But compliance with the performance-based criteria of these programs can be difficult to assessby traditional methods. McLean explains, "It's fairly easy to design good performing buildings --ones that will consume more than 50% less energy. However, there's a severe lack of understanding and experience of low energy design in today's building design community."
Fordecades, simulation software tools have been available to assist thedesign of energy-efficient buildings. Unfortunately these tools weredifficult to use and thus limited to specialists, so most designers reliedon simple hand-calculation methods to assess building performance.
The integration of the Revit BIM and the building performance analysis tools from IES targetsthese challenges and provides an easy way for architects and engineers to examine theimplications of alternative design strategies, helping them achieve higher operational efficiencyand building performance.This integration also underscores the advantages of a computable BIM, a model that contains thenecessary level of detail and reliability for performance analysis that can be done directly bydesigners for their own baseline energy analysis.Linking BIM and Building Performance AnalysisEstablished in 1994,
is headquartered in Glasgow, Scotland.
Its software is the firstcommercially available system for the integrated analysis of a building'sperformance, generating detailed data for a range of analyses such asthermal simulation, load calculations, daylight assessment and solarstudies.
The company's software, called
IES <Virtual Environment>
, or the <VE> for short, isrelatively new to North America but is widely used in other areas of the world, with severalthousand users in more than 500 commercial sites throughout the world and many more users inacademia. Representative customers include Skidmore Owings & Merrill, Stantec, Arup and evenWal-Mart (a customer of IES's own consulting group).
The integration between the Revit platform and the <VE>features a link between the Revit BIM and the IES analysissoftware. There's no need to recreate the building geometry,because users can pass the BIM room geometry and data directlyto the <VE> and with one mouse click run a variety of analyseswithout specialized skills, separate analysis packages orseparate models for each analysis.This tight integration allows Revit users to quickly and easilyanalyze alternative green designs. Thermal and daylightingstudies that would have taken weeks (if they were done at all)