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LEEDing the way to NeoCon East 2012

Posted: October 17, 2012 by , Category:events, LEED

This week I’ve headed stateside for NeoCon East 2012 at the Baltimore Convention Center. Kicking off today and taking place over two days, NeoCon is the premier design exposition and conference for commercial interiors on the East Coast. I’ve been invited to the conference to take part in a seminar (taking place on Thursday 1-2pm) with the USGBC to demonstrate the benefits of LEED Automation and how LEED Automation Partner software can streamline the LEED workflow.

At IES we’ve been designing & selling LEED Automation tools for almost 4 years. Our tools are specifically targeted to be used by architects and engineers throughout the entire building design process and are used to aide integrated design. It’s an approach that sits well with the LEED methodology. For the NeoCon seminar I will be presenting our three software tools that specifically help LEED accredited professionals: IES VE-Navigator for LEED, IES VE-Navigator for ASHRAE 90.1 and IES TaP for LEED (launching next month at Greenbuild). These tools provide three levels of benefits to the LEED professional:

– Credit assessments straight from your BIM model (no need to recreate geometry or data)
– Credit interpretation — the software interprets the results of the analysis and crucially the LEED methodology and provides output tailored for submission to LEED Online
– LEED Design Team management — streamlining time spent chasing and organizing your design teams responsibilities and submission material

The first tool IES is offering as a LEED Automation Partner is the IES VE-Navigator for LEED. This tool, targeted at both architects and engineers, at any stage in the design process enables the assessment of a number of common sustainable analysis topics — Daylighting, Thermal comfort, Water, Renewables and Sustainable Sites — and crucially interprets the results output from the analysis tool, and creating reportage suitable for use within LEED letter templates. The tool can be used for the following versions of LEED: LEED NC V2.2/V3, LEED SchoolsV1/V3 and LEED Core and Shell V2/V3 and can be used for Daylighting, Comfort, Water, Renewables and soon Sustainable Sites credits.

The second software tool that aligns with the LEED Automation partner program is the IES VE-Navigator for ASHRAE 90.1. This tool is an EPACT Approved (since 2009) LEED Energy modelling tool for Ea Credit 1. The functionality and approach of the ASHRAE 90.1 Navigator follows the same concept as the LEED Navigator, in that it simplifies and streamlines the use of analysis tools to create efficient ways of assessing the energy credit.

You may be already familiar with the tools above but the final part of my presentation will be taking a look at a new one; IES Tap for LEED. Following on from a successful BREEAM version of this tool, IES TaP for LEED is a Project Management tool. IES TaP allows you to streamline and keep control of the project team and the material required for a LEED submission. It allows you to access and track your LEED projects and evidence documents in one secure online location, increasing the efficiency across the project team and cutting down on time spent chasing people up! The benefits of this tool are numerous and include two way communication between IES TaP & LEED Online, IES TaP directly populates rating system documentation requirements from USGBC online credit library (so the IES TaP system is always up to date), Score Card Functionality to easily calculate your certification goal and current credit rating, and automatic email notifications to keep the team updated.

So that’s where we are as LEED Automation partners. A lot has been done to assist you with your LEED projects, with more in the pipeline. I look forward to seeing some of you in Baltimore tomorrow at 1:00-2:00pm, for what should be an interesting insight into LEED Automation.

Remember to stay tuned for the launch of IES TaP for LEED at GreenBuild.

An update on Architecture 2030

Posted: February 27, 2012 by , Category:Architecture 2030

With the start of a new year, we’re that much closer to the year 2030. So the question arises, are we on track to meet the challenge of Architecture 2030?

Why is Architecture 2030 an important goal? In the U.S., commercial buildings are responsible for nearly half the greenhouse gas emissions. Rather than just talking about reducing this number, Architecture 2030 is committed to transforming the building industry, reducing climate change and energy consumption worldwide.

Check out this video for more on Architecture 2030, courtesy of PBS.

