, as don’t last minute specification changes, lack of detailed commissioning, and disjointed handover to the building owner.
Its fast being recognised that ensuring design intent is handed over correctly as the building is completed and starts operating is a necessity to bridge this difference between predicted operation and actual operation – the process of well managed building handover is known as ‘soft landings’.
3D models of buildings created purely for geometry, or for performance modelling, or as part of a BIM process are being recognised as a way to gather, store and pass-on important data related to a buildings’ operation. Using an Operational BIM or BIM for FM approach offers many benefits by aligning construction and design to the operational use of the asset.
However, taking this one step further, an innovation known as ‘calibrated modelling’ links together all operational data streams from a building (including Smart/AMR Meters, Sub Meters, BMS Equipment, Environment Sensors, other building systems such as lighting), with other available external data sources (such as weather), with 3D analysis models. This means that real data rather than design data can be used directly in calibrated energy models (or simulation models) enabling more accurate predictions.
One of the key strengths of this approach is its value of being used after initial operational energy efficiency improvements have been made and its capability to find more improvements. It can either be applied to a building for a fixed period or can be used on an ongoing basis to support a programme of continuous improvement depending on the individual application. It can also be used as part of a retrofit process (light or deep) in order to assess different options and make sounds business case-led decisions.
Key points of calibrated modelling are:
So where could the future take us? It is not hard to envision how a 3D simulated environment could be exploited to intelligently control buildings. Model Based Control, Fault Detection Identification Analysis, Optimisation of the Building operation while in use and Predictive Control based on future weather and operational data, are all areas currently being researched across Europe.
As part of World Green Building Week IES is running an education session, followed by drinks on this subject. Taking place on Thursday 24th September 4-7pm in central London the session is aimed at both building owners and those responsible for their operation as well as consultants working in this area. Using case study examples it will look at how new technology in this area can enable operational data and performance simulation technology to be used together to drive efficiencies and close the performance gap at all stages of the building lifecycle from design, through commissioning and handover on into the first year of operation and beyond.
This month we welcome guest blogger Janet Beckett to the IES blog to reveal 5 things she’s learned from a “BIM on a BUDGET” project. Janet is a Low Carbon Consultant and Director at Carbon Saver UK.
Our BIM on Budget story began a year ago when a local chap phoned us to ask about refurbishment of their existing offices. Apparently they had googled “HVAC Engineer in Leeds” and up we popped, Carbon Saver UK. Thank you then to twitter and LinkedIn, not “time wasting” after all.
We won the project by offering to “BIM” it at no additional cost to the client. To clarify BIM, Building Information Modelling (or Management?) is NOT 3D drawings, in just the same way that M&E design is NOT drawing 2D, 3D or otherwise. BIM is about managing and sharing information digitally and following the design process, nothing new perhaps but with new technology and more structured data.
Our suggestions to the client that they appoint an Architect and a Quantity surveyor were firmly rebuffed on the basis that they could not afford it and so we were left with little choice but to step out on a lonely BIM path.
Our first BIM or 3D building model was constructed using IES VE Pro dynamic thermal simulation to model the existing “real” building and apply fabric improvements to determine the best cost vs benefit analysis for the client. We used the IES model also for our loads calculations and solar gain assessments.
We then proceeded to build the project model using AutoCAD and Fabrication CADmep, the preferred 3D CAD software for M&E CAD draughting.
The client did ask us at one point whether we would be delivering Level 2 BIM? My honest answer was that really this would be more like Level 1 and a bit BIM and that we were still learning along with many others in the industry.
My answer to the question however “Did we BIM it?” has to be an emphatic YES. We certainly (BI)Managed it. I never thought I would miss having an Architect on a project soooo much. We definitely (BI)Modelled it, in fact more than once…
Of course our lonely BIM route meant that we circumvented a lot of tricky BIM hurdles. However everyone has to start somewhere, we all learnt a lot and the client is really pleased with the end result and is asking for more elements to be added to the model.
To summarise, here are the 5 BIM things we learned that worked or we would do a bit differently next time:
1. Use your 3D model images as a selling tool, clients like them.
2. You’re appointed. Get an Architect on board, it’s lonely without one.
3. Do your first very simple building model and M&E volume allocations in Google sketch up (it’s FREE yay), this can then be exported into IES (they assure me) and also into the Architects model.
4. Use same IES model for early, mid and later detailed design calculations and value added energy and carbon reduction decisions and for Part L compliance as well (which we did).
5. Make use of existing in house skills. This was our driver for using Fabrication CADmep in our Consultants drawings. OK it’s a bit unusual but there’s no law against it and it worked well.
So here’s to our next “BIM” project and it looks as though we may already have one…
Got something interesting to share on the IES blog? Email firstname.lastname@example.org to find out about becoming a guest blogger.
As we gear up for Greenbuild this week in the cultural hub that is New Orleans, we’re asking attendees ‘Are you ready?’
