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The response from climate organisations, world leaders, large corporations and the general public to Trump’s removal of the US from the Paris Climate Change deal is encouraging. Looking at it in a positive light, it has taken the negative influence out of the picture and lets those who really believe and are truly passionate about protecting our Earth for future generations, get on with the real work that needs to be done. The worldwide response to this decision has shown that there are many many more people in the world who care about our planet than those who don’t. Trump and his supporters are in a minority when it comes to their beliefs on climate change and this is one battle they won’t win.

Dominating the headlines in media outlets worldwide, President Trump’s decision has strengthened the resolve of those already fighting climate change, while also bringing the issue to a wider audience who have not yet been engaged by it. A great sense of unity has also started to emerge between other countries and the worldwide community. In a study by Carbon Brief, where they collated a diverse range of reaction from across the world, it showed that the mass majority of people condemned the decision and are determined to continue the fight against climate change.

Organisations such as the USGBC have already pledged their commitment to continue in their efforts, saying “Although the pullout of the U.S. government from the Paris Agreement will be felt across the world, the surge of climate commitments and actions by the private sector, nongovernmental organizations, governments, cities and states will only serve to strengthen the green building movement and keep pushing us forward.”

The World Green Building Council also issued strong words, saying “Despite the withdrawal of the US from this global pact, WorldGBC is confident that our member US Green Building Council, committed US city Mayors – members of the C40 and US Conference of Mayors – Governors of States, and CEOs of major companies like Apple and IBM, will continue working tirelessly to meet the US targets set by the Paris Agreement. The global market transformation towards decarbonisation – in buildings and other sectors – is already happening. It is accelerating. And it is unstoppable.”

Responses from world leaders, business leaders and climate activists across the globe also add to this strong sense of unity…

Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that the withdrawal is ‘bad for the environment, bad for the economy and it puts out children’s future at risk’ “Stopping climate change is something we can only do as a global community, and we have to act together before it’s too late”.

Google’s Sundar Pichai, wrote on Twitter that he is “disappointed” and that “Google will keep working hard for a cleaner, more prosperous future for all.”

Many US city mayors have said they will abide by climate commitments regardless of the White House U-turn. This was echoed by municipal leaders overseas.

The mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, who chairs a group of 40 major cities, said: “No matter what decision is made by the White House, cities are honouring their responsibilities to implement the Paris agreement. There is no alternative for the future of our planet.”

“Climate change is real,” tweeted Jeff Immelt, chief executive of GE. “Industry must now lead and not depend on government.”

Today the Guardian reported that, “China and California have signed an agreement to work together on reducing emissions, as the state’s governor warned that “disaster still looms” without urgent action on climate change.

The governor of California, Jerry Brown, spoke to reporters at an international clean energy conference in Beijing about Donald Trump’s decision to pull the US out of the Paris agreement, saying it would ultimately prove to be only a temporary setback.”

We recently ran a campaign for Earth Day to raise awareness of the impact that buildings have on the environment. The fact that buildings are responsible for 40% of the world’s carbon emissions is staggering, and we know, as an industry, we need to work together to dramatically reduce this number. In a short video message, our founder and CEO Don McLean emphasises the importance of working to make earth day every day. This message has never been as important as it is now.

We’re standing alongside organisations such as the USGBC and all others acting against climate change, who know that climate change is an absolute fact and if we don’t stand together now and take action, our planet will not be a place where future generations can survive.  We’re asking you to join us.

“Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much”
Helen Keller

IES TaP for LEEDIn our last article on project management, we called upon the famous words of Mike Tyson to discuss design team management and achieving your desired certification.

This time we’ll put our boxing analogies aside and instead focus on the insight and knowledge of the team behind IES TaP, our online project management system. They’ve come together to create these five tips for successful management of the LEED® certification process.

1) Plan to succeed

It is important that at the very beginning of the project, the certification goal is identified, measured and communicated effectively to the design team. As simple as this sounds, there is a lot of value in having conversations to make sure everyone is on the same page about the goal and how to get there (realistically).

