IESVE 2017

New Features & Enhancements of the Virtual Environment

What's New?

IESVE 2017 includes 25 major new features and many other smaller enhancements. Some of these additions have been added in response to customer requests, while others are a result of the latest technology to be developed through the IES R&D division. VE 2017 has been designed to improve productivity and to help you optimise your building design. Use this page to take a tour of all the latest features.

Scottish Regulations Section 63

VE Compliance has added Section 63 to the Section 6 2015 building regulation options for Scotland. When a Scottish EPC has been generated, the same model can be used for Section 63, allowing different scenario models to be simulated within the project to assess the Prescribed Measures and compare performance of Alternative Scenarios. This enables the Assessor to recommend the best options for the building and generate the corresponding Action Plan.

Hone Tool

Independent tool to investigate the trade-offs between different design parameters and automatically converge on the optimal design quickly and accurately.

  • Discover the optimal building design parameters that achieve selected objectives
  • Automatically runs multiple Apache simulations and learns from each new iteration, discarding the worst results, while keeping the best
  • Keeps going iteration after iteration until you have honed in on the optimal solution
  • Optimise against any two building-level variables e.g. occupancy weighted comfort, mean comfort, total energy, carbon emissions, seasonal efficiency, lighting/heating gains
  • Standard ‘worksheets’ allow non-expert users to access the tool readily
  • Fully customisable bespoke ‘worksheets’ can be created and shared internally to deliver quality and repeatability for all users
  • Completely customisable even down to the graphics rendered

Parametric Tool

Say goodbye to manual parameter changes and automate the simulation of multiple scenarios and combinations of building design inputs.

  • Create and automatically run a series of Apache simulations; no need for manual parameter changes
  • Simulate multiple design scenarios and combinations of building design inputs
  • Standalone tool - the VE can still be used whilst any parametric study is being performed
  • Change one or more input parameters across internal gains, set points, humidity limits and the majority of ApacheSystems
  • Further reduce time taken to set up individual scenarios by combing or linking simulations
  • Standard ‘Templates’ allow non-expert users to access the tool readily
  • Templates can be edited, created and shared across companies for quality and repeatability
  • Completely customisable, even down to the results produced so as to reduce amount of storage required

Elements Tool

The Elements tool links the VE to both optimisation Hone and Parametric tools. Elements allows the setting of target parameters (model inputs) and results variables (Vista outputs) for parameteric analysis. The tool works using rules, where it gathers common parameters from the VE, allows the range of the parameter to be set and then defines whether the variable is to be used in the same way for all instances or whether the variable is to be altered independently.

Interoperability Navigator

The new Interoperability Navigator provides a step-by-step process for importing your model from whichever drawing tool you are using into the IESVE for analysis. All the import settings, modelling guidance and new functionality has been brought together within this single navigator to enhance the model import workflow.

Python Scripting

Python Scripting (PS) is the new API for the VE replacing the older API approach (APSFILE.DLL). 

This unique, innovative approach allows users to create their own customised scripts, some automation and reportage, which can be easily shared through your own navigator. The PS API consists of two main features, the Python Console or Integrated Development Environment (IDE) and the Python Navigator. The Console IDE allows users to create their own scripts and promote them to their own Navigator. The Python Navigator allows access to the resultant ‘program’.

  • Create / share user content driven reportage / visualisation / analysis
  • Reduce time spent on tasks through automation
  • Define workflows & 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
  • Coming soon: Script store for purchase and submission of scripts

Geometric PV Panels & Parabolic Solar Collectors

ModelIT now offers the ability to place geometric free-standing panels that are exclusively for estimating PV potential and allows the assessment of PV potential to take the physical location into account. In ApacheSystems Parabolic Solar Collectors adds to the renewables capabilities within the VE and can be used as DHW pre-heater or as a space or process pre-heater.

Dynamic Daylighting

Radiance capabilities have now been extended to allow for dynamic daylighting calculation methods. You can now use RadianceIES climate based daylight modelling (CBDM) technology to model Useful Daylight Illuminance (UDI), Spatial Daylight Autonomy (SDA) and Annual Sunlight Exposure (ASE) calculations, providing you with a complete overview on how the daylight performance varies throughout the year.

ApacheHVAC System Loads & Sizing Report Generator

This new feature provides streamlined generation and improved user control over a significantly expanded set of reports for buildings, system, zone, and room loads, sizing, and ventilation.

