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Between 7th-9th August, more than 770 Building Simulationists attended the bi-annual Building Simulation Conference in San Francisco and – for once – I did not have to fly to a conference! This is IBPSA’s big international conference and there was LOTS happening. However, for the purposes of this round up, I’ve decided to highlight five significant points of interest from the event.
Our CTO, Dr. Craig Wheatley was awarded with the ‘IBPSA-Fellow’ award for his substantial contribution to the field of building performance & simulation. He was presented the award by the IBPSA President, Chip Barnaby. Congrats to Craig!
2. IES User-Group Meeting
This is the second time we hosted a user-group meeting in the US, and this one was a great success. We had 66 people register from 36 different companies. We previewed some new features coming in VE-2018 and the users voted on what they deemed to be priority items. Thanks to everyone who came.
3. The IBPSA Practitioner Competition
This competition is something that the San Francisco Bay Area chapter of IBPSA organized to run in parallel with the traditional student competition. There were initially over 40 registered practitioner teams trying to win a $1,500 cash prize for this modeling competition. In the end, 12 teams qualified to the final report stage and ultimately team AECOM won the first prize. I welcome you all to review AECOM’s final modeling report. Some images below as a teaser.
4. IES Training Workshop
We were delighted to see that our training course was the most popular at the conference. Thanks to PG&E for hosting at the PEC.
5. Papers, Presentations & Posters
I could write a separate article on this alone. The best presentations I personally saw included features of IESVE being pushed to the limit. Examples include modeling glycol in ApacheHVAC, modeling dynamic electrochromic glazing accounting for variable VLTs, the use of Hone for multi-objective outcomes and a very impressive VE model that simultaneously passed for Part L/ASHRAE 90.1/BREEAM/LEED compliance. We don’t see that too often.
I also enjoyed participating in the joint panel of software tools, giving presentations along with EnergyPlus, Simergy, Trace 3D+, Sefaira and DesignBuilder. Of the technical papers, I enjoyed the surveyed results that showed a healthy adoption of the VE in various internationally academic institutions (UK, US, Australia & India).
We are delighted to announce that our latest software release – VE2017 – has been shortlisted in the Digital Efficiency Initiative of the Year category of this year’s Building Awards!
The Building Awards are one of the industry’s longest running and most prestigious awards, established to recognise excellence and allow companies to hold up their achievements as an example to others in the building sector. The Digital Efficiency Initiative of the Year category – new to this year’s awards – has been launched in recognition of organisations that are driving greater business efficiency through the adoption of digital technologies.
If you haven’t already checked it out, you can find out all about the great new tools and features in VE2017 here. With headline features including our new Parametric Tool, optimisation tool Hone, and new Python Scripting capability (to name just a few), VE2017 brings to the market a number of innovative new software tools which can significantly enhance productivity, optimise sustainable building design and save money.
Best of luck to all our customers and peers who have also been shortlisted for an award! Winners will be revealed at a ceremony at Grosvenor House Hotel in London on 7th November 2017 – we can’t wait to hear the results!
As someone who has had multiple conversations with architects about sustainability and building performance over the last 7 – 8 months, I am often asked the question: “Can architects really make a difference to the low carbon transition within the built environment?” So, I decided to put my thoughts in a blog and let you be the judge of it…
Architects will often say that they have the intent, but they don’t have the budget or the expertise to deliver on performance based design. Others will say that there is not enough demand; the cost considerations overshadow sustainability initiatives; the clients are interested in maximising rooms rather than minimising energy and carbon in a development; or they are happy with the existing outsourcing relationship with their partners (including M&E partners and cost consultants). The list goes on and on.
However, there are strong commercial reasons to support why architects should be taking the initiative to set the sustainability agenda within the built environment space.
There are opportunities for them to:
At IES, we foresee a future where architecture is synonymous with sustainable design, irrespective of the size of the practice or complexity of projects. Given our 20+ years of experience in developing cutting edge building performance tools, we are well positioned to support architects in this vision. We have been striving to make it easy for architects to push sustainability within their practice, especially during RIBA project stages 2 & 3, and, keeping in sync with digitisation trends in the industry, we have made our tools BIM Level 2 ready with a high degree of interoperability with platforms including Revit, SketchUp, Rhino and Archicad.