Last year, the organization took things a step further, launching the 2030 Challenge for Products. Celebrating one year since the challenge was launched, eco-structure checked in to see how things are going. The part of the interview follows.

Is there a set goal as to how many people you want signed on to any of the challenges?

We’ve never really approached our challenges in that way. Our goal is to raise awareness about the really big issues and get people talking and

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moving in a direction. As long as that’s happening, we focus on supporting it and making it better, but not necessarily on targeting a particular number.

I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it again. I think 2012 is the year to really move the needle in our industry. With the launch of ASHRAE’s new image — Shaping Tomorrow’s Built Environment Today — and this update

on Architecture 2030, sustainable design and the importance of utilizing quantifiable performance analysis to design the next generation of buildings is upon us.

Live from AHR Expo

Posted: January 24, 2012 by , Category:events

Well, we made it to Chicago. We weren’t going to let a little “winter storm warning” stop us from the biggest HVAC show of the year!

The energy has been great at the show so far — lots of excitement for the industry. Prior to the floor opening, there was big news from ASHRAE. The go-to source for standards and education for this industry, ASHRAE got a facelift, complete with a new logo and a new tagline…

Shaping Tomorrow’s Built Environment Today

Given our focus at IES this year, we are thrilled to see ASHRAE’s commitment to pushing the built environment in the 21st century. As ASHRAE President Ron Jarnagin stated, “integrated design is the cornerstone of sustainable buildings.” As the ‘Hub’ for sustainable design advancements, we look forward to joining ASHRAE in the conversation, promoting the importance of utilizing quantifiable performance information to design truly sustainable buildings.

We’ve also been following the conversation on Twitter. Kimberly Schwartz, managing editor of The ACHR News, tweeted a great picture (http://pic.twitter.com/6u2IsRSd) from the show floor yesterday afternoon, adding “…the aisles are still crowded! There’s a good buzz in the air.”

But the highlight of our day yesterday? Well, we’ll just let the image speak for itself…

See you on the show floor!


The 2011 Annual ASHRAE Conference is in full swing in Montreal! The theme of this year’s conference is ‘Sustainability Knows No Borders,’ and that’s certainly the topic of discussion over the last few days.

The discussions I’ve been a part of have focused on the role of building performance modelling on new buildings — how can that interface with defining what EUI means in the US? More data is needed before this can be effectively determined, but we can certainly learn from the experiences of the European rating systems already in place.

(For more on the topic, I did some Googling last night in my hotel room and came across this slide presentation from another conference — EUEC — which you might find interesting. Take a look.
(http://www.slideshare.net/EltonSherwin/building-ratings)

ASHRAE knew we could learn a lot from other countries when they chose Montreal for this year’s conference. The city is known for bringing a bit of European charm to North America, blending cultures, languages and people from all over the world, culminating in a unique and vibrant joie de vivre.

ASHRAE couldn’t be more in line with that concept — their goal for the coming year is to partner with other international organizations in profound ways to influence energy policy around the world. They’ve already started, working with The Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE) in developing the Building EQ rating program, which provides a technically sound tool that rates a building’s energy performance and helps to characterize specific buildings that are candidates for improvement.

Leading the charge in working with international organizations to make ASHRAE an international symbol of HVAR&C excellence is new president Ron Jarnagin and the board, which were all appointed at yesterday’s Presidential luncheon. The focus for Mr. Jarnagin is on developing leadership within ASHRAE and positioning ASHRAE as a global leader in energy issues.

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That’s all for now, I’m heading into another session. If you’re at the show, share your thoughts with us below!

Questions & AEC 4

Posted: April 12, 2011 by , Category:Questions and AEC

In this edition of our Q & AEC blog we will be responding to a question that has popped up quite a few times across our forums and social media pages…

“Does the LEED review panel accept IES-VE as an energy simulation engine? Has it passed the required ASHRAE 140 tests? And has the IES software been used for LEED accreditation of a project?”