  • Generate new and existing reports for any selected System Loads and Sizing results file
  • Set relevant coils for Heating & Cooling peaks
  • Include or exclude oversizing factors
  • Reports include:
    >> Project and climate (building, weather, etc.)
    >> Plant loops & equipment (capacity, flows, etc.)
    >> Space loads & ventilation (system summary)
    >> System Loads (detailed loads breakdown, coil capacities airflows, engineering checks, etc.)
    >> Zone Loads (same as for System)
    >> Room Loads (same as for Zones)
    >> VE2016 System Sizing report
    >> ASHRAE 62.1 Ventilation (Appendix A method)

New Features Videos

Additional HVAC Updates

  • Chiller Performance Curve Library: Industry leading tool for loading, visualizing, and customizing polynomial fit curve performance data for HVAC equipment.
  • Independent Secondary Hot Water Loops: Capability is expanded with respect to loop temperature controls.
  • Hot Water Loop Configuration: Now supports multiple secondary loops, new pre-heating locations, new flow control options, and more.
  • Chilled Water Sensible Thermal Storage: Capability for sensible chilled-water storage, in addition to ice storage.
  • Scheduled Load Component: Add loads to HWL and CHWL based on hourly or sub-hourly data, modulated design load, or time series of repeating scheduled values.

Parallel Simulation Manager

Parallel simulation manager (PSM) is intended to allow you to manage simulations within the Virtual Environment.

  • Significantly speeds up simulations
  • Separates the simulations from the VE interface meaning that you can continue to work on a model and set up a new simulation etc. whilst your current model is simulating

Energy Sources & Meters

This new feature provides a fundamental change to the way that the VE ApacheSim calculations aggregate resource & fuel usage. At any logical point in the software, a Meter can now be assigned that will be used to aggregate the use of that fuel. There is no limit to the number of Meters that are created.

  • More transparent & intuitive approach to ‘metering’ within the VE
  • Automatic categorisation to align with common usages (including a breakdown for types of generated electricity) and PRM
  • Aggregation shown in VistaPro
  • ‘Unlimited’ sub-metering available
  • Alignment to real building metering strategies

Additional enhancements

Other IESVE 2017 updates include:

  • Enhancement of the Input Data Visualisation tool in ApacheView to allow for an Exploded View of the building floor plan
  • Sessions is a new feature within VistaPro allowing the User to recreate all the open results; whether its graphs or tables that they may wish to save
  • The Solar Arc tool within ModelViewerII has been enhanced to allow for customisation to fit any building
  • VE Compliance Update: The software has been updated to remain inline with the latest Building Regulations updates for version 5.3.a
  • The rendering approach to ModelIT has been enhanced to speed up refresh rate
  • Air Density Adjustment: Adjust air density for elevation to allow more accuracy for load calculations at higher elevations

What Our Customers Say


IESVE 2017 is great example of how IES is committed to the continuous improvement of its products. IES actively listens to and responds to the needs of its customers. Our mainstream design teams have given much deeper commitment to the use of the VE – the VE is not just for our one-of-a-kind high performance “jewel box” projects. We are taking advantage of the much more user-friendly load reports on our everyday work. The graphics and visualization tools built into the VE are making it much easier for our teams to understand and optimize system performance and sizing.

Kim E Shinn

Principal/Senior Sustainability Wizard at TLC Engineering for Architecture

We are excited at Pick Everard with the new features that the 2017 version of IES Virtual Environment brings. We expect this will also allow thermal modelling specialists to have earlier input into design, greater interaction with architects, and extend the use of models into buildings in operation. This will also lead to changes to design workflows, improving efficiencies and allowing more time to be spent on proactive design rather than reactive and reiterative ‘design for compliance.

Dr Jose Hernandez

Director - Sustainability and Energy at Pick Everard

For us, IESVE is our all in one tool for doing loads, energy, daylighting, etc. Doing loads analysis is simple to run especially with the parametric tool in VE2017. This tool allows us to test ideas and get results quickly efficiently, and the results are accurate. We now use the VE for all of our projects. On a recent office project, using the VE, we were able to improve glazing, reduce mechanical system size, and save the owner money all through the results of our analysis.

Miles Dake

Mechanical Engineer at ME Group

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