IESVE 2017

New Features & Enhancements of the Virtual Environment

What'S new?

VE 2017 includes 25 major new features and many other smaller enhancements. Some of these additions have been added in response to customer requests, while others are a result of the latest technology to be developed through the IES R&D division. VE 2017 has been designed to improve productivity and to help you optimise your building design. Use this page to take a tour of all the latest features.
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ApacheHVAC System Loads & Sizing Report Generator

This new feature provides streamlined generation and improved user control over a significantly expanded set of reports for buildings, system, zone, and room loads, sizing, and ventilation.

  • Generate new and existing reports for any selected System Loads and Sizing results file
  • Set relevant coils for Heating & Cooling peaks
  • Include or exclude oversizing factors
  • Reports include:
    >> Project and climate (building, weather, etc.)
    >> Plant loops & equipment (capacity, flows, etc.)
    >> Space loads & ventilation (system summary)
    >> System Loads (detailed loads breakdown, coil capacities airflows, engineering checks, etc.)
    >> Zone Loads (same as for System)
    >> Room Loads (same as for Zones)
    >> VE2016 System Sizing report
    >> ASHRAE 62.1 Ventilation (Appendix A method)

HVAC Methodology

VE 2017 introduces a new feature for thermal templates called HVAC Methodology. This setting enables new functionality and provides a more appropriate and streamlined set of thermal template parameters for ApacheHVAC users. Selection of ApHVAC vs. ApSys HVAC Methodology provides a clearer path to modeling systems with ApacheHVAC, without compromising that which Apache Systems users are accustomed to.

The ApHVAC Methodology is the gateway to new functionality for Smart Plenums, improved Room Loads analyses, and enhanced user experience.

Space Types

VE 2017 introduces three new space types for improved support of HVAC design calculations and building simulation – Return Air Plenum, Supply Air Plenum & Void. Creation and management of plenums and voids is much more efficient and user-friendly. In addition, room Loads calculations are improved for spaces with an overhead plenum adjacent to a roof or unconditioned attic space.

HVAC Zones

VE 2017 introduces the ability to create HVAC zones within a user’s energy model which better supports the daily practice and workflow for design engineers. Specifically set up for organizing Rooms into HVAC Zones, and then grouping those HVAC Zones for assignment to HVAC systems in ApacheHVAC and allowing:

  • Creation and management of HVAC Zones in highly functional browser tree.
  • Ease of setting up Zone Groups for rapid assignment ApacheHVAC networks.
  • Accurate exploration of HVAC Zoning alternatives in terms of thermal comfort, reheat energy, etc.

Zone Airflow Distribution Table

The Zone Airflow Distribution Table performs the process in real buildings of adjusting the distribution of airflow to rooms within an HVAC room.

The Zone Airflow Distribution table displays all system and zone design maximum airflows and provides flexible auto-sizing and editing of airflow distribution among the rooms within each zone.

additional HVAC Updates

  • Chiller Performance Curve Library: Industry leading tool for loading, visualizing, and customizing polynomial fit curve performance data for HVAC equipment.
  • Independent Secondary Hot Water Loops: Capability is expanded with respect to loop temperature controls.
  • Hot Water Loop Configuration: Now supports multiple secondary loops, new pre-heating locations, new flow control options, and more.
  • Chilled Water Sensible Thermal Storage: Capability for sensible chilled-water storage, in addition to ice storage.
  • Scheduled Load Component: Add loads to HWL and CHWL based on hourly or sub-hourly data, modulated design load, or time series of repeating scheduled values.

Parallel Simulation Manager

Parallel simulation manager (PSM) is intended to allow you to manage simulations within the Virtual Environment.

  • Significantly speeds up simulations
  • 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

Interoperability Navigator

The new Interoperability Navigator provides a step-by-step process for importing your model from whichever drawing tool you are using into the IESVE for analysis. All the import settings, modelling guidance and new functionality has been brought together within this single navigator to enhance the model import workflow.

