Is integrating energy management with 3D modelling and BIM (Building Information Modelling) the route to better communication between a building’s design team and its operation team?
Technological advances which enable operational data to be combined with 3D modelling have been around for years. However, uptake of this calibrated simulation route has been hindered by access to data, lack of detailed HVAC modelling and lack of synergy and communication between the different teams involved in the process.
Implementing a calibrated simulation process at all stages of the building lifecycle from design, through commissioning and handover can deliver intelligent energy efficiencies, alongside healthy and comfortable buildings. On a recent project IES achieved the UK’s first LEED Gold Pharmaceutical Warehouse and delivered a customised operational energy dashboard using this principle.
While with Lateral Technologies, IES helped design the most sustainable John Lewis store to date, John Lewis York.
Designing, handing over and operating the first BREEAM Outstanding department store
Lateral Technologies worked with IES Consulting as a technology partner to design a store which could achieve a 30% reduction in the benchmark carbon figure. In July 2014 their creation became the first department store in the world to be awarded BREEAM Outstanding. Currently the project is achieving a 43% reduction on the benchmark figure based on other similar John Lewis stores.
Operational data from similar benchmark buildings was used to strengthen the new build design and inform the innovative low carbon M&E design. IES as the technology partner helped Lateral achieve incredibly detailed HVAC modelling. Then IES technology was used to import the actual building data back into the model, so the occupied building could be continuously analysed to quickly identify any performance gaps and deliver a soft landing.
Throughout the project, Lateral Technologies kept the energy initiative at the centre of design and construction decisions. The design included advanced modelling, use of LED lighting, photovoltaic solar panels, free cooling, efficient thermal design of the roof and walls to reduce heat loss and gain and the building being 70% more air tight than required.
At the same time, both John Lewis and Lateral Technologies were keen to monitor the performance of the shop after it opened. “All too often a good design fails to deliver the energy savings anticipated because of changes made during the construction phase or because occupiers don’t know how to best control the building,” explains Paul Paterson, sustainability design manager at Lateral Technologies. “Instead of waiting months for a higher than expected energy bill to flag up a problem, as is all too common practice, we wanted to find a way of continually analysing the building to identify any problem areas from day one.”
The project benefitted John Lewis by reducing carbon emissions including operational energy use and allowed the measuring and monitoring of real time energy use. This monitoring will provide future benefit to the store through understanding how energy use can be reduced and will also allow the opportunity for use in future design and construction projects, to provide the most sustainable stores.
Paul Paterson, explains why they turned to IES, the world leaders in energy modelling. “The way IES is pushing the boundaries of modelling, from using higher levels of detail to optimise design at all levels, to automatically sending operational data back into the model, to deliver impressive levels of post occupancy evaluation, made them the perfect fit for us.”
He adds, “Far from considering our job done, we’re now using IES-SCAN, a new powerful IES tool, to import the actual building data back into the model, so we can continuously analyse the occupied building to quickly identify any performance gaps to deliver a soft landing. The level of detail provided by the model is incredible, enabling us to analyse how everything from the HVAC to the escalators to the catering equipment is performing.”
He concludes, “The best thing about IES-SCAN is that instead of having to wait for a utility bill or spend days manually extracting data from the BMS, it lets us easily see which sustainability features are proving the most effective, helping us to decide which future improvements will have the biggest impact on other stores.”
Using performance simulation technology in this manner can drive efficiencies and close the performance gap between design intention and how a building actually operates in the real world. The performance gap, is a well-documented disconnect between the design and compliance models of buildings and the reality of how they perform.
IES has been working to enable the power of its leading building performance analysis software, the VE, to be used on buildings from design, through commissioning on into operation, in order to address this issue.
Our recent innovations enable us to link together operational building data (e.g. Smart/AMR Meters, Sub Meters, BMS Equipment, Environment Sensors, other building systems such as lighting, and other available external data sources such as weather) with 3D performance models. This means that real data rather than design data can be used directly in calibrated simulation models enabling more accurate predictions.
Post Occupancy Evaluation: Integrating renewables
Working for NHS Ayrshire and Arran, IES undertook an independent audit of the building performance of the new Girvan Community Hospital, which opened in 2011. The building set a new standard for hospital design for the NHS in Scotland and was the product of a three-year intensive consultation and design process which involved hospital staff and community members. Sustainability and energy considerations informed the design process from the start leading to the provision of a biomass boiler and wind turbine.
IES has integrated its technology with the BMS, wind turbine, AMR and sub-meter infrastructure to look at the buildings energy demand in conjunction with energy generation and is now investigating opportunities to decrease energy demand and deliver an on-going feed of data to a cloud based portal.
Using operational data to deliver continuous system tuning and commissioning
A proof of concept study for Glasgow City Council explored how advanced analytics can be used to refine building management, energy investment strategy and define ROI targets. IES Consulting worked with the council across six sites: Riverside Primary School, Riverside Museum, Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, City Chambers, Exchange House and Collegelands. A robust framework for data collection was created, reduction potential assessed and assuming a 3-5 year ROI it was proven that reductions in the region of £255k-£425k were possible and would deliver a reasonable capital budget if re-invested into improvement options. Read the full case study here.
The full potential of these technological advances has yet to be fully realised. However, with projects focused on the easy energy and carbon saving opportunities of energy efficient lighting and voltage power optimisation finalising, companies with more mature energy management programs are looking for the next wave of energy savings.
Extensive use of energy management software to monitor energy usage and gain visibility of use and associated cost, must surely lead on into optimising HVAC systems. Utilising the capabilities calibrated simulation delivers will enable more than just superficial analytics of usage patterns. It will in fact allow this information to be assessed against truly personalised virtual assessments of how the actual building to should be performing. This will ultimately peel back another layer of confusion thereby highlighting the hidden inefficiencies.
Find out more about how IES can help you make the most out of your building data here.