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Being a co-founder and CEO of the Russian Green Building Council and co-founder and board member for GBCs in Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan, I was delighted to have the opportunity to join the IES team in July as a Business Development Manager for the European Division in Russia. I am excited to share my great love for building modelling and to encourage others to adopt IES technology to create high quality interior environments, maximise building performance and optimise energy use.
When the Russian GBC was founded in 2009 there was not one single Green Building project in the Russian Federation. Today, a whole industry has been formed, bringing together Russian and international property owners, investors and solution providers. There are now around 100 green building projects in Russia, including some of the largest green building projects in the world, for example, Sochi 2014, FIFA 2018 and World Expo 2017.
A few weeks back I was joined by IES European Division Head, Michelle Farrell, and IESVE resellers, Buro Ecoseven, in Moscow for 3 days of activities to promote the use of the VE. The Russian-speaking countries are fascinated by building modelling and BIM in general and so I was pleased to see that the response to these events was strong with interest coming from engineers, architects, students and the green building community.
Over 300 professionals tune in to Webinar
The first main event of the week took the form of a Russian-language webinar held in Moscow with the Russian ASHRAE Association (ABOK). The webinar attracted an impressive turnout of over 300 online participants, from 67 cities and 13 countries around the world. The session comprised of 90 minute presentations made by Michelle and Sergey Zhukovsky (CEO, Buro Ecoseven) giving an overview of the VE’s capabilities in addition to some case studies. Participant engagement was high and we were pleased to see plenty of questions being asked by the attendees. The webinar was a first for Sergey, who felt that “it was a great success and very powerful.”
Architectural students look to IESVE
Students from three leading Universities then came together for another of the events to listen to Michelle and I present IESVE at the newly opened Eco School in Kuskovo Park, Moscow. The event was organised by the City of Moscow’s Department for the Environment, who are organising a public design competition for a visitor centre and masterplan for a nature park in Moscow. We were both impressed by the turnout and interest; many of the students are advanced users of CAD programs and the support from the city authorities in organising the event was top notch.
Since joining the Russian and Azerbaijan GBCs, IES has been active in these growing markets for LEED and BREEAM projects. I am proud of my new role at IES and love their approach to sustainability. The VE has so much potential, not only to become the main tool needed for architects and engineers in new and retrofit green projects, but also to allow owners and users to clearly monitor energy and water use, temperatures, CO2 and daylight levels to unprecedented levels to bridge the performance gap. Eastern Europe is quickly adopting green building and therefore offers IES substantial opportunities. I have already started to connect major potential users of the software and consultancy services to IES and its resellers and look forward to growing the use of IES technology in Russia and other European markets.
Interested in finding out more about these developments and how you can benefit from using the VE? Drop me an email to connect and find out more.
This article was originally published in Building Services News Magazine. ‘Postcard from Abroad’ is a regular feature that highlights the experiences of graduate engineers from Ireland that have gone on to live and work abroad.
It is a pleasure to share my experiences abroad with you as a building services engineer who left Dublin in 2008. During the past seven years I’ve been working all over North America as a project manager and business development manager with Integrated Environmental Solutions Ltd (IES).
Many of you will be familiar with IES Ltd and IESVE software, which is used in Ireland and the UK for building performance simulation and analysis of buildings. Typical applications for using IESVE software are often necessary for new construction projects in Ireland, e.g. Part L Compliance. However, things are quite different in North America.
I graduated from DIT Bolton Street’s building services engineering course in 2006 with a 1st Class Honours Degree having come up through the diploma courses which was hugely valuable to me, even today. White Young Green (WYG) were generous enough to give me a start as a graduate building services engineer in 2006 as I had also gained valuable work-experience during the previous summer with them.
IES opened an office in Dublin in 2007 and I was keen to join with such an innovative and ever-expanding company. At the official Dublin office opening I met Dr Don McLean (IES founder and CEO) and walked away inspired by his enthusiasm for making a difference in the world by way of sustainable building design through technology.
While working in the IES Dublin office I was fortunate to work on some great consulting projects for the Office of Public Works and a few international projects too in the UK, the US, Australia and the UAE. These international projects gave me an appreciation for building performance benchmarking under different codes and standards. I also began to understand what real sustainable design meant versus making design decisions simply to play the system, or simply in order to “get the certificate”.
At IES a huge portion of our activity is driven by various energy rating systems. In North America, those rating systems can often be voluntary (eg LEED) depending on the region or building owner. You need to know your IECC / ASHRAE Standards as much as the local rating systems. This complex challenge was one of the reasons I moved to work in the IES Boston office in 2008. Six years later, I would move west again.