Python Scripting

Python Scripting (PS) is the new API for the VE replacing the older API approach (APSFILE.DLL). This unique, innovative approach allows users to create their own customised scripts, some automation and reportage, which can be easily shared through your own navigator. The PS API consists of two main features, the Python Console or Integrated Development Environment (IDE) and the Python Navigator. The Console IDE allows users to create their own scripts and promote them to their own Navigator. The Python Navigator allows access to the resultant ‘program’.

  • Create / share user content driven reportage / visualisation / analysis
  • Reduce time spent on tasks through automation
  • Define workflows & Navigators that are bespoke to your needs
  • Tighten up Quality Assurance using your own workflows
  • Scripts can be distributed for use in Navigator or IDE and can be pin protected or encrypted if desired
  • Coming soon: Script store for purchase and submission of scripts


Hone is an optimisation tool to help you find the optimal building design whilst saving time and cost. An outcome of the R&D project UMBRELLA, Hone is a standalone tool that references a VE model with the advantages being that the VE can still be used whilst any optimisation is being performed. It is completely customisable even down to the graphics rendered, making it another ideal tool for expert users.

  • Independent tool to optimise VE models without locking VE licences
  • WORKSHEETS is the main feature, allowing non-expert users to use the tool readily
  • Use Hone to converge on your final and optimal design quickly and accurately
  • Optimisation Worksheets can be created and shared to create optimisation approaches for quality and repeatability for all users

Parametric Tool

Parametric tool, an outcome of the IES R&D project UMBRELLA, is a standalone tool that references a VE model with the advantages being that the VE can still be used whilst any parametric study is being performed. Parametric is completely customisable in every respect, making it a very powerful tool for the expert user.

  • Model multiple scenarios and combinations of building design inputs
  • Use Parametric to set-up and manage design variants, saving time and cost
  • Independent tool to run parametric studies on VE models without locking VE licences
  • ‘Templates feature’, allowing non-expert users to use to tool readily
  • Templates can be created and shared for quality and repeatability for all users
  • Only produces the results you ask for to reduce amount of storage required

Grouping Parameters Learn More

Elements tool

The Elements tool links the VE to both optimisation Hone and Parametric tools. Elements allows the setting of target parameters (model inputs) and results variables (Vista outputs) for parameteric analysis. The tool works using rules, where it gathers common parameters from the VE, allows the range of the parameter to be set and then defines whether the variable is to be used in the same way for all instances or whether the variable is to be altered independently.

Energy SOURCES & Meters

This new feature provides a fundamental change to the way that the VE ApacheSim calculations aggregate resource & fuel usage. At any logical point in the software, a Meter can now 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.

  • More transparent & intuitive approach to ‘metering’ within the VE
  • Automatic categorisation to align with common usages (including a breakdown for types of generated electricity) and PRM
  • Aggregation shown in VistaPro
  • ‘Unlimited’ sub-metering available
  • Alignment to real building metering strategies

Geometric PV Panels & Parabolic Solar Collectors

ModelIT now offers the ability to place geometric free-standing panels that are exclusively for estimating PV potential and allows the assement of PV potential to take the physical location into account. In ApacheSystems Parabolic Solar Collectors adds to the renewables capabilities within the VE and can be used as DHW pre-heater or as a space or process pre-heater.

Dynamic Daylighting

Radiance capabilities have now been extended to allow for dynamic daylighting calculation methods. You can now 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.

Additional Enhancements

Other VE 2017 updates include:

  • Enhancement of the Input Data Visualisation tool in ApacheView to allow for an Exploded View of the building floor plan
  • Sessions is a new feature within VistaPro allowing the User to recreate all the open results; whether its graphs or tables that they may wish to save
  • The Solar Arc tool within ModelViewerII has been enhanced to allow for customisation to fit any building
  • Air Density Adjustment: Adjust air density for elevation to allow more accuracy for load calculations at higher elevations
  • ASHRAE Loads: Gain Diversity and Design Days - Multiple rooms & zone and system sizing runs can be readily completed without manually switching diversity settings and profiles, saving you a huge amount of time
  • LEEDv4 Daylighting: Radiance engine parallelized to speed up dynamic daylighting calculations
  • Title 24-2016: Now accredited for use with the CBECC-Com 2016.2.1 engine as part of the California 2016 update to the Non-Residential Building Energy Efficiency Standards

What our customers say

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17th May


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