DENVER, CO (AIA 2013), June 22, 2013 - IES makes "bang-up" software for AEC simulation. Founder Don McLean, founder of IES demos the software for me at the AIA show. He does not lapse into the vernacular of his native Scotland to describe it, but I'll choose to remember it that way.
IES analyses buildings for air flow, heating, cooling and more. With all this talk about making green buildings, LEED certification, etc., I would think every architect would be running IES software -- or something like it. But they are not.
"So how do architects evaluate complexities such as thermal loads, HVAC needs, currently," I ask Don.
Don sticks a wet thumb in the air.
The product design world has been years ahead of AEC in suggesting that analysis occur early in the design cycle. CAD companies like Autodesk and SolidWorks have suites which include simulation. Both companies have acquired CAE technology and done their best to make it available for the typical design engineer, even the designer. Perhaps it's due to analysis being included in the engineering curriculum whereas architects, the professionals on the AEC world and in control of projects, drift more toward artistic and aesthetic education. For them, simulation may be foreign concept, Necessary, perhaps, but something that can be delegated. Numbers... how gauche. Aren't there specialists for these dirty jobs?
Don, sensing this aversion to for the technical details, has introduced a more visual display of simulation results. Architects who use IES applications will get a data represented in color schemes shown against recognizable building elements. For example, rooms are displayed with colors representing temperatures as a result of sunlight, a typical thermal load, rather than tables of numbers or numerical reports.
Thermal template and component view (image from IES)
With IES TaP (Track a Project), IES’s online project management tool, architects or anyone on their team can quickly identify how the project is moving towards certification and identify any potential setbacks and deal with them in a timely way. Integrating Tap with IES VE (for analysis) will give architects a running tally of LEED certification points as a building is modified in the design phase. For example, using the VE Navigator for LEED you can change the size of windows or type of glass and see the effect immediately on the LEED status.
For more information of IES TaP, see here: http://www.iesve.com/software/tap