IES use proven modelling methods to help make workplaces safer post-lockdown

Date Published

29th Sep 2020

Suzanne Wallace
Media & Communications Manager, IES

3D modelling techniques accurately inform effective strategies for returning to offices.

IES’ Consulting division is helping its clients with how they can adapt their workplaces to reduce the risk of COVID-19 spread. 

IES performed modelling to analyse ventilation strategies and inform clients on suitable strategies toward making their workplaces safer.

In Scotland, Perth and Kinross Council turned to the IES Consulting team to help them with a study of its open plan office building in Perth. Like most organisations homeworking became the new norm, however the council wanted to identify the strategies required to create a safe working environment for those employees needing a suitable workplace when it is possible to return.

The study used Dynamic Thermal modelling to analyse airflow movement and air change rates against external typical conditions. 

IES consultants ran a number of simulations, taking in to account wind direction, wind speed and season to provide the council with a number of possible natural ventilation strategies for making its workplace safer. An easy to use selection tool was provided enabling the office/facilities manager to implement the best window opening strategy according to a daily forecast.

The Council is using the study to look at what measures they will need to implement in the future when workers can start to return to the office.

Commenting on the study, Chris Anton, Lead Energy Officer at Perth and Kinross Council said, 
“We see this as a really important piece of work in terms of ensuring peoples safety and we hope that by sharing the details of the study it can help others moving forward to make spaces safer for all. The analysis has opened our eyes to a lot of things that we may not have necessarily thought of. We see this as a great opportunity to improve things going forward.”

“Our consultants have been analysing the environmental performance of buildings for over 25 years now, said David McEwan, Global Consultancy Director IES. “In this time of deep uncertainty worldwide, I am proud that our team are able to transfer their expertise to provide a level of reassurance to our clients for the safety and wellbeing of their employees as we begin to recover from this pandemic.”

Looking to the future, it is anticipated that the type of modelling and analysis conducted as part of this study, will inform how we plan and design new buildings, specifically looking at HVAC design.

To find out more about our specialist consulting services for helping to make your workplace safer, visit

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