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IES Faculty comes to Ravensbourne

Posted: June 28, 2011 by , Category:events


When booking a venue for an event there is always certain factors that must be taken into consideration — location, capacity, availability and cost (no getting away from it in this current climate). But when we were looking for a venue in London to host the second of our free educational seminars, IES Faculty, we were also looking for somewhere that offered a certain je ne sais quoi. Being that the latest Faculty session is for Architects, we wanted to find a place that both promoted and reflected the inventiveness and originality of modern architecture.

We came across such a venue in Ravensbourne digital college. The building was designed by Foreign Office Architects and is a technology driven location which has been built to stimulate creativity. We were also impressed by the green credentials of the building, as Ravensbourne has invested heavily in the sustainability of the venue with a green roof, solar water heating and biomass boiler. The building has achieved an impressive BREEAM Excellent status.

So what do we have in store for architects coming to IES Faculty on the 12th of July? In just a few hours we’ll show you how our solutions can help you enhance architectural design and productivity. See how to quickly produce early stage sustainability reports using our revolutionary architectural analysis tool, get up to date with our integration with Google SketchUpâ„¢ and be introduced to our new innovative step-by-step BREEAM Assessment tool. You can get more information and sign up on our website.

Last month, we put out the call for questions for our new monthly series, Questions and AEC. And the responses came pouring in. So without further ado, here we go!

Twitter follower @xinyiwho asked:

@IESVE yes, can we trust the default SPF in Apache system?

Cormac Glynn, Project Consultant based in Dublin, answered:

I wouldn’t take the default value for SFP. The default specific fan power is 3 but the limiting value for Part L is 2. Therefore on a new building, if you took the default value you would fail. The reason for this is that the user is forced to consider the SFP and not just take the default value without realizing and achieve a pass. It is up to the user to decide on inputs to the model.

Does that answer your question, @xinyiwho?

And do you, dear reader, have a question that you need an answer to? Feel free to leave a comment below with your question. Or follow us on Twitter and send us a question using the hashtag is #IESVEQuestions. Or you can find us on Facebook and LinkedIn.

The Baby Dilemma

Posted: July 14, 2010 by , Category:Environment, recycling

Having recently become a father of a baby girl, I have now started living a life as a father. No doubt it is a tough job and it sure is challenging, but on the other hand it is joyful. You might think why am I writing about fatherhood in this blog? Because how you raise or take care of a baby is closely related to our environment.

I read an article last month about being a “green family”. The couple are raising their kid in a diaper free environment. Just a bit of fact, on average a baby will go through about 6,000 disposable diapers by the time he/she turns two years old, that means millions of diapers end up in the landfills

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every day, taking about 200-500 years to decompose. At first I thought this sounds a bit exaggerated, but now I do believe 6,000 diapers in two years maybe achievable.

So one solution for this is of course change to cloth nappy, and at best nappy-free. This sounds easy, but it does require quite a bit of effort. I do admire the couple’s effort getting their baby to use the cloth nappy all the while and turn nappy free after six months. We have tried using just the cloth when our baby was about 1 -2 months, but soon realised it is too much trouble and have then switched to disposable. After reading this, I think I should try using the cloth nappy again since she is now older and the frequency for toileting should not be as high as before. I was always hoping to see something like bio-degradable diapers (since we can have bio-degradable plastic bags, why not for diapers) in the market, but so far no luck, I think this will be a good product for the market.

I may not be doing so well on the diapers side, but I do try to help the environment in other area, i.e. after bathing our baby, will keep the water for flushing the toilet. There are also a lot of things parents can do or be aware of, for example, not to buy too many baby clothes as you will soon realise they can’t fit in them after wearing a few months as they just grow too quickly. Don’t buy too many toys, as they probably prefer parents playing with them instead (at least that what I have noticed).

Let’s not forget our children’s’ future environment while happily raising them.

To read the “Green Family” article, please click here.

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.

It was on a recent trip to Sweden that I met a very colourful gentleman called the Swedish Chef. On discussing how to design a true sustainable building he replied “Don’t worry if you have to design a sustainable building, just use the VE!”

Sweden as a country has a great reputation in sustainability and energy efficiency and has recently been selected as the European Green Capital for 2010.

During my trip there I spent a number of days in Stockholm and learnt that it was the city council’s holistic vision that has lead the way for Stockholm becoming one of Europe’s most sustainable cities. It combines both growth and sustainable development. The city council has an ambitious target of becoming fossil fuel free by 2050 and many design teams are using BREEAM Europe to ensure buildings are playing there part in achieving the 2050 goal.

Overall Stockholm can be depicted as a city with very strong green programmes and effective measures across the board. Innovative ideas such as vegetated roofs have been put into practice. The city has an excellent structure of green and blue areas and, in fact 95% of the population lives only 300m away from green areas, thus catering for better well being, recreation, swimming, boating, water purification, noise reduction, enhancement of biodiversity and ecology.

The local transport system has taken several positive steps towards sustainability over the last ten years. A very broad and extensive range of measures have been adopted, including a successful and pioneering congestion charging system with good documented results in terms of reduced car use, and an increase in public transport share, included cycling. More than 75% of fuel stations in Stockholm now offer ethanol or biogas and all petrol solid in the region contains 5% ethanol.

