Building Energy Software Tools
Formerly hosted by US Dept. of Energy    

IES Virtual Environment

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IES is recognised as a world leader in 3D performance analysis software. The company delivers unique tools and technology to assist Engineers, Architects, regulatory and rating agencies, building owners, facilities managers, sustainability and energy managers in their objectives.
It has an easy-to-use GUI and graphic as well as numerical reporting features to easily share data across a team at all stages of design, construction and operation. It allows the design and operation of comfortable buildings (visual and thermal comfort) that consume significantly less energy.

IES can be used to test different options, identify best passive solutions, compare low-carbon technologies, and draw conclusions on energy use, CO2 emissions, occupant comfort, light levels, airflow and much more, to inform design, ensure compliance with building regulations in the UK and Ireland or across the globe or with rating systems such as LEED, BREEAM, GreenStar, Green Mark and more. It is used for the design of new buildings, and for retrofitting inefficient old buildings. IES is also suitable to use for commissioning and for assessing building energy use during operation, via ERGON and IES consulting using IES' Ci2 methodology.

The analysis applications all share one central integrated data model, saving time and facilitating an integrated design approach across HVAC and ventilation systems, lighting and daylighting, CFD, renewables, etc. and can easily switch between ISO, ASHRAE and CIBSE formats for data inputs or reports. The BIM Navigator streamlines the import of gbXML, IFC & dxf imports. Rendered outputs, graphs and data files enable communication of key information to different audiences

Latest features and Key Benefits of the IESVE include:

* Minute by Minute analysis through dynamic simulation enables optimised performance through evaluating multiple systems and constructions.
* Evaluate energy and carbon (2 sides of a coin) to justify improvements
* Dynamic Daylighting calculation methods: You can use RadianceIES climate based daylight modelling (CBDM) technology to model Useful Daylight Illuminance (UDI), Spatial Daylight Autonomy (SDA) and Annual Sunlight Exposure (ASE) calculations, providing you with a complete overview on how the daylight performance varies throughout the year.
* NECB Navigator for Canada: streamlined workflow, Automatic creation of NECB Reference Building, and automated reports.
* Numerous HVAC updates including the ApacheHVAC System Loads & Sizing Report Generator, which provides streamlined generation and improved user control over a significantly expanded set of reports for buildings, system, zone, and room loads, sizing, and ventilation. The User can set relevant coils for Heating & Cooling peaks and include or exclude oversizing factors. Reports include: Project and climate; Plant loops & equipment; Space loads & ventilation; System Loads; Zone Loads; Room Loads; VE2016 System Sizing report; ASHRAE 62.1 Ventilation (Appendix A method). In IESVE 2018 there are now new detailed VRF and DHW capabilities in ApacheHVAC.
* IESVE 2018 brings new ASHRAE 90.1 Enhancements including: Updated ECB (2010/2013) and PRM (2007/2010/2013) Reports, Zone grouping assignment, Automatic Receptacle controls, Optimal Start of HVAC Systems, and Chilled water supply temperature reset.
* Energy SOURCES & Meters: At any logical point in the software, a Meter can be assigned that will be used to aggregate the use of that fuel. There is no limit to the number of Meters that are created.
* Python Scripting allows users to create their own customised scripts, automation and reportage, which can be easily shared through your own navigator.
* HONE Tool to investigate the trade-offs between different design parameters and automatically converge on the optimal design quickly and accurately.
* Parametric Tool to automate the simulation of multiple scenarios and combinations of building design inputs.
* Elements tool to link both optimisation Hone and Parametric tools to allow the setting of target parameters (model inputs) and results variables (Vista outputs) for parameteric analysis.
* Parallel Simulation Manager allows you to manage simulations within the Virtual Environment. It significantly speeds up simulations, and separates the simulations from the VE interface meaning that you can continue to work on a model and set up a new simulation etc. whilst your current model is simulating. This has been enhanced in the latest IESVE2018 release - simulations are now ~10 times faster by utilizing the new parallel simulation mode feature.

Expertise Required: 

‚ÄčIES Training offers a range of training options to suit all competency levels. All courses are created and delivered by our in-house experts. We offer both face to face and web-based options to allow our clients a complete understanding of the software. Web training can be booked online at IES, Inc. Other support resources include the IES YouTube channel and online support forums.