IES provides a comprehensive approach to sustainable design which includes multiple elements to cover daylighting, solar shading, visual comfort, thermal comfort, energy & carbon, costing and environmental impact. The VE software can also be used to help secure BREEAM credits across categories like materials, management, health & well-being and energy.
In fact, those looking to maximise their BREEAM potential might be interested to learn that IESVE can help them achieve 33% of all BREEAM credits. That’s almost half the credits required for a BREEAM ‘Excellent’ rating!
Furthermore, with the IES IMPACT suite of tools, architects can target up to a total of 12 capital costing, life cycle costing and life cycle impact credits, which have traditionally been thought to be cost prohibitive. Unlocking these credits can make the difference between achieving an ‘Excellent’ rating and a ‘Very Good’ rating, so there’s definite value to be gained. What’s more, reporting to the BRE couldn’t be easier as it can be done by sending the IES model directly to them.
The more advanced users out there can also take advantage of the latest Parametric, HONE (optimisation) and Python Scripting capabilities within the VE to challenge their client’s approach or to aid participation in research projects or competitions.
Don’t take our word for all the WOW features and capabilities. Try it out! You already know how technology can make a difference to your workflows and give you a competitive edge.
Go to our website and download the 30-day trial today. With built-in navigators and Distance Learning courses available, you’ll be up and running in no time. And, if you get stuck, reach out to our friendly support team, dip into the FREE resources available from our Knowledge Base, user manuals and YouTube channel, or connect with others in the IES Community via our user forum and LinkedIn group to see how they are using the tools within their own practice.
As they say – Dream Big, Start Small, Begin Now! We’d love to be part of your sustainability journey – why not contact me today to find out how?
In VE 2017, IES launched brand-new multiple simulation and optimisation capabilities. Designed to save you time and reduce project costs, these tools allow you to spend less time simulating and more time evaluating results. And that means increased value for your client, reduced error, higher quality results and the opportunity to integrate performance-led iterations and optimisation into your projects at a much earlier stage.
An outcome of our UMBRELLA R&D project, the Parametric, HONE and Elements tools are standalone tools that reference your VE model. The advantage being that the VE can then still be used whilst any parametric or optimisation studies are being performed. They allow you to run multiple simulations in significantly less time and quickly evaluate the ‘best’ solution to go with.
As an example of just how much time this could save you we looked at an old consulting project that involved 150,000 simulations. When we did the project back in 2015 it took our team 3 weeks to run all the simulations. Now using the new Parametric Tool it would only take them 2 days!
Project Brief: Assist Serge Ferrari by illustrating the impact of their high performing flexible composite material products on the heating/cooling demand, solar performance and comfort of the building as a whole, across a range of scenarios.
If you want to find out more about the advanced capabilities and added value these tools offer to you and your end client, then join us at our free upcoming IES Faculty session in London on 11th July 9-12.30am, or read more about the Parametric Tool and HONE online.
Book for IES Faculty: VE2017 Unleashed here.
This week we announced that we have been collaborating with Monodraught to release further performance components within the IESVE. The components are for Monodraughts’ Hybrid Thermal Mixing (HTM®) ventilation system, and sit within our VE ApacheHVAC application.
With the previous success of integrating components for Monodraught’s Windcatcher and Cool-phase systems we are very pleased to be adding the HTM system to our components library, providing you with more accurate information for your designs, and in turn leading to more sustainable and better performing buildings.
The IESVE for Engineers suite features a library of predefined 3D component representations of Monodraught systems that can be dragged easily from a catalogue of products onto a building model constructed within the IESVE. The performance and energy savings can then be assessed in an open and transparent process by the client alone, thus building confidence in the application of Natural Ventilation and Cooling systems and demonstrating the true capabilities and potential for this type of scheme.
The analysis tools that are available in the IESVE provide you with a visual insight into the performance of the HTM & HTM FS systems year round, and the authentic textures offer architects and designers a means of understanding the aesthetics of Monodraught systems and how best to integrate them into a building.
For further information visit: http://www.iesve.com/software/ve-for-engineers/manufacturer-tools/monodraught-htm
Ecobuild 2017 kicks off tomorrow and we’re excited about what the show has in store. Positioned in a prime location right by the main conference stage, our team of experts will be on hand at stand F118 to talk you through and demonstrate all the latest exciting features of our newly launched VE 2017. As you may have already heard, this is our biggest release to date, with 25 major new features as well as many smaller enhancements. Stop by our stand for a more in depth look.