With stricter code compliance regulations such as Title 24 coming into place and voluntary rating systems like LEED V4 and ASHRAE Standard 189 introducing more stringent performance based pre-requisites, it is becoming clear that the industry needs to be ready to use a performance based simulation approach across the entire building lifecycle.
Code Compliance such as Title 24 and DOE Federal Incentives, based on ASHRAE 90.1 and ASHRAE 140 mean that demonstrating compliance in more and more states now require a model based performance approach rather than a prescriptive one. At the same time, LEED V4 is putting much more emphasis on performance across design, commissioning and verification and becomes the new standard June 2015.
This year at our stand (#1509) at Greenbuild we’ll be showcasing how users of IESVE can use their VE model across the entire building lifecycle, from demonstrating code compliance through operation and retrofit. IES is the only solution to provide this one model appropriate for all approach, allowing you to achieve LEED V4, Title 24, M&V and Commissioning, all through the same VE model.
We’ll also be launching our brand new ERGON Cloud service at Greenbuild, allowing users to import, manage and interrogate real building schedules and use them in VE simulations. Find out more here and avail of the 20 free credits on offer.
And we’ll be presenting an interactive demonstration of our IES TaP for LEED tool as part of ‘To infinity and beyond: A tour of LEED® Online and other project team support tools.’ The session will take place in the Interactive Lounge on Wednesday, 11:00 am-12:30 pm. You can register here and take advantage of our IES TaP for LEED 2 for 1 special offer by emailing email@example.com or calling 404.806.2018.
In this post we’ll continue in our series of IESVE
Firstly, it is important to understand that as well as geometry, simulation programs such as IESVE also require additional data to be assigned to the model. The data needed depends on the analysis function you are undertaking, such as data on location, occupancy, usage patterns, construction materials and HVAC systems.
However, we understand that at early stages you will not have access to all this information. To get round this IES has included pre-populated idealised data templates into the software which you can use at early stages. These enable you to analyse the important design considerations using like-for-like comparisons, rather than trying to make detailed predictions which is something for later design stages. You can set this data in a number of ways; including importing a model from SketchUp or Revit® or building from scratch in the VE.
Modelling in the VE
ModelIT is the VE module used to create geometry with or without AutoCAD data. ModelIT gives you efficient modelling –with fast track functions, easy visual checks and no rebuilding. Get the lowdown on using ModelIT to create geometry from scratch in the IESVE for Architects support material.
Importing from SketchUp
The SketchUp plug-in enables the direct translation of geometry into the VE from either the Free or Pro versions. The plug-in offers SketchUp users a range of model building tools designed to make creating ‘best practice’ geometry for performance analysis effortless. It also allows you to quickly assign important data; such as location, building type, construction and HVAC type. Take the step by step guide to using the Sketchup plug-in here.
Importing from Revit®
The Revit plug-in
enables the direct translation of geometry into the VE from both Revit Architecture and Revit MEP. The plug-in allows Revit users to translate all bounded rooms into a VE compatible format and quickly assign important data; such as location, building type, construction and HVAC type. Use the support material to follow the best practice checklist for translating Revit to the VE.
The SketchUp and Revit plug-ins are included in the trial installation and will appear automatically in the application. If you have not yet started your IESVE for Architects trial then head to our website to start today.
There are a number of import options and integrations on offer when you using the VE. You can read more about them here – www.iesve.com/software/software-interoperability.
This week you may have noticed that we’ve changed how we name our software releases. The product formerly known as “VE 6.5” has taken a hit from the rebranding fist of justice and is now going by the moniker “VE 2012“.
So what does this mean for you, the user? Well by naming the releases in this way, it should make it very clear if you are using the most current version of the software or if you’re a little out of date.
And don’t worry, just because this one is called ‘VE 2012’ doesn’t mean we won’t be offering you regular updates, far from it! From here on in, we’ll simply be focusing on individual Module Feature Packs.
Well that’s the name change covered. Now let’s get to the awesome new features and capabilities that will be available with VE 2012. First up is the ModelViewerII, which features a new solar arc tool to visualize the sun’s position in relation to the 3D Model, new real-time shadows (with video capability) and greatly improved video and image creation.
VE 2012 contains some important new solar analysis features. VE-Pro Suncast users can now view solar intensity/exposure on a 3D model, determine their own parameters for analysis (such as time period and resolution) and quickly understand the intensity of the sun externally on the building faÃ§ade.
VE 2012 also includes other major new features including: ApacheHVAC enhancements, Daikin VRV Systems plug-in, Monodraught Windcatcher Performance Component, Trimble Plancal nova connection plus new Singapore and New Zealand compliance tools.
You can find out more about these features and all the other new enhancements included in VE 2012 here.
And you can visit our online Download Centre to “morph” your current software version to VE 2012 today.
PS — For those of you outside the UK & Ireland, Morph (pictured above) is an animated Plasticine stop motion character who was created in the 1970s by Aardman Animations, the people behind Wallace and Gromit.