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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!

Ecobuild 2013: The ‘IES’ Picture

Posted: March 15, 2013 by , Category:events, Sustainability

We’re finally getting a glimpse of normality again at the IES Glasgow HQ after what was another manic three days spent at this year’s Ecobuild.

The highlights over the three days included:

  • Unveiling our new exhibition stand (we hope you liked it if you dropped by)
  • Telling people about IMPACT, our unique new integrated approach to whole-building evaluation and ensuring the most sustainable solution regarding building cost, operational efficiency, budget and embodied environmental impact across the product’s life cycle is selected
  • Presenting IMPACT at the Innovation Zone and the UKGBC’s Green Dragons Den, and demoing the tools at the IMPACT seminar on Wednesday afternoon
  • Launching our New Smart Energy Management Consulting service, which will help our clients define and implement a measurable energy/carbon reduction strategy across their whole building portfolio
  • Launching Lessons, our website that supplies users with easy access to “lessons” learnt by construction professionals from their previous building design experiences
  • Meeting a Stormtrooper…

But apparently a picture speaks a thousand words so here is our time at Ecobuild in pictures, courtesy of our roaming team on the exhibition show floor…

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Our new stand - Building Measurable Change
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Day 1 at Ecobuild
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Lights.. Camera.. Action! Our BDM Sarah getting interviewed at Ecobuild
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Day 2 at Ecobuild
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Niall at the Innovation Zone presenting our new IMPACT Compliant tools
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Weighing up material - environmental impact vs cost vs operational efficiencies
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Niall at the Innovation Zone presenting our new IMPACT Compliant tools
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Sarah presenting at the Vectorworks Stand
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Niall presenting our IMPACT Compliant tools at the UKGBC’s green Dragon’s Den
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Niall getting grilled by the dragons at the UKGBC’s green Dragon’s Den
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Daniel Doran, BRE gets things started at the IMPACT seminar
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The Dulux dog goes nowhere without his VIP Pass...
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We’ve pledged our support for Climate Week at Ecobuild – have you?
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Nothing says BIM like a Stormtrooper…
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Or a yellow cow…
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IES TaP for LEED launched at Greenbuild

Posted: December 13, 2012 by , Category:IES TaP, LEED

The dust has just about settled after another hectic Greenbuild. If you were there in person or following online, it’s clear to see that this is the biggest and most anticipated green building conference of the year for a reason — it creates an energy and atmosphere that brings out the best in our industry.

If you were following our countdown to Greenbuild on twitter you’ll know we had a lot planned across the 3 day conference in San Francisco — presentations, workshops and manning our booth were just the tip of the iceberg! The most exciting part of our time at the show for our team was the launch of IES TaP for LEED 2009, taking us a step closer to automating as much of the LEED process as we can. There’s always a buzz in the company when we launch a new product and having the opportunity to present it exclusively to attendees at Greenbuild added to it.

IES TaP, our collaboration portal for managing Green Building Ratings Online, has been further developed to support LEED 2009. IES TaP for LEED enables project administrators to manage and track the process of gathering all submittal documentation from Charrette to Certification — allowing responsibility to be allocated to the project team for each individual documentation requirement. With seamless integration into LEED Online, LEED Online Forms, and the USGBC Online Credit Library, IES TaP for LEED enhances the management of the whole LEED workflow.

Additionally, it can be used in conjunction with our VE-Navigators for LEED and ASHRAE 90.1 (LEED Energy). These tools do analysis calculations and create the required documentation via LEED online.

Our aim with IES TaP for LEED is to substantially reduce the amount of time required by users to make a LEED submission, which will then hopefully have the knock on effect of encouraging them to use some of that time to make the building a little more sustainable.

After our 9th visit to Greenbuild, it’s fantastic to see IES and our peers in the industry continually pushing ourselves to bring products like IES TaP for LEED to the industry. I wonder what new IES software development I’ll be talking about after next year’s conference…

If you want to find out more about IES TaP for LEED and how you can use it to streamline, manage and automate the LEED submission process, check out our introduction movie on YouTube or sign up to one of our free webinars here.

Countdown to Greenbuild 2012

Posted: November 8, 2012 by , Category:events, Green Building, LEED

All it takes is a quick look on Twitter using the #Greenbuild hashtag to see that not only is this the biggest green building conference in the world, but it’s also the event that brings out the most passion and creativity from within our industry.

If the green building industry had an Olympics; it would be Greenbuild. If we had a Woodstock; it would be Greenbuild. If we had a Cannes; it would be… ok I’ll stop now, you get the idea.

