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Posts Tagged Sustainability

Colin-Rees

In a testament to the talent and high level of expertise of our people, Consulting-Specifying Engineer (CSE) magazine, for the 5th time, have selected an IES member of staff to receive a prestigious 40 under 40 award. This year’s winner is Colin Rees, Consultancy Manager at IES.

The award is given to 40 non-residential building industry professionals age 40 and younger who stand out in personal and professional aspects of their lives. And Colin certainly does. As the longest serving Consultant with 14 years of service, Colin has supported the start-up of two IES office’s, San Francisco in 2007 and Pune in 2010. He’s played a key part in ensuring the sustainability and high performance of many renowned projects across the world and has used his expertise and experience to mentor and train other consultants in the IES Consultancy team to help make it the dedicated, highly experienced team it is today. Read Colin’s full winner profile.

Previous IES winners are:

2015: Michael Pollock, Project Leader
2014: Mark Knipfer, Vice President South Atlantic Division
2013: Mark Gifford, Consultancy Development Manager
2011: Michelle Farrell, Head of Middle East

We pride ourselves in hiring people who are committed to sustainability and passionate about what we do. And in turn we offer a flexible and supportive working environment and the opportunity to work with a team of friendly, interesting and diverse people from across the globe. If IES sounds like a place you’d like to work, then keep an eye on our vacancies and follow @IESCareers on twitter. You can also send in a speculative CV to careers@iesve.com.

You can view profiles of all this year’s 40 under 40 winners on CSE Magazine’s website.

Making Smart Cities Affordable

Posted: October 28, 2015 by , Category:Smart City

Making-smart-cities-affordable

The challenge isn’t proving the benefits of a smart city. It’s making the concept affordable for cities to implement.

Affordable Sustainability Solutions
Who wouldn’t want to live in a city where low energy costs, sustainable ways of living and great transport systems attract the best businesses, people and jobs? A city where physically integrating buildings with one another and with utilities increases the sense of community and makes everyone feel proud of their sustainability credentials, giving the city a unique sense of identity?

There are many reasons to make your city smart, and only one reason not to: the cost. That’s why we’re investing a third of our turnover into researching and developing solutions that allow the journey towards becoming a smart city to be taken one affordable step at a time.

Masterplans that take the lifecycle of the urban environment into account can enable city planners to affordably create Smart Communities, scaling up to Smart Cities. They can do this by taking control and setting sustainability targets that embed robust energy and environmental analysis at the core of this continuous lifecycle. By creating a joined up process that goes from masterplanning, through building design and retrofit, to building operation and control, and finally into the operation of a Smart Community.

Smart City Building Blocks
Building Data – For too long the design and maintenance of buildings have been kept separate. After a few decades, you might not even be able to access the plans. So much information is lost. By creating a city database capable of pulling together different file formats and filling in the gaps, we’re making building data accessible so that the right decisions can be made to optimise the buildings in a city at every stage of their life.

Energy Models – By creating 3D graphical models of how energy is being used across the city, we make it easy to see how the energy is flowing to flag up areas where more efficient ways of meeting or reducing demand need to be applied. By generating models capable of simulating the impact of the various solutions available, we can also predict which measures will have the most positive impact on the city.

Engaging Citizens to Change
Cities can’t make this happen alone. It won’t work if the citizen doesn’t feel involved. Not least because there’s a huge gap between creating the strategies and using and applying them correctly. Even the smartest sustainability features will fail to generate any savings if someone leaves a window open while the heating is on.

Citizens need to be educated about the benefits they can personally experience by using the city at its maximum capability. Typically they want to be helped to spend less or else can see the benefit of doing something more expensive to generate better savings in the long-term.

Economies of Scale for Individuals
As well as creating energy analysis tools for city planners, we’re also creating applications for citizens to see the final estimated savings on their energy bill if they join various participation schemes.

Supplier discounts – By showing individuals how much they could be saving by making their home more sustainable and grouping those prepared to invest in energy efficient windows, or solar panels, together, the city can secure a much better rate for 500 windows, or panels, than the citizen could get, making it much more affordable for them to improve their home.

Reduced energy tariffs – Energy is at its most expensive when it’s in most demand. By getting all the citizens in an area to agree to leave their heating on low in the winter, the city can prevent demand for gas from peaking in the morning to secure a better energy tariff. Similar schemes could encourage the use of timed appliances to prevent other energy peaks.

As well as educating and motivating citizens to reduce their energy consumption, another major benefit of smart city participation schemes is that it also encourages citizens to share data about their energy use, so that a working model of how energy is being used across the city can be created to inform other smart city initiatives.

