IES Tops Independent “Architect Friendly” Energy Modelling Software Survey

BOSTON — (BUSINESS WIRE) — November 24, 2009Integrated Environmental Solutions (IES), a provider of integrated performance analysis software for sustainable building design, is delighted to announce it was ranked as the most “architect friendly” building performance simulation software in a recent academic study. The survey, lists the IES <Virtual Environment> as top out of the ten different simulation tools evaluated; which included Ecotect, Design Builder, Green Building Studio, EnergyPlus and DOE-2. The IES VE was ranked first by 85% of respondents.

The study sampled the US architect community that had a prior interest in green building and energy performance; it surveyed architects, designers, LEED APs, architecture educators and students regarding their views on the 10 major tools in-use within the USA market. Probing the participant’s perception of the most important criteria relating to usability and benefits, it compared a variety of different elements, such as:

  • provision of quick energy analysis to support decision making
  • graphical and 3D representation of results and input
  • flexibility of use and navigation
  • friendliness of interface
  • creation of comparative reports for multiple design alternatives
  • quality control of simulation input
  • allowance of assumptions and default values to facilitate data entry
  • provision of code and rating compliance guidelines
  • inclusion of data libraries related to weather, building components, systems etc.
  • analysis of weather characteristics
  • suggestion of suitable climate design strategies
  • interoperability with building modelling programs
  • accuracy and ability to simulate complex cases

The study “Architect Friendly”: A comparison of ten different building performance simulations tools by Shady Attia et al was presented at the International Building Simulation Conference earlier this year (July 2009)

According to the paper: “The strength of IES VE lays in its user friendly graphical user interface and its template driven approach. The tool offers default values and templates that facilitate quick entry and supports a progression in thermal performance analysis from getting quick answers in early design to detailed analysis in later design phases.”

Dr Don McLean, Founder and Managing Director of IES commented: “significantly, the survey was undertaken between December 2008 and January 2009, before the launch of Version 6 of our software, which we believe significantly enhances the ‘architect friendliness’ of our software. The paper also concluded that a design tool for an architect should educate as well as inform; this analysis to understanding concept is also at the core of all our current development.”

“IES is trying to tackle the big problems in sustainable building design, not just develop software,” commented Kevin Settlemyre, President of IES in N. America. “In order to achieve the levels of energy and CO2 reduction we’re aiming for as an industry, the building design process must become more analysis based and performance driven.”

About IES

Integrated Environmental Solutions (IES) is an innovative company at the forefront of the use and development of powerful software simulation tools which help architects, engineers, facilities managers, and all those involved in the development and management of buildings design and maintain truly sustainable properties. IES was established in June 1994 and is headquartered in Glasgow, Scotland, with offices in Dublin, Republic of Ireland; Boston and San Francisco, USA and Melbourne, Australia. IES Consulting is the specialist international environmental performance consultancy division of IES, its expert team of consultants include some of the most experienced LEED, BREEAM, Green Star Accredited Professionals and Accredited Energy Assessors, in the UK. IES’ services and products aid significantly in the provision of healthier and more energy efficient built environments. For additional information, please visit




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