In the planning stages, it is important to target credits and measure the likelihood of achieving the points within those credits. And yes, IES has a tool for that. IES TaP allows the user to simulate/test multiple scenarios and helps inform the right approach to take on the project to achieve the desired certification goal.

2) Closely monitor progress

It is essential to keep close track of your LEED projects at all times, watching for any issues that may cause a setback to your project achieving its certification goal. Unplanned hiccups hold projects back. Having an understanding of how these mid-project adjustments affect the projects as a whole can mean the difference between earning LEED Gold and Platinum status.

The visual dashboard incorporated in IES TaP allows you to see all of your current projects in one place and monitor their progress toward certification in real time. At the individual project level, you can also view the credit and documentation progress per section and monitor the progress of individual team member responsibilities.

3) Communication is key

The project team must communicate and collaborate well as they work toward achieving the project certification goal, ideally while being managed by an experienced LEED AP. It is important that the project team is clear on their individual responsibilities and the progress the project is making and have the ability to highlight where there may be input from other team members or the project LEED AP required.

IES TaP provides a breakdown of the individual documentation requirements and allows each requirement to be allocated to a team member. With automatic e-mail reminders for project team responsibilities, everyone on the team is kept aware of what is required of them in order to submit the project for certification on time, giving the project manager one less thing to think about. If someone on the project team is not pulling their weight, there is a helpful project notification that the project manager can send which contains all the pertinent information of the project status and team member responsibilities. Everyone knows who has to provide what and by when.

4) Know your credits

Make sure all team members have the relevant guidance from the USGBC on hand, filtered so that the relevant information is available for the credit being worked on.

IES TaP gives you access to the USGBC credit library at credit level, access to LEED Online forms and real-time synchronization with LEED Online. LEED APs can also supply specific guidance on the credit to assist team members through the public commenting system or create additional custom requirements and assign responsibilities as needed.

5) Work smarter, not harder

Make sure the engagement with LEED requirements is no more onerous for the project team than it needs to be. The benefit of using a tool like IES TaP is the ability to cut down the project management workload, helping the design team work in as smart a way as possible.

To find out more about IES TaP for LEED, check out our new IES TaP for LEED video, sign up for one of our free webinars and try the software firsthand using our 30-day trial.

This article was originally published on the USGBC website.

Taking the Stage at Greenbuild 2013

Posted: November 15, 2013 by , Category:events, LEED

IES presenting at Greenbuild 2013

When our team arrives in Philadelphia next week, they’ll be marking IES’s 10th year in a row at Greenbuild. In that time we’ve created a bunch of tools to streamline and assist the LEED certification process, we’ve covered 3 versions of the system {US, Canada and India}, we’ve

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become a LEED Automation Partner, we’ve been involved in the development of LEED V4, and our consulting team have worked on over 100 LEED projects worldwide. And just this week IES VP for North America Brenda Morawa was named in the USGBC’s 2013 class of LEED Fellows.

So this year to mark our 10th year at the show we’ve been selected to give two presentations that I’d like to fill you in on…

The two presentations we have been chosen to give are both in Greenbuild’s Special Set format. These sessions have only been running for four years, and are designed to invigorate traditional breakout sessions with alternative formats and new engaging environments featuring, unique stages, lighting and interactive presentation styles. You can see from the pic below that it’s not your average presentation format.

Special-Format

Taking the stage for IES will be Richard Quincey with his presentation ‘Next Generation Environmental Impact and Cost Analysis’ and Brenda Morawa and Todd Lukesh with their presentation ‘Next Generation LEED Measurement and Verification’.

Next Generation LEED Measurement and Verification {8 am, Nov 20 Wed}
Recent awardee of the USGBC’s LEED Fellow award, Brenda Morawa will take to the stage with recently appointed IES West Coast VP, Todd Lukesh to present to the audience on how you can leverage next generation developments in multi-dimensional modeling for whole building M&V assessment. Currently, the IPMVP calibrated simulation route to M&V is probably the least utilized – this session is concerned with this route and how to take it to the next level by using detailed BMS data across sub hourly time-steps.