We’ll also be talking about our new services for Health & Wellbeing, helping you to achieve WELL™ Certification. Our global Consulting team can assist you in enabling and embedding good practice Health and Wellbeing concepts in your projects and buildings, helping you achieve WELL Certification in the process.
As well as this, you can come by to find out more about one of our most anticipated features of VE 2017, our new Interoperability Navigator which provides a step-by-step process for importing your model from any drawing tool you are using into the IESVE for analysis. The Navigator is part of our BIM4Analysis end-to-end solution – a single platform that integrates with the BIM workflow to create and capture performance information during design, commissioning and operation of a building.
In addition to what’s going on at our stand, we are excited to have been chosen as one of the 5 finalists for this years’ Ecobuild and M&S Big Innovation Pitch. Our Managing Director, Dr Don McLean, will be taking to the stage tomorrow in the main conference theatre to pitch the IES Simulation Based Control tool to the judging panel. The event will be live on the main stage from 5pm. Get there early to get a seat!
Our team are also available for meetings throughout the week. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange a timeslot that suits you.
P.S If you haven’t already registered for Ecobuild, use this link to register for free.
VE 2017 is our biggest release to date! With 25 major new features, as well as lots of smaller enhancements, we are very excited to be launching this new release. Some of the features include the latest cutting edge technology from our R&D division, whilst many of them are customer requests fed back to us via our email@example.com email. We are always striving to make our software the best we can for our customers so please feel free to drop us an email with any requests.
VE 2017 has been designed to improve productivity and to help you optimise your building design.
Here’s an overview of some of our headline features:
Hone is an optimisations tool to help you find the optimal building design whilst saving time and cost. An outcome of the R&D project UMBRELLA, Hone is a standalone tool that references a VE model with the advantages being that the VE can still be used whilst any optimisation is being performed. It is completely customisable even down to the graphics rendered, making it another ideal tool for expert users.
APACHEHVAC SYSTEM LOADS & SIZING REPORT GENERATOR
This new feature provides streamlined generation and improved user control over a significantly expanded set of reports for buildings, system, zone, and room loads, sizing, and ventilation.
PARALLEL SIMULATION MANAGER
Parallel simulation manager (PSM) is intended to allow you to manage simulations within the Virtual Environment.
Python Scripting (PS) is the new API for the VE replacing the older API approach (APSFILE.DLL). This unique, innovative approach allows users to create their own customised scripts, some automation and reportage, which can be easily shared through your own navigator. The PS API consists of two main features, the Python Console or Integrated Development Environment (IDE) and the Python Navigator. The Console IDE allows users to create their own scripts and promote them to their own Navigator. The Python Navigator allows access to the resultant ‘program’.
Parametric tool, an outcome of the IES R&D project UMBRELLA, is a standalone tool that references a VE model with the advantages being that the VE can still be used whilst any parametric study is being performed. Parametric is completely customisable in every respect, making it a very powerful tool for the expert user.
To learn about all the new VE 2017 features visit www.iesve.com/VE2017
You can also view all of our new VE 2017 feature videos https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLRHRHd8DzhSouhWRdBbGBddHr29qHhDYm
To upgrade to VE 2017 visit http://www.iesve.com/software/download
Once again, IES is proud to be sponsoring the CIBSE Building Simulation Group Award, an annual competition open to postgraduate students from the UK and overseas for the best research project undertaken at Master’s level or equivalent to incorporate the application of building simulation tools.
The Awards will be announced at the CIBSE Building Simulation Group’s next event which is due to take place in London tomorrow evening (Wednesday 8th February). The fully booked event will comprise of a seminar on the topic of ‘Overheating risk assessment simulation and methodologies for buildings’, during which the winners will also be presented their awards by IES’ own Naghman Khan, Secretary of the CIBSE Building Simulation Group.
The winning thesis will be awarded a £1,000 cash prize, a full VE-Pro software licence for one year and a place on one of our 3-day public training events. Two runners up will receive a £250 cash prize, also sponsored by IES.
Watch out for details of this year’s winning submissions appearing on the CIBSE Building Simulation Group Award page after tomorrow’s event, where you can also read more about previous winners of this prestigious student award. Any students interested in entering next year’s awards should also watch out for details of the next challenge being posted on the CIBSE BSG Award page in due course.
