A Major Upgrade for High-Performance Building Design in California

Date Published

14th Jul 2021 @ 12:00
Liam Buckley
Vice-President, IES North America

IES Ltd. has provided a major upgrade to the construction industry in California with the release of IESVE 2021 Feature Pack 2 Software.

The new software design tool combines two energy-conscious perspectives for new construction buildings:

  • Building Design – this uses the Actual Design of the building, as design intended. 
  • Building Energy Code Compliance (Title 24) – this compares two building derivatives; (1) “Proposed Design” against (2) “Standard Design”.  Neither of these two derivatives represent the Actual Design. 

The landscape of the THREE Model Approach with IESVE Software is shown below. It is common for the three models to report three broadly varied Energy Use Intensities (EUI – kBtu/ft2/year) or TDV-EUI

While the landscape may appear complicated, to the designer or analyst, most of the processing is completed behind the scenes.

Indeed, the software user may only focus on inputs for the Actual and Proposed designs. 

  1. Actual Design – self-explanatory, with many use cases shown above (e.g. LEED). 
  2. Proposed Design – somewhat mimics the Actual Design but often cannot effectively capture the design intent and/or intended operation. i.e. ‘rules’ are applied to align with the Title 24 energy code. In many occurrences, designers will model an interpreted ‘similar’ design in order to enable a successful compliance simulation. Such interpretations must abide by the rules in the Title 24 Alternative Compliance Method (ACM). 
  3. Standard Design (Baseline) – auto-generated by the rules in the Title 24 Alternative Compliance Method (ACM). The Standard Design is informed by the building size, type, and location of the “Proposed” design; not the “Actual Design”

The only way that IES Ltd. could conceivably bring an automated 3-model solution to market was to promote the world’s leading building energy simulation engine (APACHE) to the California market.  

APACHE is not new to California, but it is the first time it is being used to comply with Title 24 (non-residential) buildings by using performance modeling. Some notable highlights of APACHE include: 

  • An Integrated design tool that co-simulates performance of water consumption, renewable energy technology, utility rates, occupant thermal comfort, daylight performance, and carbon emissions for tracking with AIA 2030’s Challenge Benchmark
  • A Graphic User Interface
  • A rules-processing engine, that can create many model derivatives from an actual design. 
  • A digital design tool that is solely accountable to the designers of high-performance buildings. 
  • The widely regarded best whole-building predictive simulation engine in the world, in terms of capabilities and usability. 
  • A flexible engine that integrates with tools for BIM, embodied carbon calculations & CFD Simulation

With this software release, IES is excited to deliver this time-saving tool to the building energy efficiency industry in California.  By delivering a production efficiency to building designers in California, we know an additional energy efficiency will be realized in our collective goal to decarbonize the build environment. For more information visit www.iesve.com/software/title-24 or sign up for our upcoming free web demo:

Title 24-2019 Demo with IESVE Software - Wed, Sep 8th, 10am - 11am PDT

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