Investigate the trade-offs between different design parameters and automatically converge on the optimal design quickly and accurately.

An outcome of the R&D project UMBRELLA, HONE is a standalone tool that references a VE model with the advantage being that the VE can still be used whilst any optimisation is being performed. It converges on the optimal design quickly and accurately using an evolutionary optimisation algorithm, and is completely customisable even down to the graphics rendered. The tool can be found in the Programs menu under IES >> Virtual Environment 2017 alongside the VE shortcut.


The associated ELEMENTS TOOL provide one central location to manage both HONE and the PARAMETRICS TOOL. Within ELEMENTS, you can set, edit, define and store all parameters and variables. The tool helps select variables and outputs, which are then converted into Scripts for use in the tools.

  • Define your input parameters, and the rules by which they are changed
  • Input variables can be referenced from any VE model and are linked via APR, ‘tags’ can be used to vary them
  • Group parameters for all the rooms combined, or define individual parameters for each room. This powerful ability avoids the time taken to set up all individual scenarios.
  • Expert user ability to create own scripts or edit existing scripts in detail using “syntax”
  • Define your output variables. For ease of use, these mirror those available in the VistaPro results viewer.
  • Preset Parametric Rules and Templates available
  • Standard Optimisation Worksheets available
  • Optimise against any two building-level variables e.g. occupancy weighted comfort, mean comfort, total energy, carbon emissions, seasonal efficiency, lighting/heating gains.
  • Add constraints to parameters and/or results if required e.g. the temperature in a zone must not exceed 25 Deg C.

Optimisation Worksheets

Optimisation worksheets provides a link between the problem domain and the optimisation algorithm. With the aid of prepared worksheets, the user has the ability to undertake various optimisation studies.

  • The following standard ‘worksheets’ can be used as provided, or as a starting point; you can copy and modify them to suit your own requirements
    • Minimising Conditioning Energy and Maximising Comfort
    • Optimising Humidity Levels for Comfort and System’s Energy
  • Expert users can also create and edit their own detailed ‘worksheets’ using “Lua” scripting
  • You can share and store bespoke ‘worksheets’ to deliver quality and repeatability for all users

Results & Pareto Graph

You can track results on the Pareto Curve Graph as optimisation is occurring, and stop/restart the process at anytime. The Pareto Graph is updated after every evaluation to represent the latest set of optimal solutions.
On the Pareto Graph, the Pareto Front represents the trade-off curve that highlights the balance between the two or more potentially conflicting objectives.

  • The Pareto curve helps in making informed decisions about the trade-offs between the different variables being studied
  • The Pareto Summary chart plots the objective values for the first and last two generations of the optimisation study to illustrate and document progression
  • The Pareto Progress chart plots a set of optimal solutions and is the result of the HONE study
  • The results of the HONE study can also be outputted into an excel worksheet and appropriately reformatted if required to emphasise the trade-offs between the studies objectives

Utilise up to 12 simulation engines

If available, run multiple licences on your machine to drastically reduce simulation time. Every simulation engine utilised will half the simulation time. For example, on a 16-core machine, an 8hr simulation run would be cut to 1hr*
*You can run one simulation engine per 4 cores. Which means that if you have a 16-core machine, an 8 hour simulation run using a single engine, could be cut to 1 hour if you used 4 simulation engines across all 4 cores.

Standardise and Automate Reporting using Python Scripting

Integrate the new Python Scripting feature with HONE to set up fully customisable, automated reporting for these tools.
The new Python Scripting (PS) API for the VE enables you to standardise reportage across your company to ensure consistency and reduce the time spent extracting and formatting particular results sets.

  • Create your own customised scripts, some automation and reportage
  • Easily share across your company through your own navigator
  • Create and share user content driven reportage, visualisation and analysis
  • Convey the outputs of various studies in an easy to read visual format
  • Links to 3rd party python libraries to enable automatic production of charts and graphs
  • Reduce time spent on tasks through automation
  • Define workflows and Navigators that are bespoke to your needs
  • Tighten up Quality Assurance using your own workflows
  • Scripts can be distributed for use in Navigator or IDE and can be pin protected or encrypted if desired
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