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Posts Tagged BIM

earthIES recently held our annual BIM4Analysis Faculty webinar. There were two main areas for discussion:

  1. Our new BIM Interoperability Navigator
  2. An overview of Bi-Directional workflow between Revit and IESVE

The world around us is changing; the world’s population is growing exponentially set to reach 10 Billion by 2030. Urbanisation is rising rapidly with more of us wanting to live in cities. This growth is fuelling the need for more building stock; it’s not just homes that are needed but schools, places of work, transportation and everything in between.

At the same time, we have a crisis with the health of the planet, global warming is marching forward. In 2015 leaders from around the world met in Paris for COP21. There was for the first time a full day given to the Built Environment, after all buildings account for over 1/3 of the total carbon emissions. The talks culminated in the signing of an agreement of 196 countries to tackle climate change.

Looking at our own industry, we continue drive to Digitalisation. PAS:1192 is soon to be the ISO standard to which all will conform to. Technology is rapidly evolving that we see its impact in all areas of the construction industry, Smart whiteboards connected to BIM for immediate design changes, Augmented Reality being used to super impose Design drawings on to site, the Internet of Things allowing more monitoring than ever before. It used to be the case that we just didn’t have any data about our buildings. Today the challenge is how we make best use of it all.

There is no denying we face challenges more suited to a Marvel Comic but here at IES we believe we are at the very centre of all of this. As leaders in digitalisation of construction through Analysis and Performance optimisation of buildings, it’s our mission to make our buildings better, and our cities smarter. By doing so, IES are creating cleaner, more sustainable environments playing our part in reducing the impact of the exponential growth of our population and its impact on our planet. IES see our VE users as superheroes; we’re in support as your sidekick.

When I meet with clients, they ask me, ‘What’s the best way to get my model in IESVE?’

To deliver on any given project, you will have to run multiple platforms, for example, Revit for your drawing, IESVE for your analysis, however, there are many different routes to sharing data and figuring out the best way can be challenging. This was confirmed at the poll that was undertaken ahead of our Faculty. As a side note: a surprising outcome from our poll was just how many of you are using the likes of Python Scripting to enhance your own workflows.

We understand this and that’s why we are delighted to announce our new Interoperability Navigator will be included in the upcoming VE2017 release FREE. The navigator brings all import setting, modelling guidance and functionality into one single place, guiding you through a step-by-step process to import your model from whichever drawing tool you are using into IESVE ready for analysis. This new Navigator doesn’t just bring all existing capability into one place, but adds new features:

Interoperability-Navigator

Shell Correction (room geometry healing) has been improved and goes through a second correction phase that has an improved success rate at fixing geometry imported from other packages.

Geometry Errors can be viewed in the new ‘Quarantine Zone’ from the model tree and the model viewer. The model viewer also allows for the visible checking of surface orientations that were previously only listed in a report, which remains available.

Capping counters the issue when the source model file is not available. The capping functionality will allow multiple zones that have parts of their volume geometry escaping past the levels they should be stopping at.

One of the most common issues of importing models are gaps in the geometry where rooms in the originating source models have not been accounted for, for example ceiling voids, risers and stair access areas. Gap Filling will add in a volume to the model removing the requirement of going back to the originating model.

Data Import has been expanded to include new options, including:

  • Room Data only
  • Geometry only
  • Geometry & Assigned Data
  • Geometry & All Data
  • Import Wizard

Finally, ‘Import Wizard’ allows the comparison of an existing model that has been imported and simulated to a newly imported model geometry and data.

The new Interoperability Navigator will form the standard Model import workflow for all users, from beginner to advanced users, but it’s only the start. Users can build on this and during our Faculty, we showed an overview of the steps to achieve Bi-Directional interoperability between Revit and IES. This Syncs data between the two platforms, as you update in one, it automatically updates in the other.

So now that IES has resolved the challenge of importing your model into IESVE, you can focus on using the VE for creating better buildings and smarter cities. Time to be a superhero!

View video highlights from our BIM4Analysis 2017 update webinar on our You Tube channel.

Interested in Training?

IES is hosting 1-day face-to-face BIM import workshops. To discuss your requirements email niall.gibson@iesve.com
Bi-Directional Data Exchange Workflow – free BIM intro course. Sign up here
BIM Management for Energy Modelling Online Course – advanced hands-on BIM training. Sign up here.

