IES Consulting undertake the next generation of LEED Measurement & Verification

Revolutionary technology links operational data from BMS System to 3D building model

16 April, 2013 – It was today announced that Architectural Energy Corporation (AEC) worked with IES Consulting, using its new VE-Scan technology to carry out a measurement and verification (M&V) plan of energy and water conservation measures for Casey Middle School. The cutting-edge technology developed by IES Research & Development division means that real data from a building management system (BMS), can be used to calibrate IES' software models.


The project began with AEC engineers sending a 3D Revit model of the school to IES' offices in Scotland. From there, IES imported it into its Virtual Environment (VE) software, exactly modelling the geometry and as design' performance of the school. The team then input the actual seasonal environmental conditions of the area, including the temperature, types of solar irradiation, humidity and wind patterns which affected the building during the 2011 M&V review period. In order to make sure the virtual model behaved realistically the team used this real weather data and recorded data from the building management system (BMS) to calibrate it.

AEC then gave IES access to recorded data from the school. This originated in numerous sensors making up Casey's BMS, monitoring HVAC units, lighting controls, and water pumps. Others measured the power generation of heat pumps and geothermal devices. The results showed exactly how the school performed throughout 2011.

"Taking actual data streams and importing that into the model was a real benefit as it meant one could inject accurate measured data, thus removing a variable in the simulated model," says John Wood. "Using the geometry and calibrated systems operation, the IES ASHRAE 90.1 PRM Navigator tool automatically creates a baseline against which savings will be measured."

"The benefit of using IES Consulting over our previous method was that the new software IES uses has more flexibility in creating some of the control sequences," Wood continues. "This was of particular use in modelling the complicated geothermal pumping control. Where previously we would have to make assumptions on the energy being used, IES were able to actually build the sequence of operations in the model. Therefore it was possible to input more variables and make them more configurable."

IES made a broad comparison between the gas and electricity demand and the design prediction. It became clear 20% more gas was being used than could have been expected. Traditionally, facilities managers would have had to rely on guess work and tweaks in order to try and bring this back down. Instead IES used its VE-Scan to drill down and find the offending component. A combination of 3D graphs for immediate visual impact (the axes being power, month and individual days), and 2D colour charts for more precise analysis was used.

An air handling unit was quickly discovered to be the problem. 3D peaks appeared where there should be flat areas in the winter months. The 2D chart showed that it was on for long stretches when it should have been off – some cold nights notwithstanding.

The improvements that were suggested quickly saved Casey Middle School around $200 a month. Improvements were simple to make and virtually free to carry out, maximising savings. As a benefit, the school now saves power, money and carbon emissions.

To read the full case study visit http://www.iesve.com/consulting/projects/projectdetail/3243/Casey+Middle+School.

About IES

Integrated Environmental Solutions' (IES) mission is to advance the sustainability of the world's built environment through the use of integrated performance modelling technology, delivering resource efficient, low-energy, zero-carbon buildings and cities for future generations. For additional information, please visit www.iesve.com or www.iestap.com. You can also follow us on Twitter and join us on Facebook and LinkedIn for the latest IES news, or read our blog.

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