There is a lot going on every year at Greenbuild and this year is no exception. To find out what was planned for San Francisco and to get involved in the pre-Greenbuild conversation, we decided to create our “DaysToGB” twitter hashtag. Starting on October 14th, we’ve been using the hashtag to countdown the 30 days leading up to the main event next week.

But what have we learned counting down the days to Greenbuild? Quite a lot actually! We know the USGBC is coming full circle by heading back to its roots in San Fran and it’s an ideal location as it’s a city with green building high on the agenda. We’ve learned that attendees are spoiled for choice for what they can do with any spare time they can grab (film festival, walking tours etc), and also that this year’s event has more fantastic seminars and presentations then you could shake a stick at!

We’ve also been using #DaysToGB to share what IES have planned over the course of the conference. At booth #1732S, we’ll be sharing our recent innovations and developments which significantly help streamline and assist the LEED certification process. As a USGBC LEED Automation partner, we’ll be launching our new online LEED project management software and showcasing our software solutions for automated LEED performance credit assessments and sophisticated LEED Energy Modeling.

Our IES experts are also taking part in a number of educational presentations throughout the week; you should have at least one logged in your diary:

IS04A – Removing Barriers for International LEED Projects {Tues 13th Nov}
B06 – Energy Monitoring that Provides Meaningful Data AND Value {Wed 14th Nov}
LEED Automation Partner Presentation {Wed 14th Nov}
D13 – The Ghosts of Climate Past, Present, and Future {Thurs 15th Nov}

You can click here if you would like full details on the above sessions.

So what have you got planned for Greenbuild? There’s still time to tell us using the #DaysToGB hashtag or alternatively you can comment below.

6 #DaysToGB

Breakfast with the Don

Posted: October 31, 2012 by , Category:events

As part of his world tour, Don McLean (our founder and CEO) is heading to Australia. I’m pretty jealous as the weather there is a lot warmer than here in Scotland with the winter starting to kick in!! Anyway, he won’t have time to be soaking up

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the rays, since he’ll be hosting a series of breakfast briefings across the country:

Brisbane on Monday 19th November
Sydney on Wednesday 21st November
Melbourne on Friday 23rd November
Perth on Tuesday 27th November

Along with a free breakfast, by attending these events you will get the

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unique opportunity of a presentation on our new products and services, from LCA to enhanced model calibration and model optimisation as well as recent developments and planned 2013 developments.

Additionally, he will talk about the IES Hub and the R&D developments which include:

VE-SCAN — Predictive data analytics to cut energy use and costs across the building portfolios
THERM — Integrated manufacturing and buildings sustainably
Vectorworks — The collaborate and exchange model and data with other project members within an Open BIM approach via IFC
TaP — Online Project Management tool for environmental assessment projects
OPTIMISE — Simulation based optimisation tool for minimisation of building carbon emissions
IMPACT — Integrated material profile and costing tool
Daikin — VRV Systems Plug-in
Monodraught – Windcatcher performance component library

If you want to know a little more about these products prior to the breakfast briefing, feel free to click on the links above.

After Don’s presentation, you will get the chance to ask him questions and get an insight into the exciting new developments that are taking place at IES (straight from the Don!)

As I said, it’s free, it starts at 8 am and finishes at approximately 10 am.

Signing up is easy. Just click on the date that you would like to participate and fill out the form. If I had the chance, I know I’d be there!

When it came to writing this World Green Building Week blog the resounding thought I had was — blimey, it’s September already and a year has passed since the last World Green Building Week! But as the great proverb says; “Time and World Green Building Week wait for no man”…

But putting the concept of time aside, after the success of the WGBW event (Environmental Modelling for a Low Carbon Scotland) we hosted last year in Glasgow, we have decided to do it all again this year in Central London on Tuesday 18th September.

Our event this year, which is part of our free Faculty series, will bring together a selection our partners (Davis Langdon, BRE, Daikin, Monodraught) to share our vision of “Virtual Building Models: Driving Measurable Change for Sustainable Built Environments“. By bringing together our expanding partnership programme we want to demonstrate the power of Virtual Building technology to not only reduce carbon impact, but to also substantially reduce costs across the whole building lifecycle.

Commercial buildings utilise more than 42 per cent of all electricity produced, yet waste up to 50 per cent. It is clear that looking at innovative ways to manage energy use throughout the building portfolio offers very substantial savings. Furthermore organisations need to urgently adapt from ‘business as usual’ if they are to meet CSR targets, and comply with current and future environmental legislation, whilst ensuring on-going reliability and investment value of building stock.

In addition, the costs to operate and maintain building stock look set to rise even further. These increases arise from; new expenses associated with environmental legislation, rising fuel costs, the impact of climate change, and increasing energy demands — all external factors over which management has little control.