Settling into life in Boston
I was lucky in three areas: visa, work and accommodation. First, if you move to the US to work (outside of a J1 student visa) you will likely need either an H-1 or L-1 visa, although there are other less common options. The L-1 visa is essentially an intra-company transfer, so IES were supportive of the move. With an H-1 you could be applying to a new company, so there’s a risk involved for the employer. The one thing they have in common is the profound stress involved.
Second, with my work at IES, it was somewhat “business-as-usual” and I was performing a similar role to the one I had in our Dublin office, plus I already knew my colleagues (we are a tight-knit group at IES). Third, IES were generous enough to have a furnished apartment for me to move into. The view from my roof deck included the Massachusetts State House, the Charles River and Boston Commons.
Boston itself is a fantastic city with a large and welcoming Irish community. It is also a huge sports-centric city and there is always a Boston-based team involved in some play-offs. There are legacy neighbourhoods — the Irish are in Southie, the Italians are in the North End, there’s a Polish neighbourhood and, as always, a Chinatown.
Working in Boston was not without its challenges. There were the dreaded IP units, which at the time felt like being forced to learn how to speak Latin… why, oh why, have you not evolved? The toughest challenge was trying to convince a design team to consider something like mixed-mode ventilation, which was strangely considered a new concept.
I was shocked to learn how conservatively the New England AEC industry perceived high-performance building design. I was yearning for an equivalent to the EU’s EPBD or Ireland’s Part L. Years later, my role has evolved to encompass a much bigger region and I’ve had a chance to see how other locations embrace high performance design.
My role in North America today
Today, my region is ‘North America’. I’m not trying to be vague; below are green pins for each place I commonly work…
Yes, it is a massive geographical spread and involves a lot of travel, but that’s part of the business development challenge that IES has given me.
In my first six years in North America I was primarily focused on the East Coast, which I loved. I’ve had some interesting experiences along the way. For instance, one evening in Washington DC I went to see the White House and take in some US history. However, what I recall most clearly from that visit was looking up at one of the few snipers on the roof.
About 10 months ago I left Boston and moved west to the IES San Francisco office in order to support a new statewide compliance for building energy benchmarking. This time I moved with my girlfriend Alayne and dog Oscar. My work has mostly been focused on the west coast now, particularly in California.
The San Francisco Bay Area is still experiencing a huge tech-boom and there are constantly large volumes of people moving here. The apartment monthly rental costs are now $3,000- $5,000 (€2,750-€4,500). I feel sorry for the older locals of San Francisco who feel the artsy vibe to the city is now drowning with young techies.
It is a very different settling process on the West Coast. The time-zone difference to Ireland is now eight hours, there is a different culture to the harsh East Coast people and a different sense of humour. However, the AEC industry is an improvement. Sadly, 98% of California is currently categorised as being in “exceptional” drought, which is the worst level of drought and the worst in 163 years of record keeping.
You don’t need to convince anyone here about climate change. California has the most net-zero energy buildings in the US and there is a strict energy rating standard in place.
Earlier this year I was working with the US Navy in Honolulu. I took an opendoor helicopter tour over Pearl Harbour on my day off and got some excellent scenic photos. However, the ones that interested me most were of the endless rows of solar-panelled homes and buildings. In Hawaii, they pay $0.25- $0.33/kWh for electricity, so PV makes a lot of sense. Note: The US average is ~10-11cents/kWh. Just imagine being the odd-one-out in this neighbourhood.
Each place I go to is different and I’d sum up the US engineering culture as diverse and regional. In my day-to-day work I deal with various professionals including building physics engineers, architects, software developers, architectural engineers, contractors, energy modellers, mechanical engineers, and energy consultants. I also deal with lots of people involved in policy, from the Canadian Green Building Council to the California Energy Commission.
I’m very proud of my engineering background in Ireland and made sure to return to earn my Chartered Engineering status in 2010. I did a part-time Master’s degree in Brunel University in London during 2006-2009 but, if I’m honest, it didn’t compare to the education that DIT Bolton Street gave me.
For my B. Eng. Thesis I studied the effects of a below-ground thermal labyrinth. Then years later I was heavily involved in one for a hospital in Western Canada. Outdoor air is “bounced” through this below-ground maze, thus utilising the thermal storage of the soil and concrete to pre-heat the outdoor air in winter and pre-cool the outdoor air in summer. The tempered outdoor air is then fed into the back of two dedicated outdoor air system air handling units.
Something a lecturer in DIT, Chris Montague, said always stayed with me: “The design team won’t consider it if you don’t speak up and suggest it.” Thanks for that Chris!