In a recent interview with Leah Wimpenny of BIM Journal, IES’ Sarah Graham shared her latest thoughts and insight on the various shortcomings, strategies and approaches to BIM. Read on to see what she had to say…
Sarah Graham (Head of Global VE Sales) works for IES, a world leader in 3D performance analysis software used to design tens of thousands of energy efficient buildings across the globe. The technology IES uses is helping to create sustainable cities and is leading the way with its BIM4Analysis solutions.
Her expertise lies in the areas of BIM and the positive impact it can have on a design process, low energy efficiency, collaborative working, sustainable design, assessment and energy management. She provides her clients with expert knowledge and advice, specialist modelling and simulation on a diverse range of projects including archive buildings, schools, offices, hotels and leisure facilities.
Regarding the present BIM landscape, what do you feel are some of the shortcomings of traditional, closed BIM, and do you feel that a more open, transparent and collaborative approach based on open standards and workflows can resolve some of these concerns?
Many practitioners consider BIM to be a tool, an application, when in fact BIM refers to an environment within which various tools and processes are applied. It has been easier for organizations to invest in technology to ‘do BIM’ than to affect the sort of organizational change that true BIM exploitation requires.
Is there sufficient understanding, appetite and momentum within the industry for the scale of change required to fully exploit BIM? There is a mandate but few construction clients who understand their role in setting out their Information Requirements (EIR) in a BIM brief at the start of the project and are led by the industry and their suppliers into paying more for 3D models that are of very little value downstream, particularly from an FM perspective. What we see is ‘new’ technology shoehorned into existing process and that is the fundamental issue currently causing frustration amongst our customers.
A more open, transparent and collaborative approach based on open standards and workflows can certainly resolve some of these concerns, and it is something we’ve been pushing for some time now with our BIM4Analysis educational campaign. BIM4Analysis is a campaign designed to integrate analysis within the BIM process, this enables practitioners to take advantage of valuable information during design, commissioning and operation. The strategy is concerned with implementing BIM as a mechanism to deliver Value, Cost and Carbon Improvement on all projects.
What benefits can see you a transparent and collaborative workflow, with a common language and translation, bringing to construction projects, both in comparison to those already utilizing BIM and also those which are perhaps not.
The Holy Grail is a single workflow. From an engineering perspective this means engineers inputting information into a 3D model format to inform coordination. When the coordinated layout changes, the update is seamless and bi-directional, there is currently no robust solution on the market to facilitate this. Engineer’s use a mix of formats including spreadsheets and standalone analysis and some integrated analysis (eg MagiCAD).
At IES we consider the VE as a single platform for creation and capture of performance data useable and useful during design, commissioning and operational life of the building. Compliance (Part L, BREEAM, LEED) is a necessity on most projects. Currently this requires a separate workflow to Design. Our solution is to develop a single analysis model from the BIM model at the appropriate stages of the project and to run the calculations from that one ‘analysis’ model, thus ensuring that the designers are using the most up to date information.
When the design changes, the BIM model is again imported with the relevant data and the various calculations are run again with results sent back to the BIM models. When the project is set up for collaboration and the process is understood it becomes easier.
What limitations or challenges might you also see stemming from collaborative workflow, and can you see this means of working being one to stunt creativity and relationship development, or perhaps complement it in the alternative means of working, with clear controls over personal design data?
I think the benefits far outweigh the limitations, elsewhere we see exponential advantages when technology enables connection of different applications. Collaboration between project stakeholders facilitated by technology within a framework where roles, responsibilities and timescales are transparent is where we should already be.
How do you see openBIM altering the landscape with relevance to small and medium enterprises, the alteration or boundaries to entry, and potentially increased competition from smaller software vendors and the impacts of this on those already-established core brands?
Open BIM creating competition is healthy. Smaller firms can be more agile to respond quickly to market demands, accelerating change. Tech will move forward apace as we see in other walks of life. It’s the people and process change that takes time.
At which points of the project lifespan do you see the primary effects, be they negative or positive, of openBIM on any given project? This could include anything from initial concepts and plans all the way through to the asset management and planned renovation of structures in future years.
I think the ability to connect design to operation so that we can continuously improve operation or more intelligently answer questions based on real data from existing buildings is extremely powerful. Operational data to shape business outcomes is also powerful. As we move forward to BIM Level 3 – Digital Built Britain this is the vision: Akin to the concept of ‘wearable technology’ for buildings, cities and organizations, I have the data and I can ask questions which will help to improve performance.