Midcity-Place-Model

In a recent interview with Leah Wimpenny of BIM Journal, IES’ Sarah Graham shared her latest thoughts and insight on the various shortcomings, strategies and approaches to BIM. Read on to see what she had to say…

Sarah Graham (Head of Global VE Sales) works for IES, a world leader in 3D performance analysis software used to design tens of thousands of energy efficient buildings across the globe. The technology IES uses is helping to create sustainable cities and is leading the way with its BIM4Analysis solutions.

Her expertise lies in the areas of BIM and the positive impact it can have on a design process, low energy efficiency, collaborative working, sustainable design, assessment and energy management. She provides her clients with expert knowledge and advice, specialist modelling and simulation on a diverse range of projects including archive buildings, schools, offices, hotels and leisure facilities.

Regarding the present BIM landscape, what do you feel are some of the shortcomings of traditional, closed BIM, and do you feel that a more open, transparent and collaborative approach based on open standards and workflows can resolve some of these concerns?

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 organizations to invest in technology to ‘do BIM’ than to affect the sort of organizational change that true BIM exploitation requires.

Is there sufficient understanding, appetite and momentum within the industry for the scale of change required to fully exploit BIM? There is a mandate but few construction clients who 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.

A more open, transparent and collaborative approach based on open standards and workflows can certainly resolve some of these concerns, and it is something we’ve been pushing for some time now with our BIM4Analysis educational campaign. BIM4Analysis is a campaign designed to integrate analysis within the BIM process, this enables practitioners 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.

What benefits can see you a transparent and collaborative workflow, with a common language and translation, bringing to construction projects, both in comparison to those already utilizing BIM and also those which are perhaps not.

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. Engineer’s use a mix of formats including spreadsheets and standalone analysis and some integrated analysis (eg MagiCAD).

At IES 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. When the project is set up for collaboration and the process is understood it becomes easier.

What limitations or challenges might you also see stemming from collaborative workflow, and can you see this means of working being one to stunt creativity and relationship development, or perhaps complement it in the alternative means of working, with clear controls over personal design data?

I think the benefits far outweigh the limitations, elsewhere we see exponential advantages when technology enables connection of different applications. Collaboration between project stakeholders facilitated by technology within a framework where roles, responsibilities and timescales are transparent is where we should already be.

How do you see openBIM altering the landscape with relevance to small and medium enterprises, the alteration or boundaries to entry, and potentially increased competition from smaller software vendors and the impacts of this on those already-established core brands?

Open BIM creating competition is healthy. Smaller firms can be more agile to respond quickly to market demands, accelerating change. Tech will move forward apace as we see in other walks of life. It’s the people and process change that takes time.

At which points of the project lifespan do you see the primary effects, be they negative or positive, of openBIM on any given project? This could include anything from initial concepts and plans all the way through to the asset management and planned renovation of structures in future years.

I think the ability to connect design to operation so that we can continuously improve operation or more intelligently answer questions based on real data from existing buildings is extremely powerful. Operational data to shape business outcomes is also powerful. As we move forward to BIM Level 3 – Digital Built Britain this is the vision: Akin to the concept of ‘wearable technology’ for buildings, cities and organizations, I have the data and I can ask questions which will help to improve performance.

In which areas, be they part of the lifespan or with regard to throughout the supply chain and partners, do you perceive challenges with regard to the implementation of openBIM, and how can you perhaps see these challenges being overcome?

At the moment the resistance is largely down to the fact that processes have not changed, contractual arrangements do not need to fundamentally change for Level 2 but as we move forward to Level 3 the contractual arrangements will have to change because it will force sharing of data. This is where the real transformation needs to happen to the industry. The understanding is that if we can track information right through the design process, construction process and operation, then we are in a better place to make the right decisions to achieve the desired outcomes so it is of benefit to us as individuals and organizations.

What experience have you personally had with openBIM? If this is somewhat limited, could you instead entail experiences with traditional BIM and purvey opinion on how the openBIM approach could have changed, be that positively or negatively, project outcomes or experiences? This could, and perhaps should, include any case studies you have on both notes.