My final thought
While I combine lessons from both my training in Ireland and experiences in North America, there are cases that aren’t comparable. There’s always room for comparing and contrasting the different approaches to environmental engineering and building services, and I would encourage everyone to take the differences into consideration in any decision to move abroad. Overall, I’m glad I made the move west just over seven years ago and I’m happy with the work I’m doing in the US. However, I never could have excelled as much without my training and encouragement from home and from IES.
For the past three weeks, I, an 18-year-old business student from Denmark, have had the great honor of interning with the marketing department of IES.
As I approach the end of my stay, I can now write my second blog (I also wrote “Breakfast with the Don“). During my stay, I have took part in a range of tasks at IES’ marketing department; among others, I have designed flyers that are to be distributed at Greenbuild 2012; worked with the PR team and updated the website; and written articles and a blog. Even though, it is probably just another piece of work for the marketing team, it has made me very
proud to see my work actually being published!
I’m studying an international program in Copenhagen, Denmark, where — beside our classes being taught in English — we have also had the unique opportunity of interning at a business anywhere in the world. It was a difficult task to find an internship as you need contacts — and how many 18-year-olds have contacts at global business abroad? I know for sure that I didn’t. But thanks to my dad’s contacts, I was lucky enough to get this internship at IES.
Before my stay, I’d never heard about IES. And here I am, two months after my first contact with the Marketing Manager, Sue, and I have a basic understanding for their software and their consultancy services, and a much broader understanding of B-2-B markets.
Along with doing all those different tasks, I have also had a lot of fun with the Senior Coordinator, Laura, not to mention the PhotoShop-editing fun I’ve had with John and Yoni (part of the marketing team).
I had the great experience of having a long talk with Don, CEO, who told me his life story and his inspirations behind the company. This was definitely very inspiring and has made me really reflect on our world and the true impact of global warming. The hurricane, Sandy, in the US has only made me think more about it!
So have I changed throughout these three weeks? I’ve definitely been challenged and can go back to my school life in Denmark with a new perspective on the world.
Finally, I’d like to also use this opportunity to thank IES and in particular the marketing team for giving me this great experience which I have enjoyed almost every minute of :).
And now I can continue writing the report that is due for my English class about IES and John and Yoni can start Movember…
If you have been keeping up to date with our latest news stories you’ll know that we recently had a visit from the renowned Danish expert Jorgen Erik Christensen and two of his Masters students.
On Wednesday 25th April Jorgen, Espen and Peder appeared bright and early at our Glasgow Headquarters where they spent the day with our Director Craig Wheatley and Project Leader, Special Projects, Michael Pollock. Their intentions were to discover the UK analysis model and understand the process concerning simulation in particular of new, more complicated buildings and from this determine lessons learned to take back to Denmark.
Writing their master project on the future use of energy simulation programs in Denmark, the students saw this visit as a great opportunity to understand first-hand how the IES Virtual Environment (IES VE) software is used within a UK commercial building design process, and how the elements related to UK energy conservation regulations (Part L & EPCs) are incorporated.
Michael Pollock, our expert in this area was only too happy to share his expertise with our Danish friends. Talking them through the UK regulations and showing them how we set up advanced software solutions to meet UK compliance, the students were able to discover the challenges and begin to understand how this process could be adapted for Denmark.
With our new IESVE 2012 due to be released shortly, Michael and Craig were able to give the trio a sneak peek into some of the new features that would benefit them substantially with projects they were working on. Michael observed “Our visitors were wowed with the advanced capabilities of the Virtual Environment, it really seemed to go above and beyond what they had expected”.
Like all good students Espen and Peder had done their homework and had read many of the papers and presentations written by our experts. They were particularly interested in the IBPSA paper based on the Venture Building which is situated in the same campus as our headquarters and were keen to pay it a visit.
In feedback from Jorgen, Espen and Peder they said…
“Based on our meeting with IES we feel confident that the ever increasing demand for energy savings in buildings can be met through intelligent design and analysis of same. This is where IES<VE> comes into the picture; by integrating most of the design phases and Compliance certification into a single simulation tool, the workflow of the project is made more efficient, while at the same time giving detailed energy consumption estimations in order to further optimize the building design. This impression was confirmed by meetings with Buro Happold, Hulley & Kirkwood and Wallace Whittle.”
Craig rounds up the success of the visit…
“We were absolutely delighted to welcome Jorgen and his students from DTU to the UK.Â IES have a strong user base in Demark, thanks in part to DTU’s adoption of the Virtual Environment in their teaching. It was a pleasure to share the experience of IES and our customers in the use of our VE Compliance software for the EPBD driven UK Part L & Section 6 building regulations and energy performance certification.”