Simply put, the answer to the questions above is a resounding yes. So let’s take a look at each question in more depth and shed some light on this area as we do so.

Ok firstly it is important to point out that the USGBC do not actually approve or certify software for LEED energy modelling. Instead, LEED depends upon previously established guidelines published by the energy modelling community, in this case the ASHRAE standard 90.1 and associated Appendix G Building Performance rating (PRM). These requirements provide two things for the building owner/developer and design team:

1.Ensures that software used to simulate buildings, in accordance with a set of general software requirements for thermal and energy modelling, includes a sufficient level of detail in terms of hourly dynamic thermal and energy simulation and is of appropriate quality and accuracy for the purposes of the PRM.

The VE has been tested in accordance with ASHRAE Standard 140 and meets or exceeds all requirements of this test. Plus it meets all general requirements of the ASHRAE Standard 90.1 PRM. Click here to download the results of the ASHRAE 140 test. You can also review our EPAct Qualification documents, which provide supplementary details on how we meet these requirements.

2.Facilitates HVAC systems design, control, and performance in accordance with ASHRAE standards and best practices, through a set of mandatory system design and modelling requirements provided by the ASHRAE standard 90.1 and associated Appendix G PRM.

The ApacheHVAC interface provides a stable, dynamic, and robust platform upon which nearly any HVAC system can be designed and modelled, including conventional VAV systems with state-of-the-art airside controls, highly tailored system controls and configurations, waterside free cooling, indirect-direct evaporative systems, desiccant wheels, hybrid hydronic/air systems, radiant chilled/heated floors and ceilings, displacement ventilation, underfloor air distribution, vented stack-effect double-skin facades, earth tubes, and mixed-mode systems that use integrated mechanical and natural ventilation.

In addition to the requirements of 90.1 and 140, Version 6.3 of the VE takes a new approach to assist with LEED Energy Modelling. We have introduced the ASHRAE 90.1 VE-Navigator and enhancements to ApacheHVAC that speed up the process of producing large HVAC networks. This latest version is available to download from our website.

Now let’s take a look at who has used our software to submit reports that have been accepted by the LEED review team. The project that catches the eye would have to be the Syracuse Centre of Excellence in Washington. The SyracuseCoE is a pioneering high-performance green building. It was opened in March 2010 and achieved a Platinum rating under the LEED program administered by the U.S. Green Building Council. This highly impressive rating was achieved by Ashley McGraw Architects with the application of the <VE> and is a project that is at the forefront of green building. They even had some nice things to say about us too — “I would definitely recommend IES to any firm that is interested in designing high performance buildings. IES is a comprehensive, fast, user-friendly package compared to the vast amount of convoluted software available”.

Another project that used our software to acquire LEED accreditation of a building development was the Peterson Elementary School, Oregon. The DLR Group applied the IES-VE as their analysis engine for this 60,000 SF elementary school and achieved LEED Silver certification. You can find some more excellent photos of the school here.

Ok so some of this may have been bordering on blowing our own trumpet but I hope we have given you assurance that our software is being used on LEED projects, in the process of such questionable behaviour!


Remember, to have your question featured in our Questions & AEC series, just get in touch with us on Twitter, Facebook or drop me an email at john.goucher@iesve.com.

Further information on how we specifically address the ASHRAE Standard 90.1 can also be found in the following document: IES Virtual Environment and Compliance with ASHRAE 90.1.

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Another year, Another Greenbuild!!

Posted: January 14, 2011 by , Category:Sustainability

I landed back in the UK last month, and due to the usual backlog being at a show creates, the Christmas break, and to be honest it’s just been hard to find the time to sit down and reflect on last year’s show! So here I am trying to turn all those conversations and discussions into a cohesive review of our experiences at the world’s largest green building show where an estimated 30,000 people came together to learn, share, discuss and network.