We have been members of BuildingSMART and held a position on the Energy Sub Group for many years, Building SMART are the main proponents of openBIM in the UK and worldwide. As a vendor organization it is essential we stay up to date with what is happening in the market. As mentioned the technology of openBIM is only part of the shift to BIM adoption, people and process needs to change to and this is the most difficult change to effect.

The construction industry is traditionally adversarial, risk averse and the perception is that sharing data, information, which is the central tenet of openBIM is dangerous, opening individuals and organizations up to risk and exposure. This is where we see the current inertia in the uptake, however if we have a situation where the client is educated, understands how to ‘ask for’ what they want and is clear in setting out their requirements then we have a good basis for successful collaboration. On a Level 2 BIM project individuals and organizations can choose what information they want to share, in which format and for what purpose because a framework exists to manage this and there are exchange formats agreed to.

Where there is no framework and no agreement by participants as to what formats should be used, where we are trying to force design tools to talk to one another without adhering to any process, model or level of detail, which is a fairly regular occurrence at the moment, then we see limited benefit on projects. OpenBIM can facilitate collaboration, decision making and mutual success in the correct project environment. The reality is that we are still at the early stages of understanding how this is supposed to work and there are few success stories out there that practitioners can learn from.

How can you see the openBIM approach, methodology and philosophy being adapted in the given years? In which ways might you support this development with any given reasoning and purpose?

We are at the early stages of this phase of evolution of our industry. I think there will be a convergence of the natural progression of technology and greater understanding of the potential benefits. There may also be a bit of a realization that if we don’t move forward and embrace change, whether in the form of openBIM standards/philosophy or more generally, then there is a good chance we will be left behind.

The irony is that we adopt quite an ‘openBIM’ attitude when it comes to our personal data, we use smartphones therefore we are sharing data all the time, but when it comes to sharing data on a project, which arguably belongs to our client, we recoil. I’ve mentioned Digital Built Britain previously, I consider that vision very useful for putting what we are trying to achieve now with openBIM or BIM level 2 into perspective.

There are lots of examples in our everyday lives data is capturing and sharing amplifying the potential benefits. Over the next few years the Internet of things will see the amount of data available increase, everything will be producing data and we as designers will benefit from being able to capture and utilize that information. That is what openBIM is preparing us for.

This article was originally published by BIM Journal on January 11, 2017: http://www.bimjournal.com/digital-construction-news/bim-news/shortcomings-strategies-approaches-bim-sarah-graham

 

Going-Green (2)Last month I had the pleasure of being involved in the 4th Going Green Conference, which took place in Gauteng from 18-20 October. Hosted by the Green Building Design Group in partnership with the Gauteng province, the organisers aimed to “create a more connected platform for all the various actors in government to engage and to recognise that public assets can be used as a test case and lead by example to the wider country objectives on these policy directives.”

What set this event apart from some of the others I’ve attended was the focus on knowledge sharing and creating a platform for the private sector to share their knowledge with the public sector and with final year university design students from both Architectural and Engineering fields. Click here for an insightful synopsis of the event from Songo Didiza, Executive Director at the Green Building Design Group.

IES have a wealth of practical experience and measurable results from analysis of various buildings across the world. There is a global awareness of the power of data, but we need to further exploit this data to improve our buildings in South Africa. With this in mind, the topic I chose from my presentation was: OMG! Operational data + Modelling = Great Savings.

The presentation focussed on the need to evaluate building performance against design intent, and quantify operational gaps in the same level of detail with which we analyse design in simulation software. To do this, we need to consider the feedback loops that can exist within building lifecycle data, and how this should be managed by BIM processes. Designers can benefit from lessons learnt on previous projects, and the O & M team can benefit by an audit trail of the design intent and records of commissioning procedures and tests for the building they are managing.

At present, buildings are often an untapped data asset. By taking the operational data from buildings and using it to calibrate the operational model, we can generate highly accurate calibrated models, which enable owners and FM’s to analyse planned interventions and evaluate their impact with a high degree of accuracy, to assess viability before commencing work.

Let us consider a single data stream from a building. If we view monthly metred data, we have 12 data points, but if we have data measured every 30 minutes by a smart meter, we have 17520 data points! If we then collect data from several streams, the potential for a clear image for comparative analysis increases, especially where this data is logged effectively, clearly named and well managed.