We believe that the application of Virtual Building technology from design, through construction & commissioning on into operation and renovation/adaptation offers a 3D platform upon which Smart building principles can be built. At next week’s event we will demonstrate through a number of practical and educational sessions how projects and research we are involved can be used in your day-to-day, and how it’s all starting to join-up:

– Software partners are addressing connectivity between Virtual Building and CAD/BIM platforms
– Product manufacturers are testing & verifying performance, creating user tools and undertaking due diligence to cut through greenwash and prove effectiveness of innovative systems virtually
– Research partners are working with us to expand technology horizons
– Rating systems partners are leveraging our technology to facilitate compliance and investigate alternative routes

If you don’t already know, World Green Building Week is held annually to highlight the importance of sustainable buildings for businesses, communities and individuals across the world and this year it takes place from 17th — 21st September. This year’s theme is “Green Building for Great Communities” and we believe that Virtual Building technology can help support the creation of great communities through:

Thinking Healthy: Making buildings for people with better indoor environments and air quality etc.
Thinking Wide:
Connecting the building to natural systems and aligning tech systems across multiple buildings
Thinking Long: Creating lasting value by setting clear performance targets, incorporating future-proofing and ongoing monitoring of building operations to optimize long-term performance, while creating transparency throughout the building lifecycle
Thinking Connected: Collaborating at every stage and integrating design teams, stakeholdersand industry, government etc.
Thinking Big: Acting now for a greener, healthier community

So if you’re in the London area next Tuesday make sure you come along and join us for this free event. If you want to find out more details about what’s happening on the day and book your place, head over to our website.

IES at SimBuild 2012

Posted: July 31, 2012 by , Category:events

This week the good ship IES has arrived in Madison, Wisconsin for SimBuild 2012. Held biennially, Simbuild is IBPSA-USA‘s national conference that sets out to “improve the design and operation of buildings through advances in the modeling and simulation of building performance”. This is one of the first events we attended (we’ve been coming back since 2006!) when we first took our software to the US and it’s an event that has a very positive impact on the industry.

Prior to the event, which takes place on August 1st — 3rd, we are hosting a two day workshop covering the IES Virtual Environment — Advanced Building Systems Modeling: Loads, HVAC Systems, and Energy. Presenting the workshop will be our IES specialist and HVAC guru, Timothy Moore. Timothy has fourteen years experience to call upon and it’s safe to say that he knows a thing or two when it comes to simulation methods for high-performance buildings, advanced systems integration, and energy modeling.

The workshop will not be your only chance to catch up with Timothy throughout the week as he will be presenting a paper at the SimBuild technical sessions on Wednesday, August 1st at 13:30 — 14:50 (Session 3b). The paper is entitled “Approach to Dynamic Modeling of Thermally Stratified Spaces” and can be downloaded here, for those of you who are not making the trip to Wisconsin.

Following on from the paper presentation, our Project Manager Nathan Kegel will be taking part in the SimBuild Software Demos session that takes place in the University Room from 3:10 to 5:10 pm on Wednesday. This will be a good chance to see the software in action and ask any questions you may have about the Virtual Environment.

We look forward to seeing some of your throughout the week and getting involved in everything on offer at SimBuild 2012!

Live from AIA 2012

Posted: May 18, 2012 by , Category:Architects, events

Notes from the show floor…

I’m back from dinner and a wonderful evening in Washington, DC, and I’m sitting down to take a look at my notes from the day.

What do I think of AIA so far? I’m happy to report that the show is fantastic! There was some great traffic in the 2100 row, and we had some great conversations at the booth today. The buzz in the air was refreshing. I think the architecture industry is going to see some big things in 2012.

The theme of the show — Design Connects — is certainly something we’ve been talking about for years at IES. Early stage analysis, including solar shading and the impact of daylight levels, for example, are an important part of the whole-building design process. The understanding of how climate and building design connect as part of the key to low-energy, sustainable design is an integral part of our software, and we are excited to share this with attendees this week.

I haven’t had much time to step away from the booth and walk the floor, but I hope to check out some of the other booths today. Maybe I’ll see you?

And we’re trying to Tweet throughout the day (when the Wi-Fi is cooperating), so follow us here – @IESVE.

There is also time to enter our AIA 2012 competition, to win a one year license for our architectural analysis tool, VE-Gaia, and the VE-Navigator for LEED, and associated IESVE modules. All you have to do is answer the following question in 100 words or less:

What do you view as the Architect’s role in Energy Analysis?

Entries can be made here. Good luck!