Next Generation Environmental Impact and Cost Analysis {8 am, Nov 21 Thu}
Richard’s presentation focuses on the integration of Life Cycle Cost (LCC) & Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) into BIM. With the audience, he will investigate how to incorporate disconnected operational and embodied impact consideration to provide holistic resource-efficient buildings.

The session aims to provide practical hints and tips and engage the audience with an interactive Q&A session where they will hold up green and red cards to provide answers to questions they would have to consider when undertaking this type of analysis.

These sessions won’t be your only chance to meet the IES team next week. Liam Buckley of IES will be presenting “Studio CaseStudy: BIM Interoperability to Design for Zero Net Energy” at the Nemetschek Vectorworks booth #3456, from 10:15am to 10:45am on Wednesday.

As a USGBC LEED® Automation Partner, we also have a presence at the App Lab table in the LEED Certification Work Zone, Room 125, 100 Level. You’ll find us there on Wednesday, 9:30 am – 11:00am, showcasing our award winning online LEED project management tool IES TaP for LEED and offering one-to-one demos of the tool.

And of course there’s always the IES Booth, where our team will be happy to answer any questions you have, provide you with some of our awesome literature or give you a demo.

So ten years on. A lot has changed. But as you can see from the IES schedule some things stay the same; it’s going to be another busy week as we take to the stage at Greenbuild!

IES TaP for LEED launched at Greenbuild

Posted: December 13, 2012 by , Category:IES TaP, LEED

The dust has just about settled after another hectic Greenbuild. If you were there in person or following online, it’s clear to see that this is the biggest and most anticipated green building conference of the year for a reason — it creates an energy and atmosphere that brings out the best in our industry.

If you were following our countdown to Greenbuild on twitter you’ll know we had a lot planned across the 3 day conference in San Francisco — presentations, workshops and manning our booth were just the tip of the iceberg! The most exciting part of our time at the show for our team was the launch of IES TaP for LEED 2009, taking us a step closer to automating as much of the LEED process as we can. There’s always a buzz in the company when we launch a new product and having the opportunity to present it exclusively to attendees at Greenbuild added to it.

IES TaP, our collaboration portal for managing Green Building Ratings Online, has been further developed to support LEED 2009. IES TaP for LEED enables project administrators to manage and track the process of gathering all submittal documentation from Charrette to Certification — allowing responsibility to be allocated to the project team for each individual documentation requirement. With seamless integration into LEED Online, LEED Online Forms, and the USGBC Online Credit Library, IES TaP for LEED enhances the management of the whole LEED workflow.

Additionally, it can be used in conjunction with our VE-Navigators for LEED and ASHRAE 90.1 (LEED Energy). These tools do analysis calculations and create the required documentation via LEED online.

Our aim with IES TaP for LEED is to substantially reduce the amount of time required by users to make a LEED submission, which will then hopefully have the knock on effect of encouraging them to use some of that time to make the building a little more sustainable.

After our 9th visit to Greenbuild, it’s fantastic to see IES and our peers in the industry continually pushing ourselves to bring products like IES TaP for LEED to the industry. I wonder what new IES software development I’ll be talking about after next year’s conference…

If you want to find out more about IES TaP for LEED and how you can use it to streamline, manage and automate the LEED submission process, check out our introduction movie on YouTube or sign up to one of our free webinars here.

Countdown to Greenbuild 2012

Posted: November 8, 2012 by , Category:events, Green Building, LEED

All it takes is a quick look on Twitter using the #Greenbuild hashtag to see that not only is this the biggest green building conference in the world, but it’s also the event that brings out the most passion and creativity from within our industry.

If the green building industry had an Olympics; it would be Greenbuild. If we had a Woodstock; it would be Greenbuild. If we had a Cannes; it would be… ok I’ll stop now, you get the idea.