Data-points-view

It is estimated that 80% of cost lies beyond the construction team involvement. For any client with a portfolio of real estate, there are real benefits available from data analysis:

  • Creation of benchmarks, to identify low or high performers and outliers, indicating a need for further investigation of the building fabric and systems, and its operational strategies.
  • Support both better informed design of new buildings, and future strategy for O & M

In my presentation I presented various healthcare examples of where our IES consulting team have assisted with BMS Data Logging and collation on a cloud-based platform, enabling data reviews for:

  • BMS analytics, including tracking and monitoring building performance
  • Independent performance review through auditing the building against its Key Performance Indicators
  • Energy consumption benchmarking Building Simulation was then used to propose suggestions and evaluate their impacts and compliance.

The unique skillset of our consulting team enables our analysis to compare different results and postulate reasons for the differences. For example, we utilised BMS data logging and analytics to evaluate a portfolio of 6 similar healthcare facilities. In reviewing the supply air pressure data for the operating theatres, we identified many opportunities for immediate savings from operational decisions, as shown below.

Supply-Air-Pressure

The technology is available now to deliver projects that incorporate BIM and energy modelling in an integrated design process that extends to building hand-over, commissioning and facilities management. As owners start to demand buildings which operate closer to design predictions, we can start to use operational data to inform dynamic building simulations of improved design and retrofit, and provide enhanced operational models that enable ongoing monitoring of performance and great savings.

If you want to find out how more about how operational data + modelling = great savings, drop me an email and I can provide you with more information about my presentation. I have no doubt that the 5th Going Green Conference will be even better and I look forward to being involved in more knowledge sharing again next year.

BIM4Analysis – Frequently Asked Questions

Posted: June 28, 2016 by , Category:BIM

BIM FAQ
In January 2016, the IES team, alongside special guest speaker Jean Carriere of Trailloop, hosted another instalment of our popular IES Faculty BIM webinar series. The event provided an update on our BIM4Analysis strategy and interoperability development work.

Based on participant feedback from the event, we compiled the following list of FAQs which have been answered by our experts. You can also access the full FAQ document here.

Q: Is a full version of Revit necessary or just a viewer will do to perform exporting of the gbxml?
A full version of Revit would be required as it generates the gbXML from the geometry within the software. A viewer would not have this capability.

Q: Do you often come across examples that the architect is not willing to change their workflows to create the Revit file according to your workflow? Any thoughts on how to educate the architect to set up the Revit file to accommodate this process? A big part of this process is ensuring the initial Revit model is created with energy modelling in mind and my experience says changing the Revit file, if it is not done right, usually takes the modeller more time to clean up than starting from scratch…
A number of years ago this was very much the case, but the business benefits and time saving identified by a collaborative BIM process have made/should make it a no brainer for teams to collaborate to make it work. For an architect the process of building a Revit model to export a clean gbXML is much easier as it requires much less detail. We’ve included links below to some related resources that we hope are helpful.

We are in the process of creating a new basic modelling video which will be available soon on our YouTube channel.

Q: How do you prevent the analytical wall from trying to resolve against the architectural wall in Revit?
This can be performed with Revit MEP. Just head to our BIM Integration Features (IES BIM Faculty) video, fast forward to 9 minutes 30 seconds into the video and follow the steps.

Q: There was an element shown as an obstruction in the import, is this normal?
Yes, if you have set up your Revit model to allow for overhangs etc. this would be normal.

Q: I have noted that the plug-in is only available for v2015 Revit. Is a 2016 version on the way?
The Revit plug-in is automatically installed with all IESVE software installations. The 2016 version is available with our current release which you can download here. If there is ever no plugin you can always use the Revit export function from the file menu within Revit.

Q: Do you think it is best to setup customised space templates rather than use built in Revit functionality?
If you are referring to space templates within the VE, there are benefits to both processes. The trick is to identify the best process for your organisation and the way that you want to work.

Q: If you create one wall that overlays with another wall in Revit, they try to resolve against each other. How does Jean’s process deal with this?
You would need to choose one of these to be the primary room bounding element so as to avoid any conflict in the gbXML that Revit creates.

Q: Presumably all geometry modifications, such as BCO zoning, need to be done in the Revit model to maintain consistency in terms of room names and numbers?
Yes, it would make it easier from a consistency point of view as the room names are the key to synchronising data between the different models. In saying that it is not essential as you can make changes in the VE, but just be aware that you have varying room names. In addition, consideration to the number of differences that you make between the two models has to be assessed before you make any modifications.