Last year Greenbuild returned to Chicago’s McCormick Place West, the site of Greenbuild 2007 — but with twice as much space! If you didn’t make it along yourself, believe me the show was massive with an estimated 1,800 booths!! Actually one could argue too large. As an exhibitor at the show for the last 5 years we’ve seen it go through a number of changes; its size being the biggest. Last year was a turning point; instead of it being a green building exhibition it felt as large and comprehensive as any conventional building show.

Maybe I’m a cynic but when I see the likes of Vinyl exhibiting it feels like the specialism and possibly some of the value has gone from the show floor — is this a bad thing when we want green building to become the norm for the sake of the planet? Or is it just helping cloud the real issues with even more greenwash? Or greenmist?

There’s a show here in the UK called 100% Design that takes the unusual step of limiting the number of exhibitors and setting panel selection guidelines to keep the level of innovation and design quality high. An idea for Greenbuild perhaps?

Comment below to let me know your thoughts…

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying it was a unsuccessful show, just that the volume of noise at the show which makes it hard to stand out as exhibitor must also make it hard for visitors to pick out the solutions of real interest.

However, on a different note, although I didn’t manage to get along to any, I heard the seminars were especially informative and inspirational. The show has ended but we do have an opportunity to watch some videos online and hear from some of the speakers that rocked the show this year.

So what did we get up to last year? Well with all the noise we’ve been making recently I’d sincerely hope you didn’t miss the launch of our ASHRAE 90.1 VE-Navigator solution which is designed to speed up and make LEED Energy Modeling easy. Also, not to leave out the Architectural market, we doubled the analysis capabilities of our VE-Gaia early stage analysis tool and announced a partnership with Trelligence to incorporate IESVE analysis into their Affinity programming and schematic design tool. Phew we’ve been busy!! You can see Don our founder and CEO being video interviewed about this online at Buildaroo.

One of the most interesting announcements at the show from our perspective was from the USGBC regarding their new LEED Automation program designed to link LEED Online with third party technology companies offering better collaboration and a more streamlined document submission process for users seeking LEED certification. Read more at Eco-Structure.

Plus, a first for us last year, we had a number of customers and partners spend their time with us on stand, presenting and talking about their experiences using our software and what we’re doing together. Building Momentum Group, HGA and Trelligence were all excellent IESVE sales people, even if not on the payroll!! While some of our key customers who have been testing the ASHRAE 90.1 VE-Navigator over the last 6 months as we’ve refined it were kind enough to let us know their thoughts.

Actually, I’d like to pick up on this point and say a BIG THANK YOU to them, as well as all of our valued customers who regularly wax lyrical about our products to their peers and give us valuable feedback that helps us stay at the cutting edge of Building Performance Analysis year on year. Oh and I mustn’t forget our highly skilled consultants who regularly push the limits of the software on leading analysis projects around the globe — 7-years plus working with Wal-Mart on their store optimization plan now that’s something to talk about if only we could go into detail!

To wind up, I’d like to congratulate the USGBC Leadership Award winners and Brian Wolfe of HKS who was the winner of our very own VE-Gaia competition. I blogged about it from the show here…

Edwina

Are you coming to Greenbuild?

Posted: November 12, 2010 by , Category:Sustainability

We’re going to Greenbuild in Chicago next Tuesday, will we see you there? We are exhibiting at booth #516, where we will join hundreds of exhibitors in discussing our newest initiatives and showcasing our work.

The Future of LEED Energy Modeling is here! Find out all about our exciting new LEED Energy modeling tool, the VE-Navigator for ASHRAE 90.1. Designed by experts in the field and already live project tested by users, it streamlines the calculation and submission process. Don’t miss exclusive live demos from our booth #516, click here for more information.  Talk to our experts and find out how you can be the first to access this new tool!

ECO-FRIENDLY easy scan If you’re visiting our stand with a smart phone then download the Scanlife app from your appstore (compatible with Apple, Windows, Blackberry, Ovi and Android), but why I hear you cry? You’ll have to stop by our booth to see!