Read more in IES – The Future of Energy Reduction.

Pulkovo Airport Terminal 1
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.

Guy-and-Michelle

Guy and Michelle meet students at the Eco School in Kuskovo Park, Moscow.

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.

brochure-image-1Our wasteful use of energy is catching up with us. Environmental disasters which usually happen once every hundred years are happening every year. And climate change, once considered an issue for future generations, has moved firmly into the present.

The simple fact is: if we continue to emit heat-trapping gases from the burning of fossil fuels at the current rate, we will force temperatures to rise above the level our eco-system can cope with. All in less time than it takes for today’s preschoolers to finish high school.

Today, most countries have “Brown Economies” that are dependent on fossil fuels. We need to move as quickly as possible to “Green Economies” that have little need for fossil fuels and are resource efficient. Our ever increasing migration to cities and their growth presents us with a unique opportunity to drive this change through our approach to city infrastructure.

We need to stop wasting energy
As governments across the world respond by introducing carbon reduction targets, many people would argue the solution is to stop burning gas, oil and coal altogether and start generating all our energy from renewable sources, such as wind and solar power.

I used to be one of those people. It was only after I completed my PhD, in the generation and use of solar energy, that I realised renewable energy isn’t the solution. It certainly has a role to play – but when I tell people how much space they’ll need for all the solarflex required to power just one building, they quickly agree we need to stop wasting energy and reduce our overall energy consumption first.

When I created the Virtual Environment (VE), to enable architects and engineers to predict the impact of making changes to buildings on their energy consumption, little did I realise just how powerful the technology would become. Today, we’re not only helping facilities managers to reduce energy consumption and creating some of the world’s most sustainable buildings, but we’re also working with city planners to create smart cities where no energy is wasted.

Our buildings need to get smarter
It’s simply unacceptable that in a society capable of understanding the laws of the universe, cloning life and travelling through space, we still allow our buildings to waste a quarter of their energy.

As the Earth’s population continues to expand and more people migrate into cities, we need to look at how to not only make new buildings more sustainable, but also leverage the opportunities for economies of scale this presents. That way, we can we make our existing buildings and cities as energy-efficient as possible.

Only by looking at buildings and cities as the integrated environments that they are – instead of parts of the problem in isolation – can we ensure everyone involved in the conception, design or management of a building gets to leave our world in a much better state than we inherited it.

Thank you for playing your part.

Read more in IES – The Future of Energy Reduction.

Sporting Sustainability

Posted: July 22, 2014 by , Category:IES TaP, Sustainability, Uncategorized


stadium-roof
With the World Cup ending and the Commonwealth Games just about to begin we thought it would be apt to take a brief look at how global sporting events are doing their bit for the environment…

Over the years sporting events across the globe have noticeably stepped up their game in terms of sustainability. The recent 2012 London Olympics boasted a saving of the equivalent of over 400,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide due to its sustainable practices, whilst the imminent Commonwealth Games in Glasgow this year, just last month received its certificate for achieving ISO 20121, the international standard for Sustainable Event Management, confirming its commitment to be a truly sustainable Commonwealth Games.

This year’s FIFA World Cup was no exception with the final match being powered purely by solar energy. And the lights certainly didn’t go out on Germany. Not only were they victorious in winning the Cup, the country has shown a true commitment to the world’s sustainability agenda by recently announcing its investment in the 100 Smart Cities initiative in India.

And looking on to the next World Cup to be held in Russia, plans are already under way to raise the bar for sustainable construction design in the country by designing stadiums to BREEAM standard. Using state of the art cloud-based project management technology IES TaP, three of the stadiums (Samara, Volgograd and Nizhny Novgorod) are on track to achieve BREEAM ratings. BREEAM expert, Glenn Miles recently wrote an interesting article on the benefits of using project management systems as opposed to traditional methods, which you can read here.

It’s encouraging to see that such large scale, global events are putting sustainability at the top of their agendas. These events affect and reach millions of people and it is important that the messages on protecting the environment are promoted as much as possible. It’s clear that everyone is still not fully aware of the dangers of climate change and the more that is done to raise awareness and encourage people to be more responsible towards the environment, the more chance we have of mitigating the potentially devastating effects.

Star of Building Science

Posted: August 23, 2013 by , Category:Green Building, Sustainability

don-building-science-star1

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

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cities.

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.

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!

