June 14th 2021

IESVE Client Review: Crookes Walker Consulting

IESVE Client Review: Crookes Walker Consulting

Crookes Walker Consulting has been using the IES Virtual Environment on the majority of its projects for the past year and is now planning to roll it out across the business as it grows throughout the UK. We caught up with Laura Whatmough, Thermal Modelling Engineer at the company to explore what drew her to the VE and the benefits it brings to her role.

When Laura first joined Crookes Walker a few years ago, the company used a different software package from IESVE for its energy modelling. After conducting a review of available platforms, they chose IESVE for its robustness, accuracy and ability to conduct all their modelling needs on one platform, without the need to re-input data for different types of analysis.

Laura also explained that the technical capabilities of the IESVE went beyond what other packages appeared to offer, enabling much more detailed analysis and in turn providing much more accurate results. 

“With the VE you can temper the air supply and conduct ventilation calculation losses with ease. Once you’ve input the data for one simulation you don’t have to input it again for something else, it all just pulls through into one central interface. IESVE is one great big robust package that does everything you need it to do.

When you have a lot of technical and detailed projects that are extremely large scale and complex, the last thing you want to be doing is repeating your inputs in different sections of software. So, to be able to do it all once and the software knows where to find the data is really beneficial for time.” 

Laura also explained that she found navigating the VE easier than some of the other packages, and the ability to automatically pull reports and illustrate data via easy to understand visuals and graphs is really useful for presenting to clients in a way that they understand. 

Talking about a large-scale residential project that the Crookes Walker team had just completed she explained: 

“The level of detail available from IESVE allowed us to show a lot of different overheating results, and internal temperatures and plot them all on graphs, making it really user friendly and easy to present to our client. For a massive development like this, that was a key benefit. 

What’s great is that it’s not just numbers, you get nice flow charts and different visual representations of the information which really helps the client understand what we’re doing.”

She explained that with other packages you would have had to export the data to excel and create the graphs/visuals yourself which is time consuming. 

“One of the things I use a lot is the ready-made report summaries that you can extract, especially in terms of energy when doing operational energy consumption. Some of the pre-made graphs, charts and reports that you can pull are fantastic. It summarises everything for you rather than having to go around finding all the separate parts, which is key for time management.”

The visual way that you can model ApacheHVAC systems in the VE was also a benefit that Laura commented on. 

“The ability to drag different icons around to create your schematic in front of you and see it all really clearly there and then is great. With IESVE everything just flows together nicely and being able to drag and drop from one section to the next, saves a lot of time.”

Laura went on to talk about some of IES’ latest technical capabilities with its Intelligent Communities Lifecycle:

“The fact that you can import detailed cityscapes from open street maps, really helps when you’re doing simulations to do with sunpaths and feasibility studies etc. It’s a lot easier than having to build it up yourself and therefore makes it a lot quicker to give feedback at early design stages enabling us to optimise the design with the clients and the architects. For them to see that visual representation of the building in its surroundings rather than just on its own is definitely beneficial.”

Laura heads up the energy modelling team at Crookes Walker and is the main user of IESVE for the firm. As the company grows into areas such as Birmingham and Liverpool, they expect to have more staff using the software in the future. She expects that being able to use IESVE will be a key requirement for future recruits to her team.