Q: As an architect interested in transferring a clean model over to the virtual energy modelling environment, what are the basic tools that I need to be convinced the translation has occurred successfully? Is the Revit IES VE plug-in alone enough? I do not necessarily want to purchase a full version of the IES VE software but want to do my part to support a very smooth process.
You can use our free plugin and use that to load up the VE for free and check models. You can also check models within Revit before you export using its gbXML export dialogue. No need to purchase anything.

Q: Can IES update official guidance on interoperability as last guide was issued over 1 year ago.
Yes, this is in progress. We’ll be in touch as soon as the updated guidance is available.

Q: Another software provider has claimed IES do not comply with the full BIM Level 2 requirement by not forming a closed loop between energy analysis and re-working the design (i.e. architects model). Is there any justification to that claim?
No, there are processes and tools within the VE software that will help you to achieve this. IES VE software is one of few platforms that allows you to utilise data throughout the full lifecycle of an asset, not just in the design, but right through into operation, from one source.

We are also working to providing videos of this so keep checking back to our YouTube channel.

Q: Can you show us how to import properly from Revit to IES VE?
We have online videos on our YouTube channel as well as live e-training sessions we offer that take you through how to import from Revit to the VE. If you need any further assistance please contact our support team.

Q: Is BIM to BEM a good option? If yes, what is the effective way to do it?
Yes, just follow the guidance in our BIM + Building Performance Analysis White Paper to keep it simple. Contact us if you’d like us to provide a demonstration of this.

If you missed it, you can catch up on our latest BIM Faculty session and previous seminars on the IESVE You Tube channel. Further information can also be found on our BIM4Analysis page.

 

birtha-2-without-frame

Ever wondered what a Technical Analyst does? Well wonder no more! For this blog post we went behind the scenes to meet with Birthe Klebow, a member of our Software Development team to find out more about her role, what she loves about it and what advice she would give to other women entering a profession in a largely male dominated industry…

What attracted you to working in Software Development, particularly for IES?
I enjoy challenging myself to find elegant solutions for complicated problems. Working in software development gives me the opportunity to think outside the box and explore ‘uncharted waters’ every day. It is a great privilege to work with a company whose vision I fully support: the development of more sustainable buildings and cities by exploiting the potential of dynamic simulation. Working as a member of an expert team in IES, I actively shape and enhance the company’s market leading software products.

What does your role at IES involve?
As a technical analyst I bridge the gap between our product managers, external project partners and our software developers. My role is to understand user / project requirements and research, envision and formulate concepts for innovative solutions meeting their needs. I finally create software specifications which serve as the foundation for the development of the final products.

What project are you currently working on?
I am the technical lead for two European Horizon 2020 research projects which are both coordinated by IES. They are called NewTREND and IMPRESS. Together with research and industry partners from ten different countries, we are developing software solutions for Building Information Modelling (BIM) supported building energy retrofit. The goal is to help significantly reduce energy consumption in existing buildings and make building energy retrofit projects more accessible, effective, efficient and affordable.

What do you enjoy most about your role?
I highly value the impact my work has, not only in terms of the enhancement of existing products, but also with respect to influencing the future direction of the company by designing new and innovative software tools which IES is well known for. I appreciate the variety of my work and enjoy being challenged every day. Day-to-day interaction with international project partners and participation in conferences allow me to stay up-to date with recent university research and the latest trends in technology.

What do you enjoy most about working at IES?
A definitive highlight is the great working atmosphere we have in our Glasgow headquarters. It’s a pleasure to work with highly motivated and skilled people in multi-disciplinary international teams.

What contribution to IES are you most proud of?
Shortly after I joined IES, I took over the internal technical lead of the European research project Energy in Time. Within the frame of this project, our team have been developing calibrated building energy models for real-time building performance optimisation. We are now getting to the final stages of the project and its very satisfying to see that the project has emerged from a very ambitious and challenging proposal to a solid final solution.

What advice would you give to anyone entering your profession?
As an analyst, it is essential that you are a good listener and know how to put yourself into your customers’ shoes: only when you understand their real needs, you can design products making people happy!

