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scotland_america_flagScotland has given the world many things – the telephone, the television, Scotch whisky, Irn Bru, tartan, and of course; Integrated Environmental Solutions. Our CEO Don will be flying the Scottish flag this week as he has been invited to New York to participate in a panel debate on sustainable cities with the American-Scottish Foundation on April 5th. Celebrating Scotland-Tartan week, the event is to showcase Our Energy Future: The Power of Partnerships in America and Scotland.

IES was formed in Scotland by Managing Director Dr Don Mclean in June 1994. The roots of the company go back to 1979 when the 1973 energy crisis, the three-day week, power cuts and predictions that oil would run out by 2000 were all high in the public’s consciousness. Against this backdrop, Don started his PHD work in detailed simulation of renewable energy devices at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow.  Don’s time at Strathclyde, along with subsequent research and commercial activity consolidated three fundamental observations that IES is built on:

  • Buildings are major consumers of energy and they have to be made more efficient to cut CO2 emissions, conserve fossil fuels and preserve the environment for future generations.
  • Buildings are generally designed on experience and simplistic performance calculations even though it has been proven that the use of performance based building simulation can achieve much better performing buildings that consume significantly less energy.
  • Pre-IES building performance tools were too complex to use and remained in the hands of academics making very little impact on mainstream commercial design.

Although our roots are Scottish, the outlook at IES has always been global. We understand that the problem of increasing C02 emissions is a global problem; not a local one. And that’s why we now have offices across the world in Glasgow, Dublin, Atlanta, Vancouver, Melbourne and Pune {India}. Our ties with America have always been strong – we opened a Boston office in 2004 and have had an office in San Francisco and IES consultants in Minnesota and north of the border in Vancouver.

Our ambition to collaborate within America took another step forward last year when IES acquired North American consulting firm BVM Engineering (BVME), who now act as our South Atlantic Division in Atlanta.

So as far as IES are concerned, partnerships between America and Scotland have never been stronger, with the future looking particularly bright…

We’ll toast a dram to that!

I’ve just returned from a week-long trip to Glasgow, in bonnie Scotland – where it rained for an estimated 92% of the time! I’m happy to report that these damp days did not spoil my trip as I was in the city to finalise the deal that sees BVM Engineering become a new division of IES.

BVM Engineering, of whom I am the founder of, will now become the first base for IES in the southern states. We’re an experienced group of engineers and LEED APs that have accumulated many years of experience working on projects across the globe. Our skillset is one that will complement IES, and as highly experienced LEED consultants and LEED reviewers, we’d like to bring this practical experience to bear enhancing the current LEED capabilities of the <Virtual Environment> software.

Our expertise will also reinforce the work IES consultants currently undertake on behalf of their <Virtual Environment> software customers; supporting delivery of their client’s projects through a combined offering of consulting services, software support and training.

So what attracted us to join forces with IES? Well I have known IES CEO Don MacLean for over eight years now, and during that time our relationship has grown due to a shared

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passion for sustainable building design and a common vision for the essential role performance analysis plays in the process. I’ve also had eight years to get accustomed to the Scottish accent too… the food, however, is another story…

As you know, my sustainability practice has been rooted in building energy analysis (“modelling”) and I have been teaching for years that the way we analyse buildings, as a separate entity from the designer, has to change if we are to truly impact the sustainability of the built environment. The suite of analysis tools IES has and is developing, is intended to facilitate detail-appropriate analysis at all stages of design by the true ‘designers’ of the building. Hence, our move to join forces with IES!

As long term users of IES software we know a lot about the company and their culture, and it is one that we are all very excited about being part of. My new colleagues at the Glasgow HQ couldn’t have made me feel more welcome, and getting a chance to sit down with people across the company really opened my eyes at the exciting times ahead for IES in North America.

Well now that the boxes have been ticked and the deal has been done, it is time for the real work to begin. We’ll be sure to keep you posted on our progress…

 

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