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As a key technology project partner on the iUrban project, we’re delighted and proud to announce that the city of Rijeka has received a Green Digital Charter award under the category ‘Promoting open and interoperable solutions’ for its implementation of iURBAN smart Decision Support System (DSS). This integrated, multilevel and scalable tool has been designed for cities’ administration to critically analyse energy consumption patterns and increase energy efficiency in public buildings.
The city of Rijeka was one of the two successful pilot projects for the project. Chosen for its strong history with ICT and its commitment to sustainability, the city is one of the first European cities that joined the European initiative “The Covenant of Mayors” in 2009. The initiative connects cities with goals to exchange experience in implementing effective measures to achieve sustainable development of the city through reduction greenhouse gas emissions, increasing the use of renewable energy and energy efficiency.
In 2010, among the first cities in Croatia, the City of Rijeka prepared its Sustainable Energy Action Plan (SEAP), which anticipates 42 measures and activities aimed at reducing CO2 emission in three sectors: building, transport and public lighting. Pursuant to the analysis of the implementation of these measures we will achieve 32% reduction of CO2 till 2020.
To find out more about the city of Rijeka and the iURBAN project please visit http://www.iurban-project.eu/
Click here to read the news item on the iURBAN website.
This summer we were pleased to welcome Adalberto Guerra Cabrera, a Research Assistant from the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology, to the IES Team on a five week internship. Now that his time at our Glasgow HQ has come to an end, we asked Adalberto to share his experience on our blog. Here is what he had to say about his time with us…
What is your background? What do you do at Masdar?
I’m currently a Masters Degree student at Masdar, studying the Sustainable Critical Infrastructure program. I’m just coming to the end of my first year and will be starting my second and final year shortly. My study time is divided equally between classes and research and my research topic is ‘Microclimate in cities’. Prior to studying at Masdar I was a Civil Engineer in Mexico, so it’s been a big change for me, moving country and occupation.
My family and girlfriend all live in Mexico and I get to visit them during holidays mainly, however I am lucky enough to be attending a conference there in October and look forward to seeing them all then.
How did the opportunity for your internship with IES come about?
I had a keen interest in the VE and its capabilities and during a discussion around strategies and solutions in a team meeting I mentioned this to my advisor. A week later I received an email asking if I’d be interested in an internship with IES at its headquarters in Glasgow. I was delighted to have been asked and accepted straight away. I am very grateful both to IES and my advisor for allowing me this opportunity. My advisor is very experienced and understands the real value you get from combining your studies and research with real world work experience.
What has your role involved at IES during your internship?
For the last 5 weeks I have been working with the Model Interface team and Birthe Klebow, testing the master planning tool. I used the tool to test models from Abu Dhabi and provided feedback from the tool. In the short time I have been here I’ve learnt many of the features of the VE and feel I can now use it properly and appreciate its vast capabilities. In Masdar there is a shortage of people that know how to use the VE, so one of my tasks when I return will be to help others use the software.
What have you enjoyed most about your time here with IES?
I’ve loved being around so many smart and very motivated people. Everyone is so enthusiastic and works very hard: it’s contagious and motivates me to be the same when I can see just what can be achieved. It’s been great to have experienced a real life working environment related to my studies and it is very encouraging to see how the work I am doing at Masdar can be applied to the real world and make a real difference. I’ve really enjoyed getting to know a different culture and seeing the way a company is organised here. I only have previous experience of working for a company in Mexico where everything seemed very rushed and stressful with extremely long hours. Here things are more focused, specialised and relaxed which makes for a much more productive environment.
How would you describe the people and culture at IES?
The people at IES are very smart, dedicated and passionate. Everyone treated me very well from the moment I arrived. The HR team have been very supportive throughout the whole experience, organising my trip and accommodation and giving me a nice introduction to the company on my arrival, telling me how everything works and who is who. The team I’ve worked with also made me feel very welcome. On my first day I had a team meeting where I was assigned a project based on my interests and was given realistic goals which I am pleased to say I have achieved. Throughout the internship, the team have been very supportive. I’ve had weekly meetings to review my progress and the team have given me some great advice and helpful information for my research. I have lots of new ideas and tools I can use for my thesis now.
Something that really struck me about the company was the transparency of information available to staff from senior management, for example, the statistics given in the quarterly presentation by Don, showing how the company is progressing. I think this is really important and really helps with staff motivation. I have never known this type of transparency before in a company.
Overall, if I were to describe the IES culture in one word I’d say ‘collaborative’. The way everyone works really well together and helps each other is really nice to see and I’ve really enjoyed being a part of this for the last 5 weeks.
What have you learned from your experience working with IES?
I’ve learned the importance of collaborating with others to achieve goals. It’s been a wonderful learning experience in that I can see the similarities between my research in the lab at Masdar and the research that is being carried out here with IES and it really motivates me knowing that we are on the same track. IES is one of the only companies that I know to combine commercial activity with research and it makes me really happy to have been a part of this.
What advice would you give to anyone thinking about undertaking an internship with IES?