IES at eSim 2012

Posted: May 10, 2012 by , Category:events

This time last week I pitched up at the eSim coference in Halifax, Nova Scotia. eSim is IBPSA-Canada’s biennial conference that brings together professionals, academics and students interested in building performance simulation advancements and applications. I was particularly looking forward to attending eSim because

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not only is it held in a beautiful part of the world, but we also had the pleasure of presenting at and sponsoring this year’s event.

I was kept pretty darn busy over the course of the three days; hosting a pre show training workshop, manning the IES Booth and conducting an IES-VE demo. Happy to report that the workshop and demo were both well attended and I got a lot of positive feedback from current customers and those new to the Virtual Environment. I’d like to thank everyone that took the time to come along to the workshop, demo or booth, and I hope you came away with some useful information (and a free trial).

Getting the chance to talk to the industry face to face is what drives me to attend these types of events. It makes the plain, trains and automobiles all worthwhile when you get the opportunity of show people the power of our software.

The IES-VE is currently approved energy simulation software for LEED Canada to demonstrate compliance for EAp2 & EAc1. The VE offers detailed, comprehensive, and integrated dynamic simulation of solar shading, daylighting, bulk airflow (natural ventilation), thermal loads, HVAC systems, controls, and building energy performance.

With the VE-Pro applications, users can take a project from climate analysis and schematic 3D modeling through to advanced daylighting analysis, detailed thermal-comfort (CFD) and loads analysis for critical spaces, and finally to whole-building energy modeling and reporting for the LEED/ASHRAE-90.1 Performance Rating Method. Our energy simulation software is also on the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Internal Revenue Service (IRS) list of approved software.

We have also been confirmed as approved energy modelling software (whole building or specific system) with Efficiency Nova Scotia. Efficiency Nova Scotia offers financial incentives worth up to $500,000 for new construction projects 10,000ft2 or larger, for those working in Nova Scotia. Find out more here.

All in all, it’s an exciting time for IES in this region, and I look forward to meeting more of you at events like eSim in the future.

Last week was Ecobuild week, an important date in our annual calendar as it is for the rest of the industry. Everyone is there, or at least it certainly feels that way. Over the years I’ve seen it grow and this year not an inch was left unused at the Excel Centre. While I have attended EcoBuild over the years as a visitor, it was my first as an Exhibitor and I enjoyed the different angle of the event. Being the new boy at IES I was given the task to help setup our stand, not knowing what this entailed, I was full of confidence and enthusiasm. Little did I know…

I turned up on Monday and our stand had only just been built, but there is camaraderie at EcoBuild that encourages everyone to chip in. It wasn’t long before I found the decorators to paint the stand and the electricians to wire in power to get our lighting and computer demonstration pods up and running. People from all types of companies from all around the world were sharing duck tape, ladders, Stanley knives and hoovers, giving a real sense of positiveness. Maybe this a reflection on our industry currently, after so many years of challenging times due to lack of investment, maybe there is a sense of optimism that we’ve turned a corner, maybe it was the glorious weather or maybe both. After a long day on Monday setting up our stand, all was ready and awaiting for the opening on Tuesday.

I reached the Excel centre early on the Tuesday morning. It’s amazing the transformation that happened overnight; there were no more pallets, forklifts, carpets were down, and exhibitors had swapped their denim for shirts and ties, anxiously waiting for the doors to open at 10am. We had a very interesting stand this year, in fact we had three; our main stand (covering new releases and partnered alliances), Research stand (discussing all of our ground—breaking research projects) and our stand at the Innovation Zone.There’s a lot to talk about at IES, something we’re very proud of, and EcoBuild allows us to communicate all that’s going on to our customer base, which was received extremely well over the three days.

At our main stand we had representatives from Plancal, Monodraught, and Track a Project (IESTaP.com), and over the course of the 3 days I got to know our new commercial partners very well. Everyone was positive about the future and power that the partnerships can bring to the <Virtual Environment> and we were all encouraged by the hundreds of interested visitors that came our way. Clearly our partnerships went down very well and have set the building blocks for future developments. The visitor feedback assured us that we are following a direction that falls in line with what is required within the industry.

Before you know it, EcoBuild comes and goes. The three days were extremely busy and exhausting but I particularly enjoyed my time as an exhibitor. We packed up our stands and got the boxes ready for delivery back to IES HQ. But the work didn’t stop there; the following day I was back out meeting clients and following up on what seems a never ending list of actions. It’ll take me weeks to follow up on just three days at EcoBuild.

So the new boy has cut his teeth at EcoBuild and looks forward to the next exhibition with the same enthusiasm as he did when he arrived at the Excel centre on that Monday morning.

{You can follow Niall on Twitter here}

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