New Model Transfer, Bio-Climatic, and Advanced Thermal, HVAC and Bulk Airflow Features + 20% off SketchUp Pro and 60% off VE Toolkits (see bottom of post)

Last week IES  released version 6.1 of its <Virtual Environment> software suite.  The new functionality in conjunction with these great offers described below should help us architects to get a foot in the door of early design performance analysis.

New features, which improve technical functionality and user experience, include plug-in enhancements to facilitate better model transfer, a new Bio-Climatic feature within VE-Gaia, and advanced thermal, HVAC and bulk airflow features within VE-Pro.

These new features continue IES’ drive to open up the sustainable low-energy design power of its VE software to a wider user base; enabling the quantitative understanding of building energy performance to become a collaborative effort between architects and engineers.  The IES VE technology facilitates energy-efficient building design, reduced CO2 emissions, and better utilisation of low-carbon technologies and renewable energy.  It can be used on new builds, refurbishment projects and in-use evaluation to answer key sustainable design questions.

The 4-tier IES VE product structure (VE-Ware, VE-Toolkits, VE-Gaia and VE-Pro), and tight integration with Google SketchUp™, Autodesk® Revit®, Graphisoft® ArchiCAD® and other CAD programs allows building designers to quickly and easily undertake iterative and quantitative analysis directly from design models, right from the earliest stages.

Headline new features within V6.1 include:

Enhanced IESVE Plug-ins / Model Transfer

  • V3 of the IES SketchUp Plug-in now includes ‘Groups and Components’ features and ‘Thick Wall’ capabilities.
  • V3 of the IES Revit Plug-in now includes enhancements ‘behind the scenes’ to improve gbXML geometry transport from Revit using a room-healing algorithm.  This has also been applied to ArchiCAD and other gbXML imports.

VE-Gaia Bio-Climatic Analysis

  • A simple-to-use tool that steers concept urban, built form and design strategy worldwide using climate data.
  • Focused on low-energy and passive options, it automatically derives, from a user selected weather file, an extensive set of design suggestions based on an understanding of climate and environment.
  • It removes barriers which currently limit the use of Bio-Climatic theory by stripping away the complex knowledge and time required to undertake the process manually.
  • VE-Pro: MacroFlo (bulk airflow analysis)
  • New opening types for natural ventilation analysis enables users to automatically define realistic pressure drops and flow rates from real world data when information is otherwise unavailable.  Aerodynamic free area is automatically calculated.

VE-Pro: ApacheSim (dynamic thermal simulation)

  • New simulation calendar for easy setting and editing of working week and holiday data, including Middle East working week and import function for national holidays.
  • Enhanced fuel types and regional carbon emission settings.  Carbon factors can be automatically set based on geographic location and multiple editable fuel options allow detailed monitoring.
  • New ability to edit multiple surfaces as ‘underground’ allows easy exclusion from solar gain simulations.

VE-Pro: ApacheHVAC (systems, operation and control)

  • New Radiant Floors surface temperature controller allows close and smart control of heated/cooled slabs.
  • New ASHRAE loads and system sizing facilitates autosizing of HVAC components.

IES are currently running a number of special offers linked to the release of V6.1. All IES customers, including free VE-Ware users, are eligible to 20 percent off any new purchase of SketchUp Pro.  An exclusive promo code is received when IES customers download V6.1 and the SketchUp plug-in.

In addition, IES are currently running a special 60 percent off offer on their VE-Toolkits; which assist architects in designing more sustainably by enabling performance analysis at the earliest stages directly from architectural models such as those created within SketchUp and Revit.

I think these are great offers that should help us to get a foot in the door of early design performance analysis.