Building engineering/physics/software development is very much a male dominated industry. What do you think would encourage more women into these industries?
I think we are still lacking a rich portfolio of attractive career profiles for these industries. Successful women serving as role models are probably one of the best motivations for young women to follow similar career paths.

As a female role-model what advice would you give to other women considering a career in this industry?
I think the best advice I could give women in this situation would be to follow their interests, be self-confident and trust their own abilities.

Interested in a career with a highly innovative company that offers a flexible and supportive working environment and the opportunity to work with a team of friendly, interesting and diverse people from across the globe? Keep an eye on the careers section of our website for upcoming positions or feel free to send your CV over to careers@iesve.com. You can also follow @IESCareers on twitter.

H&V Awards 2016

We are delighted to announce that last night IES received a coveted H&V News Award in the ‘BIM Initiative of the Year’ category. The award was in recognition of our ongoing BIM4Analysis Campaign for best example of promoting, educating or implementing Building Information Modelling within the industry.

The results of the H&V News Awards were revealed at the esteemed Grosvenor House Hotel, Park Lane, London, where 1100 of the HVAC industry elite came together for a night of recognition and celebration of the sector’s achievements. With 22 targeted categories, the awards cover every aspect of the HVAC and building services industry, from Air Movement Product of the Year to Renewable Project of the Year.

With the UK Government mandate for BIM Level 2 deadline fast approaching, we felt it was essential to educate and engage the industry on the important role performance analysis has to play in the BIM process. Our educational BIM4Analysis campaign, launched in January 2015, seeks to show the industry how performance metrics can be integrated within the BIM process, throughout design, commission and operation, in order to deliver value, cost and carbon improvement on all projects.

To date the campaign has involved a series of educational events in which we have looked closely at the BIM enabled analysis workflow and the benefits it can offer projects using real case study examples from VE users including HLM Architects and CBG Consultants. We also created informative online and print content which was disseminated to the industry at exhibitions such as Ecobuild, and through respected publications such as CIBSE Journal, Construction Manager and MBS. As part of the campaign our experts have also given talks at high profile events such as Build4Quality, Digital Construction Week and we also sponsored BIM Prospects 2015.

Our next educational IES Faculty event, Big Data in Building Services, will take place in London on Wednesday 27th April. During the session, our speakers will be looking at how the huge amounts of data created by BIM can be used to optimise building performance. You can register for the event here.

To find out more about the campaign visit our BIM4Analysis page, view the flyer or watch recordings from previous BIM4Analysis events on our YouTube playlist.

rsz_futuristic_architecture_reflectionTechnology within the construction industry and within our lives generally is developing rapidly.

Forget BIM Level 2, Digital Built Britain looks forward to a time, within the next decade, when BIM will encompass the Internet Of Things, advanced data analytics and the digital economy with the aim of planning new buildings and infrastructure more effectively, building at lower cost and operating and maintaining properties more efficiently and thus enabling citizens to make better use of the digital built environment.

The challenges we now face in trying to get design technologies to talk to one another will disappear as the demand for better, smart, safer construction techniques and smart buildings grows.

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.

Improvements in sustainability are reputed and expected to be a key outcome from deploying BIM, but is that the case?

Percentage of contractors that are conducting BIM activities for sustainability (by country)

Percentage of contractors that are conducting BIM activities for sustainability (by country)

A 2014 SmartMarket Report from McGraw Hill “The Business Value of BIM for Construction in Global Markets” identifies tools for analysis and simulation as helping design professionals generate higher performing design solutions, and enabling contractors to leverage models in a variety of ways to improve the quality and reduce the environmental impact of their work. In addition, an emerging area of BIM activity relates to owners using models to improve building performance by optimizing facilities management.

Building physics is an incredibly important discipline in such building performance modelling, and therefore the design and operation of all sustainable buildings. At IES, we feel that having a basic understanding of the principles and theory behind this discipline is essential for anyone who is part of a design team, client team, or operations team.

By understanding the natural laws of physics, building professionals can develop and operate buildings that consume less energy and function more effectively. Good design relies heavily on the application of physics principles to the built environment. It’s also behind many of the energy performance metrics now mandated within UK Part L Compliance, and BREEAM energy credits. BIM integrated thermal simulation software, such as our VE suite, is a key technology enabler in this area.