There is a lot going on every year at Greenbuild and this year is no exception. To find out what was planned for San Francisco and to get involved in the pre-Greenbuild conversation, we decided to create our “DaysToGB” twitter hashtag. Starting on October 14th, we’ve been using the hashtag to countdown the 30 days leading up to the main event next week.

But what have we learned counting down the days to Greenbuild? Quite a lot actually! We know the USGBC is coming full circle by heading back to its roots in San Fran and it’s an ideal location as it’s a city with green building high on the agenda. We’ve learned that attendees are spoiled for choice for what they can do with any spare time they can grab (film festival, walking tours etc), and also that this year’s event has more fantastic seminars and presentations then you could shake a stick at!

We’ve also been using #DaysToGB to share what IES have planned over the course of the conference. At booth #1732S, we’ll be sharing our recent innovations and developments which significantly help streamline and assist the LEED certification process. As a USGBC LEED Automation partner, we’ll be launching our new online LEED project management software and showcasing our software solutions for automated LEED performance credit assessments and sophisticated LEED Energy Modeling.

Our IES experts are also taking part in a number of educational presentations throughout the week; you should have at least one logged in your diary:

IS04A – Removing Barriers for International LEED Projects {Tues 13th Nov}
B06 – Energy Monitoring that Provides Meaningful Data AND Value {Wed 14th Nov}
LEED Automation Partner Presentation {Wed 14th Nov}
D13 – The Ghosts of Climate Past, Present, and Future {Thurs 15th Nov}

You can click here if you would like full details on the above sessions.

So what have you got planned for Greenbuild? There’s still time to tell us using the #DaysToGB hashtag or alternatively you can comment below.

6 #DaysToGB

LEEDing the way to NeoCon East 2012

Posted: October 17, 2012 by , Category:events, LEED

This week I’ve headed stateside for NeoCon East 2012 at the Baltimore Convention Center. Kicking off today and taking place over two days, NeoCon is the premier design exposition and conference for commercial interiors on the East Coast. I’ve been invited to the conference to take part in a seminar (taking place on Thursday 1-2pm) with the USGBC to demonstrate the benefits of LEED Automation and how LEED Automation Partner software can streamline the LEED workflow.

At IES we’ve been designing & selling LEED Automation tools for almost 4 years. Our tools are specifically targeted to be used by architects and engineers throughout the entire building design process and are used to aide integrated design. It’s an approach that sits well with the LEED methodology. For the NeoCon seminar I will be presenting our three software tools that specifically help LEED accredited professionals: IES VE-Navigator for LEED, IES VE-Navigator for ASHRAE 90.1 and IES TaP for LEED (launching next month at Greenbuild). These tools provide three levels of benefits to the LEED professional:

– Credit assessments straight from your BIM model (no need to recreate geometry or data)
– Credit interpretation — the software interprets the results of the analysis and crucially the LEED methodology and provides output tailored for submission to LEED Online
– LEED Design Team management — streamlining time spent chasing and organizing your design teams responsibilities and submission material

The first tool IES is offering as a LEED Automation Partner is the IES VE-Navigator for LEED. This tool, targeted at both architects and engineers, at any stage in the design process enables the assessment of a number of common sustainable analysis topics — Daylighting, Thermal comfort, Water, Renewables and Sustainable Sites — and crucially interprets the results output from the analysis tool, and creating reportage suitable for use within LEED letter templates. The tool can be used for the following versions of LEED: LEED NC V2.2/V3, LEED SchoolsV1/V3 and LEED Core and Shell V2/V3 and can be used for Daylighting, Comfort, Water, Renewables and soon Sustainable Sites credits.

The second software tool that aligns with the LEED Automation partner program is the IES VE-Navigator for ASHRAE 90.1. This tool is an EPACT Approved (since 2009) LEED Energy modelling tool for Ea Credit 1. The functionality and approach of the ASHRAE 90.1 Navigator follows the same concept as the LEED Navigator, in that it simplifies and streamlines the use of analysis tools to create efficient ways of assessing the energy credit.