Clima 2010 – The 10th REHVA World Congress

Posted: September 10, 2010 by , Category:Environment, events

Earlier this year, I attended & was proud to present at The 10th REHVA World Congress — Clima 2010 in Antalya, Turkey. There were over 1,000 attendees from 56 countries at the HVAC congress. Attendees included two former ASHRAE presidents, one former CIBSE president – OBE, the current IBPSA president and the chairman of CIBSE Guide– A Steering Committee. There were 460 papers presented orally & 180 posters took place. Needless to say it was a huge success.

If you are unaware, REHVA is the Federation of European HVAC Associations and represents over 100,000 engineers from 28 European countries.

A feature of the biannual REHVA World Congress is the International student competition. Having graduated with my MSc. from Brunel University in 2009, I was asked to enter the competition. The European association I was representing was CIBSE, which I know is not specific to any one European country, but a collective nomination from the UK & Ireland nevertheless.

Apart from commending the success of the event, I wanted to blog about a fascinating project of the student competition, by Geert Filippini of Royal Haskoning in The Netherlands. Geert went on to win the competition, and deservedly so. Geert’s research work on a low energy micro-climate was very impressive. I’ve attached an image below of his built prototype which was tested in a climate chamber in the Eindhoven University of Technology.

The fresh air is being supplied directly into the microclimate of the occupant so the he/she is given a psychological feeling of being in control of his/her own environment. The radiant panel is a low energy feature (14% less energy), again because the local heating & cooling is taking place in the occupant’s working environment. A very clever idea!

I’ve analysed the concept using <VE> — MicroFlo for a typical day and the CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics) analyses does also seem to certainly prove the concept.�
Please see the latest edition of the REHVA Journal & I hope to see you at the next annual conference In Tallinn in May 2011.

Liam

We love coming back from the holidays to good news. According to Environmental Leader, and specifically by research released by Zpryme, the U.S. green building market is set to grow 146 percent by 2013.

According to the Environmental Leader article, “The commercial sector should get a boost from the news that major real estate firms have signed up for a pilot program that would help building owners, prospective tenants and buyers ascertain the energy efficiency of a building. The Building Energy Quotient program — Building EQ for short — is administered by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE).”

We are looking forward to the results of the Building EQ program. Given our position in the industry, it is (and has been from the beginning) our hope that buildings are as energy efficient as possible. For new buildings, this starts from the earliest stages of design. For retrofits, there are many changes architects can

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implement during the remodel to ensure a building not only reduces its energy usage, but also reduces it carbon emissions.

On another note, and for a little fun to start your new year off right, our partners at Autodesk have created RetroFits, a game to help raise awareness about the benefits of better, greener buildings. Stop by and check it out! Buildings continue to be the #1 source of greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S. But we can make them more energy efficient, little by little.

I was recently asked to complete an interview questionnaire for the CIBSE Young Members website. Having benefitted from CIBSE Young Engineer’s activities over the years, I was more than happy to help out.

CIBSE YE offers graduates and school leavers an opportunity to find out more about the industry, meet recent graduates working in the profession, and gives young engineers a chance to network with peers and even prospective employers.

One of my interview questions focussed on advice to students and graduates. My guidance was to take heed of the rapidly changing nature of the industry. With sustainability at the centre of what we do, forward-thinking young engineers are in a strong position to make a real difference to the way we design buildings. This was summed up very well in an interview I read recently with David C.J. Peters, an HVAC consulting engineer for US firm Southland Industries. You can read the full interview at Consulting Specifying Engineer here.

In addition, one of my colleagues Liam Buckley, was one of the six shortlisted in the this year’s CIBSE/ASHRAE Graduate of the Year Award. You can read about all their hopes for their careers and the future of building services engineering in CIBSE Journal – unsurprisingly it oozes green ambition!

Many graduates and school leavers are unaware of the sheer scale of the building services industry, and the myriad of career opportunities within. So, if you’re a student or recent graduate considering a career in the built environment, CIBSE YE is a great first point of reference.

Check out mine and past interviews on the CIBSE YE website.

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