As far as CO2 emissions are concerned, there has been a 25% reduction per capita in Stockholm emissions since 1990 which I believe can act as a bench mark for the rest of Europe.

Based upon my experience and the comments of a number of our more experienced customers I believe Version 6 is about to revolutionise the way performance assessment is conducted as part of the sustainable design process.

For IES this is a seminal moment, so you’ll have to excuse us for blowing our own bagpipes! In the future, I believe, IES staff, and many of our users, will refer back to Version 6 as the start of a major breakthrough in climate change mitigation. So what’s so special you might you ask?

I’ve been out in the field (some of you may have seen my Tweets) over the last two months performing a large number of demos across the globe. In the last eight weeks I have demoed Version 6 in the US, UK, UAE, Hong Kong and Australia. In total 59 demos and 4 seminars!

When comparing notes with my colleagues (who’ve also been busy demoing V6 throughout the world), the common response has been: Wow! V6 is really impressive!

We’ve received comments such as: ‘This is important for the whole Middle East region’, ‘VE-Gaia is brilliant it will change the way we can do sustainable design — when can we get it’, ‘This ticks all the boxes’, ‘We wanted about 10 new features and you showed them all and more — Multiplexing is brilliant.’

Current and potential VE users clearly see the commercial benefits of Version 6 in terms of marketing differentiation, technical advantage and productivity. These are all important considerations, particularly in today’s economic climate.

The stage is set — all indications are that V6 will positively impact on Architects, Engineers and Clients throughout the world. This impact will hopefully be such that words like VE-Gaia; Multiplexing and Workflow Navigators will become common terminology in the construction industry in a relatively short timescale. Is this big headed? Perhaps so, or perhaps not… job ads here in the UK already refer to ‘VE Engineers’ and ‘IES experience required’!

If you’ve not seen Version 6 yet then have a look at our website and press releases to find out more. Or register online for a web demo or free trial.

Cya Don

Comments Comments Off on Version 6 of the Virtual Environment – the game changer!!

Sustainability in the States

Posted: August 5, 2009 by , Category:Sustainability

From goats to green roofs and organic composting to affordable green housing, cities across the states are working on creative ways to save the planet. People are used to recycling programs and the promotion of public transportation, but some cities are going above and beyond those steps to ensure that our planet fights global warning.

These cities are rated in the Natural Resource Defense Council’s top 10 smart cities. The ranks were defined by a number of different categories including alternative energy, affordable housing, energy efficiency, and public transportation. Topping this list was Seattle, Washington who has begun using goats instead of pesticides to clear away unwanted shrubbery.

Austin Texas made the list at number 6 for their energy

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saving insulation and sealing. The city of Austin, provides free installation for the energy conserving upgrades for low and moderate income homes. They are also running a program that allows residents to sell excess energy from their solar panels back to the city.

My home city of Boston ranks as number 8 on the list of smart cities for their implementation of one of the largest public transportation systems. Boston is adding to their bicycle structure adding new bike lanes and more racks.

To find out more, or see how your city ranks, please see the Natural Resource Defense Council’s website, http://www.nrdc.org/about/ or http://green.yahoo.com/blog/greenpicks/249/top-10-u-s-cities-of-the-future.html

2010 Imperative

Posted: July 30, 2009 by , Category:2010 Imperative, Architecture 2030



As we discussed earlier this year, the 2010 Imperative is on a mission, challenging colleges and universities to become carbon-neutral by 2010. It also aims at making ecological literacy become a key element of design education by that year in an effort to combat global warming and world resource depletion. Many students, firms and Universities have already signed up for 2010 Imperative, as you can see on http://www.architecture2030.org/2010_imperative/2010imperative_adoptions.php.

In fact, it is the students who seem really concerned by climate change, many have chosen to personally adopt the 2010 Imperative and are therefore committed to encouraging their schools to adopt and implement it. Several facebook groups have been created about the 2010 Imperative, which further shows that students want to make everybody sensitive to the challenge launched by the planet.

IES is on-board and doing all we can to help, offering all N. American schools signed up for The 2010 Imperative a free VE-Pro network license, which is worth thousands of dollars. Some of the schools that have signed and taken us up on this offer are the Pratt Institute of Technology, University of Southern California and Savannah College of Art and Design.

But this initiative isn’t just something colleges and universities should be considering. Nationwide, we can all help to make the world a more eco-friendly place by reviewing the ways in which we use things in our everyday lives. Or of you’re in the construction industry, sign up to the 2030 Challenge, and commit to designing buildings with greatly reduced carbon footprints.

Great news for all our US AIA members – the majority of our training courses have been registered with the AIA CES program – allowing you to gain AIA CES Learning Hours when you undertake them. Twelve courses also count towards the new mandatory Sustainable Design credits.

Our FREE online introduction to IES is included in this – providing 1 LU hour and also counting towards the mandatory Sustainable Design credit. Register here to attend.

Our expertise in sustainable design, both in creating analysis software and providing expert consultancy services, helps educate on how to leave a greener footprint within all stages of the design process. The courses include sessions on solar analysis, artifical/daylighting design, and natural ventilation. See our website for more information.

We commend the AIA Board for taking notice and making sustainable design a mandatory course requirement through 2012. This initiative shows the importance of the growing emissions challenges within

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the industry, and the need to solve them immediately.

Read more about AIA CES Sustainable Design credits here…


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