You may be already familiar with the tools above but the final part of my presentation will be taking a look at a new one; IES Tap for LEED. Following on from a successful BREEAM version of this tool, IES TaP for LEED is a Project Management tool. IES TaP allows you to streamline and keep control of the project team and the material required for a LEED submission. It allows you to access and track your LEED projects and evidence documents in one secure online location, increasing the efficiency across the project team and cutting down on time spent chasing people up! The benefits of this tool are numerous and include two way communication between IES TaP & LEED Online, IES TaP directly populates rating system documentation requirements from USGBC online credit library (so the IES TaP system is always up to date), Score Card Functionality to easily calculate your certification goal and current credit rating, and automatic email notifications to keep the team updated.

So that’s where we are as LEED Automation partners. A lot has been done to assist you with your LEED projects, with more in the pipeline. I look forward to seeing some of you in Baltimore tomorrow at 1:00-2:00pm, for what should be an interesting insight into LEED Automation.

Remember to stay tuned for the launch of IES TaP for LEED at GreenBuild.

Earlier this year, the Cleantech Group declared San Francisco the Cleantech capital of North America. From Mayor Ed Lee to the government to the 815,000 citizens, San Francisco has embraced cleantech and green technology as a lifestyle — not just a fad.

It’s pretty impressive that San Francisco raised more cleantech venture investment than New York City, despite having a population that is 8 times smaller. San Francisco has established itself as the go-to place for cleantech companies and investors, with more than 208 calling the city by the Bay home.

Much of the credit should go to the local government. San Francisco helped the cleantech industry thrive by supporting the Clean Technology Payroll Tax Incentive, which granted 10 years of payroll tax exemption to cleantech companies. This incentive helped create jobs and support further growth of the cleantech industry within the city.

But San Francisco doesn’t only support cleantech through its local economy — it also practices what it preaches. Evidence of this is in its buildings. San Francisco has been proactive in setting an example for sustainable building by implementing green building standards in its required building code. In 2008, the Green Building Ordinance Chapter 13C went into effect. This ordinance is based on elements of the USGBC’s LEED rating system. The city has embraced modeling technology to maximize energy efficiency in order to meet these new mandatory building codes in many of its buildings. This might give San Francisco an edge for years to come based on studies that point to green buildings boosting worker productivity and happiness.

San Francisco’s emphasis on cleantech has spread throughout the state of California. California accounted for the most cleantech patent registrations out of all 50 states. According to Next 10’s 2012 California Green Innovation Index, due to energy efficiency efforts, per capita electricity consumption in California remains close to 1990 levels.

This is great news for the green building industry. Energy modeling not only can help a building owner’s bottom line but better the lives of the workers in the building. California didn’t stumble into maintaining its per capita electricity consumption, it took careful planning. Moving forward more cities can utilize energy modeling to apply the same concepts to their buildings and cities that has made San Francisco so successful.

San Francisco looks set to continue its reign as cleantech capital of North America. Through its building practices and investment in cleantech, it’s head and shoulders above the competition.

Greener Also Means Tougher

Posted: March 28, 2012 by , Category:Green Building, Sustainability

Yes, green buildings are more energy efficient. And yes, they are even healthier for occupants. But safer and more durable than traditional buildings? A joint report by the USGBC and the University of Michigan says you can add this benefit to the list.

The report, highlighted in GreenBiz.com, goes as far as saying that the added resilience of green buildings could even be a major selling point and boost the market for green structures. While the news is great for the industry, I

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actually don’t find it that surprising. Tighter seals on doors and windows, more efficient ventilation and improved insulation protect buildings from the elements. So it makes sense that they are safer.

“…some of the most costly, serious damage is done when wind and water infiltrate a building, sending water deep into hidden cavities. A small opening — whether a missing shingle or a poorly sealed window — can set off a domino effect of damage,” GreenBiz points out.

