Energy Analysis in the Design Process: An Open BIM Approach – Martyn Horne

Interoperability between performance analysis tools and architectural BIM is an extremely important part of creating truly sustainable, architecturally aesthetic buildings. The use and potential expansion of the IFC file format for use with performance analysis is key to this process, for both interoperability between software platforms and low-carbon, high-performance buildings.

IES and Nemetschek Vectorworks, Inc. aim to bring viable access to high-quality building model and site data exchange with energy analysis and modelling applications. Through a partnership, they have created the first working IFC (Industry Foundation Classes) connection between a BIM solution and a thermal simulation engine (IES Virtual Environment). Although still ongoing, the initiative is ground breaking within Open BIM. Plus, as the first of its kind, it has the potential to lead the market in the area of integrated design. It is a unique connection that has been developed and tested based on the Open BIM standard, IFC.

As the first-ever significant energy modeling and analysis solution for a major architectural BIM program to use the IFC file format, the partnership aims to:

  • Reinforce the importance and viability of an Open BIM approach in the AEC industry
  • Provide an energy analysis and modeling software solution to existing and future Vectorworks users, as well as offer a CAD/BIM application for IES users
  • Offer technical improvements to the development of IFC implementation on both sides (which is presently on-going), leading to better tools and products within the professional AEC market.

This presentation will demonstrate the benefits of the connection between IES and Vectorworks software and the real-world applications of an Open BIM approach to energy analysis at the design phase of a project.


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Martyn Horne, UK Business Development Manager, Vectorworks in association with IES