If we’ve learned anything from recent headlines, it’s that energy efficiency and sustainable design companies have to spend big money if they hope to develop the next big green solution. With today’s rapidly advancing technologies, millions of dollars in government-backed loans and venture capital appear to be crucial. But is all of this really necessary?
One of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s latest endeavors, referenced in a recent International Business Times article, is taking a different approach. As part of its People, Prosperity and the Planet (P3) Program, the EPA has awarded 45 grants of $15,000 each to colleges and universities across the United States. Students will use the money to design solutions for everything from water, energy and agriculture to the built environment and chemical use. The program’s overall goal is to “improve quality of life, promote economic development and protect the environment.”
What I find exciting about this particular EPA program is that it is set up as a competition, which is helping to spark innovation and excellence.
After working on the project for eight months, the teams will take their designs to the 8th Annual National Sustainable Design Expo on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. At the expo, the projects will be judged by a panel of experts and a select few will be awarded P3 Awards and Phase II grants up to $90,000 for students to further their designs, implement them in the field, or move them to the marketplace.
When it comes to new sustainable technologies and solutions, perhaps the companies developing them should prove themselves first. Competing for funding, just as participants of the P3 program are doing, will not only be conducive to better products and services, but also safer investments when it’s time for investors to take out their checkbooks.
And for the past two years, The Princeton Review has added a ‘Guide to Green Colleges.’
The second annual Green Colleges guide was compiled in response to growing interest among students and families in how universities are making their campuses and curricula more sustainable.
“College-bound students are increasingly interested in sustainability issues,” said Robert Franek, Senior VP, Publishing, The Princeton Review. “Among 8,200 college applicants who participated in our spring 2011 ‘College Hopes & Worries Survey,’ nearly 7 out of 10 (69%) told us that having information about a school’s commitment to the environment would influence their decision to apply to or attend the school.”
Each profile within the guide features “Green Facts,” showcasing the school’s recycling, use of renewable energy, and conservation programs.
Nationwide, there is a growing interest in sustainability among teenagers, and this is translated in their desire to attend a university that offers not only excellent curriculum, but a focus on the future. At a time when getting into a university, any university, is becoming more competitive, it’s interesting to see the shift in thinking as students look to apply to schools.
As universities continue to jump into sustainability and offer more design courses and majors in these growing fields, it will be interesting to see how the ‘Guide to Green Colleges’ evolves. Maybe one day it will be the most talked about ranking from The Princeton Review every year. Although there will always be the party list…
In case you missed it, IES is offering colleges and universities around the globe free Academic Licenses for our early stage analysis tool VE-Gaia. This is an ideal opportunity for educators to embed sustainable analysis into their curriculum. Any institution offering Architectural or Sustainable Design courses will find this tool invaluable, as students continue to look to sustainable design as a career choice.
Several researches [IEA—ECBCS Annex 44 (2007) and (2010)] have demonstrated that, in order to overcome the limitation given by the existing technologies, the building as a whole system should be revisited as a more integrated organism, characterized by a “responsive” and “dynamic” behaviour. In particular Responsive Building Elements (RBE) represent a promising technology for achieving the requirements posed by the ZEB concept. Among other RBEs, Advanced Integrated Façades (AIFs) have been — and still are — widely investigated, especially because of the key role that the building envelope plays in controlling the energy and mass transfer between outdoor and indoor.
This MSc thesis work in Building Engineering consists in the energetic performance evaluation of an innovative AIF module, ACTRESS (ACTive, RESponsive and Solar), which has been conceived within a wider research activity on Responsive Building Elements, carried out by the TEBE Technology Energy Building Environment research group of the Polytechnic University of Turin, of which the author is part. The ACTRESS module is designed as a one story height prefabricated Multifunctional Façade Module, consisting of two sub modules (50%-50%), one opaque and one transparent. The opaque sub-module is constituted by an Opaque Ventilated Façade (OVF) equipped with axial fans for the hybrid (fan-assisted) ventilation of the cavity. The OVF integrates aSi PV panels on the outer surface, with a sandwich, made up of VIP and PCM layers, PV activated during winter.The transparent sub-system is made of high performance glazing: triple glazeing lowE (internal) with cavity lowE operable venetian blinds (outer cavity), and Argon gas (inner cavity).
:: IES simulation of theinnovative ACTRESS façade module and results ::
ModelIT, SunCast, ApacheSim, MacroFlow and ApacheHVAC were used to model the different components of the AIF façade. The simulations showed important results. In the cooling season the façade is able to reduce the entering heat flux by more than 60% for the 50% of the occupation period, with an average improvement of 10% from NV to MV. The cumulated frequency analysis for the heating season shows that the façade has a high capability to preheat the cavity air, which can be used as Supply Air for the HVAC system, provideing the 20% of the heating plant load during winter. In the mid season the high values of preheating efficiency enable the use of cavity air as indoor environment supply air when (preheating efficiency) is between 1 and 2.