I would highly recommend it to anyone considering an internship and I look forward to reporting back at Masdar on how good it has been for my development and my future studies. If I were to offer any advice I’d say: do your research and check out current developments IES are working on so you are prepared before you go. Most importantly, remember to pack a rain jacket or buy one if you don’t have one!
Anything else you’d like to tell us about?
Aside from what I’ve learnt with IES, it’s been a good cultural experience, visiting Scotland. It was my first time in the UK and I have really enjoyed visiting museums and taking in the city of Glasgow. I’ve even enjoyed the weather – it gets so hot in Abu Dhabi so the rain has been a nice change. Also, the landscape is so very different. In Scotland, everything is green so I’ve made sure I’ve taken my camera everywhere so I have some great pictures to take back to Masdar.
Although my time here has been short, I have built some great working relationships and I look forward to keeping in touch and continuing those relationships when I return to Masdar.
We’ve recently had the pleasure of being involved with the creation of the latest IET (Institute of Engineering Technology) technical briefing. Covering the “Challenges and Opportunities of Data-Driven Systems for Building, Community and City-Scale Applications”, it was right up our street.
Our R&D department invests a third of our turnover in looking to the future: on how digital technology can be used within a Smart Built Environment. Our belief is that Buildings, the main connectors between citizens, transport, energy, health, water and waste in a community, need to be at the core of a Smart City approach.
The Urban Lifecycle is critical to reducing energy costs and tackling climate change.
Today, outcomes from our R&D department are already starting to make a difference. We’re using operational data and our unique SCAN technology to bridge the performance gap between design and operation; helping facilities managers reduce energy consumption. You can read the case study we produced for IET on the Proof of Concept study we did with Glasgow City Council here: http://www.theiet.org/sectors/built-environment/files/glasgow-cc-casestudy.cfm.
Data has always played a profound role in the decision-making and engineering management processes within the built environment, whether at building, community or city-scale. The IET Briefing which this case study is part of reviews the key challenges and opportunities for the application of digital technologies in the smart built environment – view it here: http://www.theiet.org/sectors/built-environment/resources/digital-technology.cfm.
We look forward to continuing to engage and raise awareness in this important field.
This week our Founder and Managing Director, Don McLean was announced as one of fourteen nominations for Building4Change’s Stars of Building Science Awards.
So what makes a Star of Building Science? Well according to Building4Change, it’s somebody who is promoting the very best in building science to improve the quality, sustainability and resilience of the built environment, and ultimately to make people’s lives better. Needless to say, we think Don fits the bill…
Don founded IES in 1994 and since then has grown it into a successful business and research base, providing innovative performance analysis technologies at the cutting edge of building science. Don’s passion for sustainable building analysis and his vision for creating better performing buildings and cities that consume less energy has been the key to his success.
Pre-IES building performance technology was too complex to use and remained in the hands of academics making very little impact on mainstream commercial design. Recognising this, Don saw this opportunity and in the late 1990’s released the first major commercial version of the Virtual Environment software suite.
Since then Don has invested heavily in Research and Development, constantly pushing the boundaries of what can be achieved in building performance analysis and promoting integrated working partnerships between all those involved in building design to create more sustainable buildings and
If, like us, you believe that Don should be recognised as a star of Building Science, then you can vote by emailing your selected nominee to Building4change@bre.co.uk. Voting will remain open for six more weeks, when they will announce the list of the top scorers, who together will form a virtual academy of scientific excellence.
Being based on the Kelvin Campus in the beautiful West of Scotland Science Park through which runs the River Kelvin this always seems like an appropriate quote to use, especially as IES specializes in building analytics…
We’re currently in the process of undertaking independent research with a company called Opinium into the systems, services and software that organizations use to monitor and optimize energy consumption in their buildings, with a view to helping bridge the performance gap between design and operation. As such, we’re keen to speak to people on the front line – energy and facilities managers struggling with data overload and measurement of return on investment on refurbishments and energy saving measures – in return you’ll get a summary of the research findings which will include:
Interviews shouldn’t take more than 10minutes.
But why I hear you ask?
Our research and development department, in conjunction with Europe wide project partners, has been looking over the last few years at advancing smart building technology to bring around a new era in energy efficiency and carbon footprint reduction during operation. Looking at how new-generation smart solutions can provide dashboards, algorithms and other tools for interpreting building data, identifying anomalous data, pinpointing causes and even addressing some issues remotely.
The aim is to enable the use of our powerful analytics software for design performance simulation during operation, in conjunction with data from BMS and other sensors/controls. We’re already able to link a lot of this up in beta software and are further exploring the development of this technology through select special consulting projects.
As such we recognize that we potentially have a very powerful solution to the problem of design intent not matching up to actual as-built performance, as well as a way to manage operational drift and refurbishment / energy conservation strategies.
However, we really want to understand things from your point of view – so if you want to have your say on optimizing energy consumption in buildings please contact me for a 10min phone conversation. We can schedule them to take place at a time convenient to you. Get in contact by dropping me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org