Written by Ruth Kerrigan, our Associate Director of R & D, the following blog post was first published by Building 4 Change. Ruth uses the article to explain that the industry must use virtual testing and performance analysis to cut through greenwash to create truly integrated sustainable eco-cities…

The blame for a major proportion of pollution and waste in our society can justly be laid at the door of cities. However, high density populations also means that energy, water and other services can be provided more efficiently, while minimising the infrastructure associated with modern living.

The design of ‘eco-cities’ – those with sustainable smart buildings that integrate with each other and the grid itself to conserve resources – is becoming increasingly important.  The world’s population is projected to keep rising for at least the next century, and by 2050, 70 percent of people will live in cities, so addressing efficiency is essential. Controlling our use of energy, water and other resources will no longer be an option, but a necessity.

The IES research and development concept is based on smart eco-cities which use information and communication technology (ICT) to incorporate real-time dynamic control. Performance analysis and predictive interrogation of data will play a key part in this.

Emerging vision
IES Smart CIty ImageOur emerging concept is for each building to be designed or refurbished using state-of-the-art 3D simulation to quantify, optimise and verify its performance. The building simulation model would then be used to commission and subsequently control it. However, a true eco-city would require more than independently efficient buildings. It would need a master system that could optimise city-wide energy and water consumption in co-ordination with the relevant utilities.

IES invests over a quarter of its turnover in research and development, and is actively involved in a number of Scottish, UK and European funded projects across all areas of such an eco-city lifecycle. We are also actively involved in key sustainable building/community test sites considered to be at the forefront of global research.

Across these projects we are both providing the underlying technology and acting as a hub to connect many different organisations and stakeholders in the eco-city lifecycle. Our concept maps the entire process, from masterplanning through to simulation-based control of eco-communities and links with smart grids.

We played a part in the £24 million Future City Demonstrator grant recently won by Glasgow – which saw off competition from London, Peterborough, Bristol and 30 other UK cities. IES contributed on the use of a communications hub to inform buildings how to improve energy efficiency.

The company is in negotiation for a number of larger projects due to start in later 2013 and is involved in the following smart city related R&D projects.

  • People Friendly Cities in A Data Rich World – EU COST Action
  • Interactive Decision Support Platform for the Creation of the Eco-City through the Integration of Sustainable Urban Metrics and a Common City Index (CitySUMS) – SMART: Scotland
  • Indicator-based Interactive Decision Support and Information Exchange

INDICATE ImagePlatform for Smart Cities (INDICATE) – EU FP7

  • Intelligent Urban Energy Tool (iUrban) – EU FP7
  • Friendly and Affordable Sustainable Urban Districts Retrofitting (FASUDIR) – EU FP7


Overcoming barriers

A major challenge is the discontinuity between actual utilities consumption and design/simulated data. Buildings rarely perform as predicted, and building energy management systems (BEMS) only monitor and report in a descriptive, ad-hoc way. Vast amounts of data are collected but not fully utilised to inform decisions. These conventional management methods are laborious and make it difficult to maintain optimal control. Post-design, BEMS monitor only the individual building and rely on facility managers to interpret the data and act accordingly. This creates a lot of data but doesn’t produce viable smart buildings.

Until now, technology didn’t exist to simulate and test optimisation hypotheses based on real operational data. There was a reliance on design simulation technology that could point out flaws and optimise performance virtually before the building was constructed, and BEMS systems which monitor usage after the fact. However, new software and computer modelling capabilities has made creating smarter, more efficient buildings easier than it has ever been. IES believes that performance analysis can truly drive eco-communities, districts and cities.

Building design using 3D models is already the norm and it can deliver a model suitable for operational activities.  Connecting the dots by incorporating real operational data into the model is the next step, and one that we have already successfully taken, through our Scottish Enterprise funded VE-SCAN research project and resulting product.

The application of 3D building performance simulation on new-build, refurbishment and operation optimisation projects facilitates a greatly improved integrated and sustainable design process. It paves the way for smart interaction between buildings in a community or city to optimise efficiency at the next level.

Through virtual testing and performance analysis the industry is able to cut through greenwash and deliver measurable results. These are what will drive eco-cities.

Ten Reasons to Visit IES at Ecobuild

Posted: March 1, 2013 by , Category:events, research, software

eb300x250exhibitorWith over 1,000 exhibitors at Ecobuild vying for your attention, here are ten reasons why you should take the time to come and meet the IES team at this year’s event…

1. The IES Sustainability Hub – One Year On: It’s now been a year since we brought our Sustainability Hub concept to the industry and this year we’re showcasing the successes of the Hub. At Stand N429 we’ll be demonstrating how our industry leading technology and expertise can give the ability to quantify, optimise and verify objectives through analysis, helping more rapidly deliver a sustainable future for our cities and buildings.

