Digital Design & Operation

Building Performance Analysis at Every Stage

Why Digital Design & Operation?

Digitisation, innovative technologies and new construction techniques have vast potential for improving productivity and efficiency across the industry.

Within the next decade, leaders heading up the Digital Built Britain strategy suggest that we’ll be totally connected. BIM will combine with the Internet of Things, advanced data analytics and the digital economy, allowing us to plan more effectively, build at a lower cost and operate more efficiently.

This is why IES is innovating within the area of simulation and performance modelling across the various stages of a building’s lifecycle and how to make it accessible to the inherently different build design and operational teams. Building Performance needs to be at the core of a Digital Design and Operation approach. The IESVE provides a single platform that can model, predict and verify performance continuously throughout a buildings life cycle.

The Digital Design & Operation Process


Performance modelling has a key role to play in closing the performance gap. In order to close the sustainable design loop and address the performance gap between how buildings are designed and how they perform in operation, the construction industry needs to set performance metrics and analyse against them across the whole process: masterplanning, design, construction, commissioning, handover, operation, renewable integration, retrofit and end of life.


Feedback on performance should be integrated at every stage to inform design decisions, understand implications of changes during build and handover, improve operation and create business cases for retrofit. Design compliance models can be enhanced with real-building information throughout design, construction and handover. During operation a calibration exercise combines utility and BMS data with the 3D virtual model. This enhanced digital asset provides a much more realistic representation of building performance and energy consumption at every stage, and can therefore play a valuable role in improving building performance and identifying opportunities for energy savings.


Our approach is to create an analysis platform where information can be easily shared and utilised during design, construction and operation to make building performance an integrated part of the Digital Design and Operation process. Supporting the true intention of sustainable design and digitisation, which is to reduce waste and add value.


The role of data in design and how software applications can use data to effectively link the design and operation stages of a building is becoming increasingly important. IES innovation has focused on how the simulation environment can be exploited to not only intelligently manage the design, commissioning and handover process, but also to operate and control the building optimally. Operational data can be analysed on its own to discover faults, control strategy issues and low-cost interventions that improve building operation, but it can also be used to create a calibrated operational model of a building.

IES Software for Digital Design & Operation

IES Virtual Environment (IESVE)

IESVE is a fast, accurate, sub-hourly, thermal simulation suite that can model new and existing buildings of any size and complexity. For architects, engineers and contractors, the platform allows cross-team collaboration from concept design to operation. Its power embeds energy and performance assessment across the entire building lifecycle.


Integrating performance analysis into the heart of the design process, IES offers an unrivalled interoperability with other CAD design and analysis tools.

  • Free plugins for Revit Architecture and Revit MEP
  • Import gbxml or IFC from any source into the VE for analysis
  • Export gbxml from the VE for ‘round trip’
  • We’re involved in driving the development of gbXML and IFC to improve the bi-directional workflow between tools

BIM Navigator

The IES BIM Navigator brings all import settings into one step-by-step workflow, facilitating import from a variety of modelling tools. 

FREE to existing customers, the navigator allows geometry and data to be imported into the IESVE software via a quarantine zone for checking, healing and selection.

Once the import and simulations have been completed, design updates and/or changes to data can be merged into existing models without overwriting any pre-existing setup that has to be retained.

Got a question?

Contact our team to find out how you can benefit from a Digital Design & Operation process.