23rd August 2019
It’s one month away from the joint event between Niyaa People and IES to present and explore technological advances and the future of Digital Twins. So we’ve decided to life the lid and dive a little deeper into the company behind the product.
Who and what is IES?
Founded in 1994, IES’s analytical tools and industry knowledge are pioneering. The company developed its best-in-class software, the Virtual Environment (VE) over 20 years ago. Our technology is suitable for anyone interested in energy efficiency and sustainability. Whether that be Architects, Engineers or Developers, City Planners and ESCOs, or Sustainability, Energy and Facilities Managers. We help them see the true sustainability potential of their projects. We specialise in powerful solutions which revolutionise the way we plan and design communities and use energy. Facilitating lasting change across the entire lifecycle of the built environment – from citizen level up to companies, campuses, communities, cities and even whole countries.
What new innovations have been created?
In 2019 IES launched its cutting-edge Intelligent Communities Lifecycle (ICL) platform, new environmental Digital Twin technology for healthy, sustainable communities. Aimed at revolutionising smart city development through the incorporation of sustainable analysis, it allows the performance of any built environment to be investigated.
Building on the company’s strong analytical past, it incorporates the latest digital technology to link physics based simulations, Internet of Things (IOT) data, sensor readings, machine learning and AI into one interconnected platform. All of the company’s new ICL tools utilise the VE simulation engine.
What affect will IES have on the build environment from a clients perspective?
The built environment accounts for 40% of the world’s energy use. While, climate change has moved up the global agenda significantly in recent years, with several UK cities racing to become the first carbon neutral city ahead of the UK national target, there is still a lot to do. The UK as whole wants to reduce its carbon emissions by 80% and has pledged to be net-zero by 2050. With the integration of new low carbon technologies, buildings and cities have the potential to make the biggest impact in reducing carbon emissions globally.
This is why IES exists. To develop technology that can significantly reduce the impact that buildings and cities have on the environment by minimising energy use and making zero carbon targets achievable. By looking at buildings and cities as the integrated environments they are, we want to ensure everyone involved in the conception, design or management of a building can work together to leave our world in a much better state than we inherited it.
Our new Digital Twin technology, the ICL, creates dynamic 3D models that reflect real life performance, delivering resilience, cost savings and resource-efficiency for buildings, campuses, communities and cities. Enabling users to hone in on problem areas, identify patterns in historic usage, improve current performance, explore ‘what if’ scenarios and plan for the future.
The ICL allows users to connect, visualise and analyse data in order to make informed decisions and gain hidden insights on energy-use to building comfort; transport connectivity to waste heat; electricity networks to renewable viability and much more. Whether real-time, static or dynamic data, it’s all centralised and geo-located, alongside historic, current and predicted weather data.
So far, the use of the IES Virtual Environment at the building design stage has saved 31 power stations from being built. Imagine what can be achieved through the use of the ICL across the entire built environment lifecycle.
Do you think the new innovations will create more jobs?
A 2019 report published by CITB (Construction Industry Training Board) shows that construction can reap major rewards from digital skills and technology, but only if it takes decisive action in the next five years. “Construction has lagged behind other industries in harnessing the benefits of digitalisation but is now looking to catch up. New technology has enormous potential to make construction greener, safer and smarter, while boosting productivity. Embracing digital technology and cutting-edge skills can help address ongoing industry challenges like wafer-thin profit margins; the need to recruit, upskill and retain the future workforce; and improving health, safely and mental wellbeing.”
If you look at job advertisements today, many roles already require candidates to be familiar with the IES Virtual Environment, and the Irish Times even reported that “IES Modellers” as one of their five “future proofed” careers in December 2018. More and more building owners, facilities managers, sustainability & energy managers, architects, and engineers are realising the urgency of climate change and the need for companies and cities to be carbon neutral.
Gartner, a research company, predicts that half of large industrial companies will use digital twins by 2021, therefore it follows that the same growth will be seen in the construction industry. We’re already seeing an increase in the use of digital technology in construction, and as more tech-savvy generations enter the workforce, there are truly endless possibilities to the evolutions we will see within the sector. Jobs may be replaced, but others will be enhanced, sped up and even created. And since our ICL digital twin platform helps to design much more sustainable and energy efficient buildings and communities, the increased demand for candidates who can use such tools to achieve these goals is almost a given.
But companies won’t be looking for just any candidate – they need Leaders. People who can lead their community, campus, city or group of whatever scale and evolve these smart concepts into truly intelligent solutions which will have a measurable and lasting impact upon climate change.
We believe Climate Change can only be addressed if we act immediately. The technology that will let us begin to take action is here, but what we urgently need now are Leaders who can take that technology and effect real change from the bottom up.
These Leaders would be responsible for their global footprint and be key to overcoming many of the behaviours ingrained in society (those cognitive biases) which are preventing us from taking climate action. These Leaders could be CEOs, Heads of Universities, Heads of National and Local Governments or Hospital managers, Sustainability Managers, local community managers, and so on.
What should people expect to get out of this event?
This event will give insight into the uptake of digital construction techniques at the moment and the rise of the Digital Twin in the AEC market. The concept of the digital twin has existed for many years, but it’s only in recent times that the Internet of Things (IoT), AL (Artificial Intelligence) and ML (Machine learning) has made the technology feasible at scale. Having access to a virtual representation of an existing building or group of buildings that behaves like the building in real-life is changing the way the industry operates and opening up a world of possibilities.
New technologies are constantly redefining how organisations operate, and businesses within the construction space are no exception. Digital continues to disrupt and excite the construction industry in equal measure.
A digital twin provides asset owners with real-time data about how their asset, equipment, product or building will function under various conditions. It enables them to make informed decisions based on facts, rather than assumptions about how a product should perform. It provides organisations with valuable information that they can use to monitor an asset, schedule repairs, and make improvements based on the results that are delivered.
Discover what a digital twin is in the context of the built environment, the technologies it brings together, and how it can be used to improve environmental performance of the built environment at any scale; from individual buildings, through to small groups, or even large campuses or developments.
Real-life examples will be presented showing how new toolsets have been used on a variety of different projects all with different objectives; from community engagement, to improvement of operational performance at scale through retrofits, to energy management of existing buildings and community energy and solar assessments. You’ll also get an introduction to the IES Intelligent Communities Lifecycle (ICL) technology, explaining the features of each product:
- iCIM/iPIM/Command Centre – connect all ICL tools across a community or portfolio and engage and communicate the important information
- iCD – 3D sustainable urban design and early stage masterplanning
- iVN – integrated energy network design & analysis
- iSCAN – a single platform to optimise the operational performance of buildings