2. IMPACT Compliant Software Tools: Ecobuild will be your first chance to find out about 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 product’s life cycle is selected. The Life-cycle Assessment (LCA), Life-cycle Costing (LCC) and Capital Costing (CC) tools from IES now deliver these benefits direct from a BIM/CAD interoperable 3D model.

3. New Smart Energy Management Consulting: We’re also launching our new consulting service which will help you define and implement a measurable energy/carbon reduction strategy across your whole building portfolio. Come and see how our team can uncover hidden cost savings for your business.

4. Lessons Online Knowledge Sharing Platform: A website that supplies users with easy access to “lessons” learnt by construction professionals from their previous building design experiences – sounds good eh? Well that’s exactly what we’ve created with our new Lessons website. Sign up for free here.

5. IESVE for LEED®: Interested in our LEED® tools? Our experts will be on hand over the course of the three days to fill you in on our recent software and consulting developments which significantly help streamline and assist the LEED certification process.

6. IES TaP Updates: Heard of IES TaP? It takes the headache out of Green Building Ratings project management and submissions. You can now use IES TaP to streamline, manage and automate BREEAM, LEED, EcoHomes and Code for Sustainable Homes certification processes.

7. IES Research & Development: With ¼ of our turnover being invested in R&D, Research is now very much at the heart of what we do at IES. We are successfully involved in 10 publicly funded research projects: 4 from the Technology Strategy Board in the UK; 2 from SMART Scotland; 1 CIP-PSP and 3 FP7-PPP projects from Europe.  We have also just won 6 new European FP7 grant submissions to add to our ongoing Research and Development work. Come by our stand to find out about these projects or to find out how to collaborate with us in the future.

8. Innovation Zone: We have been chosen to present our new IMPACT Compliant tool (listed above) at the Innovation Zone, the M&S sponsored competition for the best innovations in sustainability. Join us at Stand N630 to view this innovation and cast your vote in person. You can also vote online here.

9. Presentation at the Nemetschek Vectorworks Stand: Our BDM Sarah Graham will be presenting “BIM and the positive impact it can have on the design process with regard to measuring sustainability” at the Nemetschek Vectorworks Stand (N420) at the following times: Tuesday 5th March – 14:30 // Wednesday 6th March – 15:30 // Thursday 7th March – 14:00.

10. IMPACT Seminar: Head along to Seminar Room 5 on Wednesday 6th March (14:30-16:00) for the IMPACT Seminar that will be led by Daniel Doran of BRE and features a demonstration of IMPACT by Richard Quincey of IES. Add to your planner here.

Getting ready for the start of THERM

Posted: February 22, 2013 by , Category:Research & Development

THERMIt’s always good to get recognition from the industry for the products/services we bring to the market – it’s even better getting it for one of our Research & Development projects that is yet to be officially released. That’s what happened this month at the Rushlight Awards when our work on, THERM, was commended in the Energy Efficiency category (the 2nd most entered category of the night).

THERM (THrough-life Energy and Resource Modelling) is a software tool for sustainable manufacturing, which integrates modelling of factory processes within their environment, assesses the materials, energy and waste of the processes and uses data analysis tools to understand the opportunities that exist for reducing energy consumption and carbon emissions, integrated with the factory building.

THERM is one of several IES Research projects currently coming to successful completion. Funded by the UK Technology Strategy Board, the THERM team consisted of IES, Toyota, Airbus, Cranfield and DeMontfort University. With UK

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manufacturing accounting for 23% of UK producer carbon dioxide emissions (Defra, 2008), the THERM project was created to solve the demand for manufacturing to become low-carbon and resource efficient.

THERM addresses this issue through the examination of sustainable manufacturing practices and the ability to model and understand what is possible. Currently, no ‘tools’ in regular use assess environmental performance, identify improvement areas and help suggest concrete actions. The final prototype tool has been tested at Airbus and Toyota pilot sites to significant success – figures confidential sorry guys!

THERMInitially being released as an IES consulting service, THERM will in due course be available as part of the IES software suite. Check out the THERM microsite and consulting page for updates.

Research is now very much at the heart of what we do at IES. We are successfully involved in 10 publicly funded research projects: 4 from the Technology Strategy Board in the UK; 2 from SMART Scotland; 1 CIP-PSP and 3 FP7-PPP projects from Europe. We have also just won 6 new European FP7 grant submissions to add to our ongoing Research and Development work.

With ¼ of our turnover being invested in R&D, watch this space for more envelope pushing tools like THERM coming from IES – and hopefully more recognition from award ceremonies like Rushlight too.

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