We believe that all professionals involved in building design, construction, operation and retrofit should have a basic foundation in key building physics principles and their practical application. It enables fundamental understanding which leads to know how across the areas of climate, fabric and HVAC to aid in more collaborative interaction with building physics experts. Particularly relevant as BIM level 2 and above starts to promote more integrated and collaborative workflows.

I’ll leave you with this thought – how will understanding how these key areas of climate, building fabric, and HVAC affect building energy performance, how they are interrelated, and how you can use this knowledge to optimise the building and reduce energy requirements help you?

Find out More…

Open to all, we’re hosting a joint Introduction to Building Physics training course with the CIOB (Chartered Institute of Building) in Glasgow on 29th March, 2016. Sign up here.

Plus, we’re also taking part in a unique series of Future Thinking seminars around the UK during 24th February – 24th March 2016, primarily aimed at consultants and specifiers, called Mind the Performance Gap. Energy performance of buildings can be up to five times higher than predicted during design. This seminar series features speakers from the Carbon Trust, Daikin and ourselves. Seminars are hosted from 6pm – 9.30pm, including buffet, drinks and networking at the following locations– Leeds, Glasgow, Manchester, London, Cardiff, Bristol, Southampton, Birmingham, and Nottingham. Sign Up here.

And finally, if you want more detailed information on how you can practically integrate performance Analysis into a BIM level 2 process watch the video of Jean Carriere of Trailloop as he presents at our recent BIM4Analysis webinar on BIM interoperability for energy modelling. Technology is only one aspect of a BIM enabled approach, a strong process is what drives everything.

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.

Interoperate Between BIM and Energy Modeling

Posted: January 15, 2016 by , Category:BIM, events

BIM Energy Modeling DiagramOn the lead up to our free BIM4Analysis webinar taking place on Thursday 28th January, we’ll be publishing a series of blogs to preview some of the topics that will be covered during the session. First up is a post from our guest speaker Jean Carriere of Trailloop, who will be presenting the most recent thinking on his approach to producing building loads for systems sizing and energy modelling from an integrated modelling process.

Build clean models before exporting the gbXML file and avoid integration errors before they happen, yielding predictably good results across many applications.

The AEC industry is familiar with creating building loads for systems sizing and then producing energy models with the Performance Rating Method (ASHRAE 90.1 or NECB). Although these project deliverables are typically done independently from each other without any integration to the project’s architectural and MEP systems design.

The building loads are produced from an early snapshot of the building’s form and features, then the compliance energy model acts as an auditing tool when the design is complete. A framework that incorporates these familiar industry deliverables would improve the energy performance of any building, by integrating and using information effectively during the design process.

The objective is to create the building loads from the architectural design model and then use this information to design and right-size the HVAC systems. With a clear and robust framework for measuring and verifying energy performance indicators, the design team can make informed decision based on actionable metrics. This process is designed to promote iterative energy simulations in order to achieve certain energy performance targets, such as net zero and beyond.

In order to make this process work, it first starts with the integration of BIM for energy modeling applications. This is accomplished by exporting a good quality gbXML or IFC export file from a BIM project. These files can be imported into most energy modeling applications, which then creates a digital link between BIM and energy modeling. As the federated BIM project evolves in complexity and level of detail throughout the design process, the energy modeling integration link is lost, but the information parameters remain. If the geometry or spaces change after the integration, the modifications can be copied back using the 5 fundamental modeling techniques into the integration model and then re-integrated in order to maintain the BIM link between applications.

We can use these information parameters to exchange data between the two applications. That could be a third party defining space and component properties in Revit and sending that information down to the energy modeler. Or it could be the energy modeler producing building loads or systems data to be inserted within the relevant space and component parameters. This way the building’s information resides inside the BIM and the simulated data is accurately representing the architectural and mechanical/electrical design.

The process of exchanging information bi-directionally between BIM and third party application is where the UK is heading with their BIM mandate for 2016. They define level 2 BIM as “a single environment to store shared asset data and information; accessible to all individuals who are required to produce, use and maintain it.” In essence, we’re opening up a portal to move information between energy modeling and BIM applications. If you’ve maintained the integration model throughout the process, then exchanging information after an energy simulation is as simple as copy/pasting data in Excel, and in a few minutes your BIM project is filled with important and relevant data.