This domino effect has not gone unnoticed. Organizations such as the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) know the damage that wind and water are capable of all too well. It’s even prompted the agency to look into green building as way to improve safety during natural disasters. The high quality and detail that goes hand-in-hand with green building could keep roofs intact and windows in place during hurricanes.

“[Craig Fugate, FEMA administrator,] called on leaders from major corporations, government, academia, the scientific community and civil society to help advance green building as a complementary strategy to address pre- and post-emergency-management situations, ultimately forging more resilient communities.”

Construction materials have come a long way in just the last few years. Technology has advanced drywall and windows beyond what many of us thought possible. I’m amazed every time I walk a tradeshow floor. My most recent favorite discovery was insulation made out of recycled blue jeans. Genius! As products continue to become better and better, buildings are getting more efficient, less costly to maintain, healthier…

And now we can add one more reason to the list of why green building practices should be incorporated into every project. Safety.

It might be a down market, but green building is not following the trend. From 2008 to 2010, the value of green construction increased by 50 percent, according to McGraw-Hill Construction’s Green Outlook 2011. And analysts predict three to five-fold growth by 2015. Still, this growth represents only a very small segment of the overall construction industry.

As Forbes points out, there’s an incredibly slow green building adoption curve: “At this stage, there’s only a very small market segment that will buy something because it is energy efficient,” said Reuben Schwartz, Residential Energy Programs Manager of the Department of the Environment, City and County of San Francisco. The problem, I think, is an incredibly slow learning curve and a disconnect between industry veterans and the consumer.

Dan Geiger (Executive Director of the USGBC) cited research undertaken by the USGBC on schools. What parents want, he said, “is a modern, healthy school, so that their children get good grades and go to college. I didn’t say the word ‘green.’ Consumers

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think about this in a different way than we, the practitioners, think about it.”

And that’s really the problem. The architects, the engineers, the modelers — they understand it. It’s what we do day in and day out. But readily available technology and a good price point simply aren’t enough. Without a knowledgeable consumer who knows the advantages of green building, there will always be that disconnect from our world and the consumers’.

Education is vital to the health of the green building industry. The future depends on the general public understanding what I do every day. Only then will I be confident that green building will continue to advance and progress, eventually becoming the standard.

Congrats to the LEEDing states!

Posted: January 31, 2012 by , Category:LEED

Earlier this month, the USGBC released its 2011 list of top 10 states for LEED-certified commercial and institutional green buildings per capita, based on the U.S. 2010 Census information.

Here’s the breakdown, courtesy of Buildings.

What I found most interesting in the article, though, was this fact.
In December 2011, USGBC announced that LEED-certified existing buildings outpaced their newly built counterparts by 15 million square feet on a cumulative basis. A focus on heightened building performance through green operations and maintenance is essential to cost-effectively driving improvements in the economy and the environment.

I had also stumbled across this article on TIME — LEED From Behind: Why We Should Focus on Greening Existing Buildings. The article states, “A study by the Preservation Green Lab of the National Trust for Historic Preservation shows building reuse almost always has fewer environmental impacts than new construction–which means we’d be smart to spend at least as much time renovating existing buildings as we do lionizing fancy new green construction.”

So while many new buildings are looking to go LEED at the onset of the project, I would like 2012 to be the year of LEED-EB: O&M. How can we as an industry put our knowledge and expertise towards making our world a more energy efficient place, using what we’ve already got?

It could be a sign of the times. The economy still isn’t great, so focusing on upgrading existing buildings rather than fronting cash for brand new buildings makes economic sense. And as USGBC gets ready to finalize the LEED 2012 standards, there is a chance there will be a revival in excitement for the rating system. What do you think? Can we make 2012 the year we focus on reusing buildings, so to speak?

In closing, I’ll leave you with the quote in the article that I think should be the mantra for 2012 building… “The greenest building is one that is already built.” -Carl Elefante

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