Audience: 

The Virtual Environment has sustainable analysis tools for Engineers, Architects, Sustainability and Energy Consultants, Building Owners, Facilities Managers and Contractors. Academics can use IES for teaching students or for research.

Input: 

The IES Interoperability Navigator offers a step-by-step process for importing your model from whichever drawing tool you are using into the IESVE for analysis, or you can create the geometry from scratch in ModelIt. The ability to copy/paste input data to/from Excel directly into the BTM offers substantial time-saving and accuracy over manual entry after importing geometry, and makes it far quicker to update changes. Input data relating to materials, occupancy, internal gains, climate, weather files, air movement and systems is managed entirely through graphical interfaces and supported by extensive databases (including pre-defined HVAC component libraries and Manufacturer tools such as Daikin VRV Systems, Monodraught Windcatchers and Termodeck). Some applications show data rendered on the model using false colors. Standard constructions etc. can be saved as an in-house reference library for future projects. The input data visualisation tool allows for an exploded view of the building floor plan. IES has the ability to place geometric free-standing panels that are exclusively for estimating PV potential and allows the assessment of PV potential to take the physical location into account. Parabolic Solar Collectors adds to the renewables capabilities and can be used as DHW pre-heater or as a space or process pre-heater. Various weather data is available through our website, and weather data from other sources can also be imported.

Output: 

IES charts can be edited within IES (Vista Pro) for variables and colours etc. so that post-processing is not required to format the results for presentation, and they can be exported directly to Word/Excel to streamline the reporting process. Charts can be formatted as lines, bar graphs, pie charts etc. to best suit the selected data sets, and can be used to compare the results between different simulations or the impact of one variable on another. Inputs such as external DBT can be compared to results such as internal DBT. Psychrometric charts are available in a variety of formats. VistaPro Sessions allows the User to recreate all the open results; whether its graphs or tables that they may wish to save, to streamline teamwork. This assists in manual identification of the impact of different interventions. The Hone tool lets the User investigate the trade-offs between different design parameters and automatically converge on the optimal design quickly and accurately.

Movies generated in various applications can be recorded as .avi files. Some applications show data rendered on the model using false colors. Ventilation analysis can be aided by overlaying a wind-rose on the model.

Automated model data reports reference the different zones by name, as well as by their unique numerical ID. There is an extensive range of standard reports relating to HVAC reports for buildings, system, zone, and room loads, sizing, and ventilation.

Strengths: 
  • IES offers comprehensive analysis options for the design and operation of comfortable buildings that consume significantly less energy. This is measured across a wide range of metrics for all stages of building design and operation, including building commissioning and evaluation of retrofitting options.
  • The analysis applications all share one central integrated data model, so design changes are immediately updated elsewhere, saving time and facilitating an integrated design approach across HVAC and ventilation systems, CFD analysis, daylight compensation control, solar shading analysis, renewables, cost and value assessment, etc.
  • Multiple core simulations and cloud based services offer significantly reduced calculation and simulation times throughout the VE. Other tools such as parallel simulation and optimisation also increase productivity.
  • The VE offers convenient data manipulation, coupled with the ability to undertake what-if assessments at the design calculation stage, and VistaPro for easy comparison of results and communication of data between all team members.
  • IES enables the User to easily swich between ISO, ASHRAE and CIBSE formats for data inputs or reports.
  • Unrivalled interoperability with other CAD/BIM platforms, with a BIM Navigator to streamline the import of gbXML, IFC & dxf imports.
    Links to numerous certifications schemes including: ASHRAE 90.1; LEED; GreenStar; BREEAM; UK&Ireland Compliance; GMPro; OTTV Malysia & Hong Kong.
  • IESVE runs on a robust engine, that meets all industry tests and is developed by IES for quicker response to customer request.
  • Python Scripting allows advanced users to create their own customised scripts, automation and reportage, which can be easily shared through your own navigator.
Country: 
United Kingdom
Major Capabilities: 
Whole-building Energy Simulation
HVAC System Selection and Sizing
Code Compliance
Building Type: 
Commercial
Residential
Keywords: 
Radiance
whole building energy simulation
ASHRAE 90.1
Interoperability
Platform: 
Windows
Mac OS X
Pricing: 
Free To Try
Help and Support: 
Peer Support Forum
Subscription Email Support
Subscription Chat/IM Support
Subscription Phone Support
Last Software Update: 
30 June 2010
Last Entry Update: 
18 July 2018
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