In which areas, be they part of the lifespan or with regard to throughout the supply chain and partners, do you perceive challenges with regard to the implementation of openBIM, and how can you perhaps see these challenges being overcome?
At the moment the resistance is largely down to the fact that processes have not changed, contractual arrangements do not need to fundamentally change for Level 2 but as we move forward to Level 3 the contractual arrangements will have to change because it will force sharing of data. This is where the real transformation needs to happen to the industry. The understanding is that if we can track information right through the design process, construction process and operation, then we are in a better place to make the right decisions to achieve the desired outcomes so it is of benefit to us as individuals and organizations.
What experience have you personally had with openBIM? If this is somewhat limited, could you instead entail experiences with traditional BIM and purvey opinion on how the openBIM approach could have changed, be that positively or negatively, project outcomes or experiences? This could, and perhaps should, include any case studies you have on both notes.
We have been members of BuildingSMART and held a position on the Energy Sub Group for many years, Building SMART are the main proponents of openBIM in the UK and worldwide. As a vendor organization it is essential we stay up to date with what is happening in the market. As mentioned the technology of openBIM is only part of the shift to BIM adoption, people and process needs to change to and this is the most difficult change to effect.
The construction industry is traditionally adversarial, risk averse and the perception is that sharing data, information, which is the central tenet of openBIM is dangerous, opening individuals and organizations up to risk and exposure. This is where we see the current inertia in the uptake, however if we have a situation where the client is educated, understands how to ‘ask for’ what they want and is clear in setting out their requirements then we have a good basis for successful collaboration. On a Level 2 BIM project individuals and organizations can choose what information they want to share, in which format and for what purpose because a framework exists to manage this and there are exchange formats agreed to.
Where there is no framework and no agreement by participants as to what formats should be used, where we are trying to force design tools to talk to one another without adhering to any process, model or level of detail, which is a fairly regular occurrence at the moment, then we see limited benefit on projects. OpenBIM can facilitate collaboration, decision making and mutual success in the correct project environment. The reality is that we are still at the early stages of understanding how this is supposed to work and there are few success stories out there that practitioners can learn from.
How can you see the openBIM approach, methodology and philosophy being adapted in the given years? In which ways might you support this development with any given reasoning and purpose?
We are at the early stages of this phase of evolution of our industry. I think there will be a convergence of the natural progression of technology and greater understanding of the potential benefits. There may also be a bit of a realization that if we don’t move forward and embrace change, whether in the form of openBIM standards/philosophy or more generally, then there is a good chance we will be left behind.
The irony is that we adopt quite an ‘openBIM’ attitude when it comes to our personal data, we use smartphones therefore we are sharing data all the time, but when it comes to sharing data on a project, which arguably belongs to our client, we recoil. I’ve mentioned Digital Built Britain previously, I consider that vision very useful for putting what we are trying to achieve now with openBIM or BIM level 2 into perspective.
There are lots of examples in our everyday lives data is capturing and sharing amplifying the potential benefits. Over the next few years the Internet of things will see the amount of data available increase, everything will be producing data and we as designers will benefit from being able to capture and utilize that information. That is what openBIM is preparing us for.
This article was originally published by BIM Journal on January 11, 2017: http://www.bimjournal.com/digital-construction-news/bim-news/shortcomings-strategies-approaches-bim-sarah-graham
With a new year upon us, exciting times are ahead as we announce that IES will be sponsoring the Practitioner Modeling Competition which is being organized by the IBPSA-USA San Francisco Bay Area Chapter as part of Building Simulation 2017! The challenge, which is open to individual practitioners or teams, provides a competitive forum for non-student members of the building simulation community and aims to encourage wider participation in the conference.
This year’s competition requires entrants to use computer simulation to design and test a laboratory building with mixed uses including labs, offices and classroom spaces located in downtown San Francisco, CA, USA. You can download the competition brief here to find out more.
Not only will the winning entrant have the opportunity to showcase their submission at the Building Simulation conference, due to take place in San Francisco between 7-9 August 2017, we are pleased to confirm that the winning entry will also receive a cash prize of USD $1,500, courtesy of IES!
If you feel like giving it a go, interested candidates are invited to register before the deadline on 6th February 2017, with completed entries then due by 31st March 2017.
So, good luck to all you prospective entrants – we look forward to seeing the winning entry at BS2017 in August!