ACTRESS module improves the PV efficiency up to 10%, with a medium value of 5%, if compared to the electric efficiency of a BIPV on a vertical façade with no integration with any thermal system.
Concluding the ACTRESS module shows a very good performance, concerning both the sub-components behaviour and the overall building energy demand. This investigation highlighted a poor performance of IES VE in simulating innovative components, as proper modeling needed tips and shortcuts not known to junior and medium designer, and assumption which can jeopardize the energy simulation reliability and accuracy. Data on its actual performance will be collected through a yearly experimental campaign, which is just started, which will allow a validation of the assumptions done.
Are your kids going to a brand new LEED certified school? Probably not, but the United States Green Building Council (USGBC) recently announced a new program, the Center for Green Schools. This new initiative is encouraging both the construction of new schools to be LEED certified as well as existing schools to make repairs with sustainability as a main component. As this program looks to green our schools, it realizes it won’t be an overnight process so before making large scale changes it is offering some easier options for older schools, like using green cleaning products or changing air filters.
“The education sector is doing more in the way of green building than any other sector, more than health care, more than commercial, more than religious institutions. But we still have a really long way to go,” said Rachel Gutter, director of the USGBC’s new initiative.
Along with helping schools build a greener facility, the Center for Green Schools is also looking to educate teachers so they are able to implement sustainability lessons into their classes. The thought behind this is if students learn sustainability at a younger age, just as they do with languages, they will be able to retain the information more easily.
The USGBC is looking for all of our children to attend greener schools by the end of this generation. Do you think this is possible?
Well not really, but it’s potentially been usurped. The GBCI unveiled the new three tiered LEED-AP program last year, and since then, those in the building profession world have been waiting to see how the market responds to figure out what to do next. Myself included. I’ve finally buckled down and figured out what I should do and I thought I’d share my process with you. Here’s the CliffNotes version.
First, I had to figure out what’s what in the world of LEED-AP with this latest tiered program.
Here’s my frankensteined diagram trying to explain this:
Second, I figured out what options I had. When I took the exam eons ago, there was one exam. The choices were:
1. Take the LEED-AP exam
2. Don’t take the LEED-AP exam
Over time it has grown more complicated, not to mention more expensive and there’s more paperwork. (Click Image to open PDF)
** All dates are based on my personal Enrollment Window: 10/5/2009 — 10/4/2011. Check “My Credentials” on www.gbci.org for your dates.
Finally, I came to a decision: I’m waiting. I’m not convinced the market will require anything more than a LEED AP which I have and will always have. Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe we’ll start seeing “LEED AP with specialty” requirements in RFPs. Maybe I’ll change my mind next summer. But until then, I’ll forgo the paperwork and save my money.
Check out www.gbci.org for more information. And if you’re working on LEED projects, your old LEED AP still counts for IDc2.
Next Time: LEED AP: Continuing Education
LEED AP: What to Study and How to Study.
In this blog I’d like to take a look at the University of Copenhagen and the effort they are making to green their 1,000,000 square meter campus!
The University of Copenhagen are ambitious in terms of reducing their workplaces energy consumption and CO2 emissions this regardless of expected growth.
Their goals for 2013 are:
– The energy consumption of the University of Copenhagen must be reduced to a level 20 % below that of 2006, measured as energy consumption per work year of employees and students.
– The University of Copenhagen’s CO2 emission from energy consumption must be reduced to a level 20% below that of 2006, measured as CO2 emission per work year of employees and students.
The University expects to meet these goals by;
– Improving the Fabric of the existing university buildings which are quite old. They plan to do this by bettering the insulation in the buildings, replacing the existing windows and ensuring they are well sealed
– They hope to make significant savings through increasing the energy efficiency of energy intensive plant such as -80 degreeC Freezers, Fume Cupboards and other equipment used for experiments. The university also hope to make smart improvements to the building HVAC systems as well as energy efficient lighting
– The university plans to implement energy smart conduct procedures for both employees and students such as; closing all windows and turning off lights, equipment, and facilities when leaving a room as well as the encouragement of increased communication between the facilities’ users and its managers which the university sees as being very important.
The University is creating pilot and demonstration projects one of which is Green Light House. Green Light House is a demonstration project promoting CO2 neutral Construction.
See a really good introductory film of the Green Light House Project via the following link;
Till next time,