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CIBSE-award-2015 (2)

Here at IES we recognise the importance of supporting young talent within the industry. We are therefore delighted to be sponsoring a prize for the CIBSE Building Simulation Group Student Award 2015.

The annual competition, which has been running since 2012, is open to postgraduate students from the UK and overseas. Entrants must undertake a research project at Master’s level or equivalent in which the application of building simulation tools are a major element.

This year’s award focuses on projects which involve the application and development of advanced simulation techniques and/or software for predicting the performance of buildings and environmental control systems. The winner will receive £1,000, a 12-month unlimited laptop licence for the IES VE software suite and a place at one of our 3-day public training courses. All together this is a prize worth over £7,000! Two runners-up will also receive a £250 prize.

When it comes to our Virtual Environment software, we encourage all students to take advantage of our student licence offer which is available year round. Priced at just £50 (no more than you’d pay for most course books!), a student licence will provide access to all VE modules for a year.

In our quest to support the designers and engineers of the future we also offer heavily discounted licence rates to academic institutions for teaching purposes. As a result, the VE has now been adopted as one of the preferred performance analysis software tools by a number of universities and colleges worldwide, a recent example being the Department of Architectural Engineering at Penn State University who intend to focus on the VE as one of two energy analysis software tools they will use exclusively in their curriculum. Click here to find out more about our student and academic offers.

If you would like to be considered for this year’s CIBSE BSG Award, expressions of interest must be submitted no later than Monday 31st August. Prospective candidates can download the full entry criteria and timescales here.

We can’t wait to see the winning submissions! In the meantime, read about last year’s winner here.

Closing the Performance Gap

Posted: September 17, 2014 by , Category:Energy Performance, events

There has been a growing awareness for some time that many ‘low energy buildings’ use more energy than the designers thought they would. As energy costs have risen, this awareness has started to spread to building owners, who hear much about low energy buildings and subscribe to programmes that rate the design of the building, only to find that their ‘low energy design’ turns out to have a typical energy bill. The performance of low energy designs is often little better than that of an older building they have replaced, or supplemented.

There is a mismatch between the expectations around the performance of new buildings and the reality of the utility bills. This difference between expected and realised energy performance has come to be known as the ‘performance gap’. CIBSE TM:54

Join the IES Team in London on Wednesday 24th September (4pm – 6pm), for the return of the next instalment of our popular interactive Faculty series, where we explore the Performance Gap phenomenon in detail. We’ll discuss what we can do to improve the accuracy of our design modelling, with an insight into the newly released CIBSE TM:54. Following on we’ll discuss the advantages of Soft Landings and what recent advances in Building Simulation can allow you to use real building data to improve the Design Process of new buildings.

Can’t make the seminar in person? Don’t worry, we’ll be providing live updates throughout the event on our live twitter feed, using the #PerformanceGap hashtag. Not only can you follow our World Green Building Week event live but you can also play your part in the discussion taking place, by filling out this quick survey below and by putting your questions and issues to our team using the #PerformanceGap hashtag or the comments section of this blog post.

The Faculty seminars are a place for interaction among the industry and the more feedback that is provided, the better we can start to address the issues we are all facing. It’s time for us to close the #PerformanceGap.

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.

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!


Posted: May 19, 2011 by , Category:events

Last month I was asked to attend and present at a SESG/CIBSE seminar at the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow. The event was held to explore the latest developments in the Scottish Regulations, and to investigate the concept and future implications of “zero carbon” building in Scotland.

My presentation mainly focused on the key changes in 2010 Section 6 and 2010 Part L2A in terms of building compliance simulations. It also carried out a good comparison study between these two new regulations to see how buildings will be affected respectively by these regulations in terms of compliance. An example was set up based on an office building which was comfortably passed the compliance under both previous Section 6 and PartL2A, but failed in the new regulations. Different improvement strategies have been taken to see which area can be looked at to improve the building performance. You can find my presentation below and as always any feedback is very welcome.

Overall this was an interesting event which generated a lot of exciting discussion, while also demonstrating that these are issues that are high on the agenda in Scotland. Other speakers included members of BRE, SESG and the Scottish Building Standards Division, addressing issues such as research perspectives and industry reactions to the current technical standards. I am now looking forward to reporting back from such forward thinking Scottish events in the future!

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.


To be truly sustainable, a building needs to last in excess of 100 years, and current design regulations and sustainability rating systems only require you to design against weather data that represents at best the next decade or so. Sustainable designs really need to make some assessment of the impact of climate change on determining built form suitability for the long term.

Therefore, I thought I’d take this opportunity to expand on my recent Weather Design and Data blog.

IES cannot tell you what is going to happen, however there is huge consensus around a 3oC global warming target as you will have no doubt heard. What does this mean to building design? It seems reasonable to assume investors and insurers will consider this target and what it might mean for buildings in the future.

Let us take the CIBSE published UK weather predictions for a medium-high climate change scenario, which represents about a 3oC rise, and consider London, by far not the worst location in climate change terms, over the next 70 years.

Just glancing at the headline information you see that:

-The summer is extending and getting hotter in the Mahoney analysis (monthly average);

-The reduction in heating degree days -31% from now to 2080;

-The growth in cooling degree days + 65% from now to 2080;

-The climate classification shift — mixed humid to warm marine;

-How built form design focus shifts to be dominated by summer issues.

Just from this brief overview you can start to see how selecting and comparing weather data, especially climate change impacts, can allow you to assess fundamental built form suitability and its ability to adapt to climate change over the long term.

For locations outside of the UK this analysis is possible using morphed data from any epw weather file; a free tool allows you morph climate change scenarios worldwide.

Part L 2010

Posted: May 7, 2010 by , Category:Building Regulations, Uncategorized

Unsurprisingly one of the hot topic’s at last week’s CIBSE Conference was the upcoming Part L 2010 Building Regulations. We are lucky enough to have a unique insight into the practical implications of the forthcoming changes. This is due to our working closely with AECOM to inform our software development.

It’s important to really get to grips with the key changes proposed. Building magazine’s Dyfrig Hughes gives more detail here, but here’s an overview of what to expect:

Weather Design and Data

Posted: April 28, 2010 by , Category:software, Sustainability

Recently I have been looking at the weather data we use for dynamic simulations using the Gaia rapid analysis tools. When you consider what we used 10 years ago these datasets are a huge increase in resolution, but ….

The attached graphic shows a Mahoney analysis (this looks at monthly trends) of the CIBSE current & climate change weather files for London; you can easily see

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the progression over time in the climate …. the change in heating and cooling degree day data (HDD & CDD) and the increasing summer season is stark …. but there are inconsistencies in the data, the 2050 data being a case in point.

Overall this should be sufficient cause for building professionals to at least carry out a risk analysis on the robustness of their designs for + 50-80 years hence i.e. the correct fundamental form plus the ability to adapt, but we must accept that the data we use is much closer to the raw edge of science than it ever used to be and it will evolve with the science !

Richard Quincey

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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