Want to find out more about Jean’s approach? Sign up now for our free IES Faculty BIM webinar.

Got a question you’d like to put to Jean or one of our IES BIM experts ahead of the webinar? There are a number of ways you can do this – submit your question 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 be collated into an FAQ document which we’ll circulate after the event.

Buzzwords 2016
January is traditionally the time for forward reflection. So inspired by what’s going on around us we’ve pulled together the top 5 buzzwords that we think our expert building analytics team at IES will be using across 2016.

The Force of COP21
May the Force of COP21 be with us all. While the agreement signed in Paris by all 196 nations of the world to pull together and attempt to reduce carbon emissions, thus limiting the onslaught of global warming and reducing air pollution worldwide, is a major step forward, the real work starts now.

Undoubtedly the biggest difference will be made by big business and governments, see our founder Don’s views on this. However, we also believe that each and every one of us must also do our bit by changing the way we live, work, travel and think; no matter where we are from or how rich we are.

The Glasgow Effect:
Ok so we might not use this across the whole year but it certainly got us talking in January and as it’s a year-long project there is sure to be more to come. For those of you who’ve not picked up on this yet, the topic of office banter all across Glasgow on Tuesday morning was Ellie Harrison and her Glasgow Effect project being awarded £15k by Creative Scotland. The artist will not leave the greater Glasgow Area for 1 year (except in the event of the ill-heath / death of close relative or friend), and it’s caused a real storm on social media.

The project was initially called Think Global Act Local and is not primarily about poverty or deprivation in the city, as many people have assumed, but about exploring the benefits and practicalities of localism for artists and communities. “By setting this one simple restriction to her current lifestyle, she intends to test the limits of a ‘sustainable practice’ and to challenge the demand-to-travel placed upon the ‘successful’ artist / academic. The experiment will enable her to cut her carbon footprint and increase her sense of belonging, by encouraging her to seek out and create ‘local opportunities’ – testing what becomes possible when she invests all her ideas, time and energy within the city where she lives.”

The artist has a strong interest in climate change, political activism and big data, and while the original project title is in some ways far more accurate, most people wouldn’t have looked twice at a project named ‘Think Global Act Local’. But it got us thinking about the role of local and community in our personal and professional lives. It’s a global problem, but there’s action that can be taken by us all at a local level to combat it. Read more at our Blog.

BIM4Analysis:
With the UK Government mandate for BIM Level 2 deadline fast approaching this year, and as a technology company in the sustainable building analysis arena we felt it was essential to educate and engage the industry on the important role performance analysis has to play in the BIM process. The concept of creating and capturing information during design for use in operation is key to achieving Low Zero Carbon buildings. This time last year we started an educational campaign named ‘BIM4Analysis’ to engage with the industry and bring performance metrics front and centre to the BIM movement which is what the Government strategy is aimed at.

2016 is going to see us develop on this, demonstrating our BIM enabled analysis workflow alongside customers through various events and publications, including Ecobuild and BIM Prospects 2016. We’ve also got the next instalment of our popular IES Faculty BIM webinar series taking place at the end of January (details coming soon). This event will provide an update on our BIM4Analysis strategy plus interoperability development work that will help you on your BIM journey.

Big Data:
Other industries are already capturing and using big data to their advantage – but buildings are lagging behind. Imagine what you could do with real metrics instead of big assumptions. It’s all linked to Smart Buildings, the Internet of Things and other digital developments. Data in buildings can be generated by a wide variety of sources and can be used to understand behaviour, assess performance, improve market competitiveness, allocate resources and so on. However, historically it has been difficult and expensive to collect this data, and its variety in quality, structure and format made it difficult to use, sometimes for example requiring the manual transfer of data from paper records into digital systems.

Mind The Performance Gap:
We’ve been banging on about this for ages now but it’s an issue which requires much more understanding and attention. We’re expecting the issue to gain momentum in 2016, especially as the UKGBC has announced a new research project in the area.

The Performance Gap is a well-documented disconnect between the design and compliance models of buildings and the reality of how they perform. Our work to date has focused on the importance of understanding the difference between design, compliance and actual building performance models, as covered in this video from our faculty event. As well as researching new technological advances in using operational data combined with 3D modelling across building design, handover and operation to deliver intelligent energy efficiencies, alongside healthy and comfortable buildings.

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